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Finding out about your work of art: A bibliography of sources in the Clark library: Books and bookmaking

Find out about books and bookmaking

Diehl, Edith.  Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique.  New York: Hacker Art Books, 1979.

Volume 1 is an overview, historical and methodological, of bookbinding, with chapters on ancient book forms, the book of the Middle Ages, and Renaissance to modern times, as well as on national styles of book decoration.  Volume 2 is a more technical look at bookmaking, with chapters on flexible bindings, folding and mounting, end papers, sewing, forwarding, materials, and finishing.

Stacks NE930 D54 Repr. v.1 and v.2


Bland, David.  A History of Book Illustration:  The Illuminated Manuscript and the Printed Book.  London:  Faber and Faber Limited, 1969. 

Includes chapters on the beginnings in roll and codex, medieval illumination in the west, Asian illumination and illustration, and historical survey chapters:  the beginning of printing to 1520; 1520 to the end of the 17th century; the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.  Includes over 400 illustrations and a classified bibliography.

Stacks NE915 B4 1969


Blumenthal, Joseph.  The Printed Book in America.  Hanover:  University Press of New England, 1989. 

Traces the main currents in the development of the printed book in America and presents its leading practitioners, from the beginning of printing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1638 to the 20th century.  Includes a selected bibliography.

Stacks NE904 B58 Repr.


Rees-Mogg, William.  How to Buy Rare Books: A Practical Guide to the Antiquarian Book Market.  Oxford: Phaidon Christie’s Limited, 1985. 

Includes chapters on the art and practice of book collecting, tastes and trends in book collecting, how books are made (printing, paper, folding and gathering, illustration and plate-making, and binding), and care and conservation.

Stacks NE900 R44


Levarie, Norma.  The Art and History of Books.  New Castle: Oak Knoll Press, 1995. 

A historical survey of the book as a work of art, arranged temporally and geographically: Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Gothic manuscripts, Renaissance manuscripts, the beginning of printing.  Lavishly illustrated.

Stacks NE900 L49 1995


The following websites can lead you to useful information on antiquarian books:



Used and rare book search service with over 70 million titles. 


ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers)

From the home page you can use a search screen to find a book, click a link to browse catalogues, and find information about ILAB.  Click “Services” to consult an online dictionary, use a glossary of terms, or to get a list of other book collecting resources. 


Addall Used and Out-of-Print Search

Search this site for a book and get edition, condition, and price information for all copies available from book dealers that are members of the site.  A comparison of this information with your book will give you a good idea of what your book might be worth.