You can’t judge a book by its cover… or can you?
Visitors to LSU Special Collections’ new mini exhibit, “A Brief History of European Bookbinding from the Middle Ages to 1900,” will have a chance to ponder that question. In the days before mass-produced publishers’ bindings, books were often bought with no covers on them at all, leaving their owners to have them bound as they saw fit. The result was a wide and colorful range of binding styles that varied from time to time and place to place. The exhibit also introduces visitors to some of the work and materials that go into binding a book. Did you know, for example, that scraps of medieval manuscripts are often “hidden” in the bindings of later books? Have you ever wondered how marbled paper is made? Did you know that there are books bound in ivory, velvet, and even Scottish tartan?
Come and find out more about these and other fascinating aspects of the history of the book. The new exhibit will be on display in the Hill Memorial Library lecture hall from May 9 through June 30. The library is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, and Tuesday evenings (while classes are in session) until 8 p.m. For more information, contact Michael Taylor at (225) 578-6547 or firstname.lastname@example.org.