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Folger Bindings Image Collection
• About the Bindings

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About the Bindings Image Collection

Most of the records in this database represent new bindings research and photography created by Folger Rare Bindings Specialist and former Head of Conservation J. Franklin Mowery, with the assistance of Bindings Database Intern Rachel Bartgis.


Some of the contents of the database were imported from past projects, including:

  • The 1992 exhibition catalog Fine and Historic Bookbindings from the Folger Shakespeare Library, by Frederick A. Bearman, Nati H. Krivatsy, J. Franklin Mowery ; with an introduction by Anthony Hobson ; photographs by Julie Ainsworth.
  • An informal and unpublished guide to the bindings of Edward Gwynn in the Folger Library, by J. Franklin Mowery.
  • Unpublished conservation documentation on Shakespeare First Folio bindings in the Folger Library, by J. Franklin Mowery.

Work on the Folger Bindings Collection continues, focused on:

  • Revision of existing entries
  • Upgrading and replacing of image files
  • Addition of information about newly-photographed bindings
  • Continued addition of terms from the RBMS controlled vocabulary, Binding Terms: A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloging
  • Updating Vocabulary lists, Bibliography, and Links to Other Resources
  • Special thanks to Philip Oldfield for his work on and help with British armorial bindings
  • Special thanks to Erin Moody for her assistance with embroidered bindings.

Corrections, additions, and questions would be welcome. Please email:

Click on Fields for a field-by-field description of the types of binding descriptions you can find here.


Visit Folger tooltips: researching bindings, a post at The Collation, for more about the collection, including tips and techniques for searching. 




To launch a high-resolution, zoomable image of the binding above in our Folger Bindings Image Collection, follow this link:

James Boaden. An Inquiry into...Various Pictures and Prints of Shakespeare. London, 1824. Cosway binding from 1928

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