I saw this announced via the SHARP list serv today and thought it might be of interest. The Folger Shakespeare Library has launched a database of images of more than 1,000 bindings from their collection.
According to the announcement:
Recording information about binding structure and decoration can reveal items where the same or similar tools may have been used at different times by different binders or binding workshops. Uncovering such similarities can also help link multiple bindings to individual owners, collectors, binders, or workshops –even in cases where a binder may be as yet unidentified –as well as to specific geographical regions or time periods.
Interesting! We didn’t talk much about bindings last week–probably because for the most part we were focusing on books where the binding would have been an entirely different project from the printing, but it had not occurred to me before that tracking binding tools and techniques might help trace ownership of books.