This 16th-century book is a sammelband, which means that it comprises multiple works that were bound together after they were published. The binding is pigskin over wooden boards, with working brass clasps.
If you look closely, you can see how this orange-colored parchment binding was once able to be closed using a tab and a slot.
The blue sewing thread visible on the spine of this binding is very unusual among books in the Folger collection. Note also the manuscript scraps used as spine linings for the binding.
Have you ever wrapped books in paper to protect them? This book from 1566 is covered in parchment manuscript.
Note the manuscript material reused in this binding as spine lining. This binding is also unusual for the Folger collection in that the sewing support (look closely at the vertical line just to the left of the manuscript scrap) is covered with so much thread, sewn using a herringbone stitch.
This Italian book, published in 1620, was selected for the beautiful blue floral designs and vibrant yellow color of its paste paper cover.
Meet the Curator
Renate Mesmer is the J. Franklin Mowery Head of Conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She is a book and paper conservator with more than twenty years of experience in the field. She formally trained as a master bookbinder in Germany and has pursued further conservation training at renowned institutions throughout Europe and the U.S. She has held previous positions conserving and restoring books and manuscripts at the University Library in Mannheim, the Speyer State Archives in Germany, and the Centro del Bel Libro in Ascona, Switzerland.