The exhibition aims to decode the jargon used by bookbinders, and showcase the creative 'art and craft' skills evident in all aspects of the binding process, from forwarding (construction) to finishing (decoration). To highlight the processes, a wide cross-section of binding styles are show in the exhibition, from the 1481 Rood and Hunt binding and 16th century European samples, to publisher's case-bindings. Books bound by local Dunedin binders also feature.
|Ref: 4-7386, Sir George Grey Special Collections|
Each major library in New Zealand has its fair share of decorative, fine bindings, with the name of the binder often stamped inside: Zaehnsdorf; Sangorski & Sutcliffe; Cockerell. There are also those books known to be bound by famous binders such as Samuel Mearne, Roger Payne, or Charles Lewis. Of course, the vast majority of bindings are simple, plain, and functional, and carry no signature or famous name. If not a recognisable publisher's house-style, most of them remain anonymous representatives, silent witnesses to the past.