Skip to content

Search by category: bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 51: a beautiful 19th century hand-painted and lacquered Qur’an

I’ve selected one of the true beauties of our collections for the second-to-last binding post of this series. It is no surprise that many of the binding posts featured this year were from sacred or devotional texts including Bibles, Qur’ans and commentaries.  These books often meant the most to their readers and so they adorned…

29 May 2012bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 50: a 19th century deluxe photographic album

This week’s binding feature focusses on an item from a collection that has not yet been discussed here: the Photographic Collection. St Andrews University Library holds one of the largest and most important collections of historic photography in Scotland, stemming primarily from the fact that St Andrews played a vital role in the development of…

24 May 2012bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 49: a 19th century German illustrated cover

With the last three weeks of this binding series already planned to jam-packed with historic “wow”-pieces, I decided to go for something a bit more personal and casual for this week’s binding gem.  I came across this book today, as I was scoping up a small project with another colleague. I could only see the…

18 May 2012bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 48: 19th century Pictish gauffered edges …

Now, I’ve seen a fair number of books with gauffered edges in my time, however this one takes the cake. This week’s binding post was discovered while I was fetching a different book for a reader, I just happened to spot its spine amongst a row of folio books. This book comes from the Hay…

8 May 2012bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 47: a presentation binding from Louis XIV and Antonio Barberini, Archbishop of Rheims

Earlier this week, the Special Collections department shut its doors for a collection day where all staff focused on one particular subject area and began making lists of what they had in their various collections that fit that subject. I found this week’s binding gem during this exercise almost by accident! As we were working…

4 May 2012bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 46: an armorial stamp to remember an Earl by

This week’s binding post is taking a slightly different turn: instead of focusing on one book, we’re looking at a collection of over 100. In, or around, 1645 Francis Scott, the 2nd Earl of Buccleuch, presented to St Leonard’s College 113 books. This type of donation was a common trend amongst Royals, Peers and other…

27 April 2012bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 45: the oldest institutional binding in St Andrews, re-used

This register of evidences and privileges of the University of St Andrews (Registrum evidentiarum et privilegiorum universitatis Sancti Andree) contains transcripts or copies of key documents from the University’s history, covering the period 1413-1539. It is one of the most important items in the University’s muniment collection. Cartularies of this nature were compiled as record…

20 April 2012bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 44: contemporary binding of the Ostrog Bible (1581)

This week’s binding post is one of the true treasures of the Rare Books collection here at St Andrews: the first edition of the Ostrog Bible. The Ostrog Bible is the first edition of the Bible printed in Slavonic and in Cyrillic characters. It was produced in 1581 by Ivan Fedorov (his last known work)…

13 April 2012bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 43: a 16th century metallurgy bound by a 19th century professor

This week’s binding post is a heavy-weight from the Alchemy Collection. It is found on the 1561 Officina Frobeniana printing of Georg Agricola’s De re metallica libri XII. This book is the second edition of Agricola’s masterpiece on mining, metallurgy and engineering which features woodcuts by the master engraver Hans Rudolf Manuel. This book was…

4 April 2012bindings

52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings, Week 42: 15th century Qur’an bound in contemporary gold-stamped goatskin

As we begin to round out our last 10 binding posts, it’s time to start getting out the treasures! This week’s binding feature is one of the highlights of our Oriental Manuscript collection: ms19(o), a richly illuminated and complete 15th century Timurid Qur’an. A dedication note has been pasted to the front cover (pictured above)…

30 March 2012bindings