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Friday, May 15, 2009

The American Bookbinders Museum

You won't need a ticket to get into the American Bookbinders Museum Web site, but you will find plenty of tickets once you are there.

A bookbinder's ticket is actually a small, printed label that advertises the bookbinder's business and craftsmanship in the work the reader is holding. The example above is from a Dutch collector who recently emailed me some scanned samples, which I featured in a recent post here.

The bookbinder is identified by name and, most always, location, and there may be additional information about the business. This information may be presented with accompanying decorative graphics or in just a plain vanilla style. The label, or ticket (the two terms are often used interchangeably), is typically affixed to one of the endpapers. I tend to find more on the rear endpaper, but the front endpaper is certainly no stranger to these tiny collectibles.

These are typically found in older books (say mid-twentieth century and earlier) when the practice of affixing these minuscule advertisements was more common. Labels for booksellers are more often found in old books than are the tiny ads for the bookbinder. At least, that’s been my experience.

So I was very interested to learn recently of a site that features bookbinders’ tickets. Re-reading the Exile Bibliophile’s March 7th post earlier this year on the Fine Books & Collectibles Magazine blog, I found a follow-up comment that mentioned The American Bookbinder’s Museum and their collection of some 500 bookbinder tickets. Just use the link above to go to the museum’s Web site and click on the Bookbinders tab, and then the With Images tab. Or click the link at the beginning of this post.

Either way, scroll down and view an alphabetical listing of these interesting little artifacts of the book trade. You just might be inspired to search the older books on your shelves for these hidden nuggets of bibliographical history.

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