Book Bindings

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In the spring of 2016 King’s Library received a grant of £44,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, ‘Shakespeare and Austen at King’s College: Celebrating their Centenaries in 2016 and 2017’. The project includes the online cataloguing and conservation of the English literature section of the rare book collection of George Thackeray (1777-1850), as well as a series of public exhibitions, talks, group visits and the creation of online content.

Every book bound before the early 19th century is a unique handcrafted object, so no two bindings can be genuinely identical. Recording the binding information when cataloguing a rare book is important as it gives us an indication of its provenance as well as how the book was used, regarded and circulated. Below is a selection of some of the more interesting items in the Thackeray Collection. A glossary of book binding terms can be seen here.