The Value of Historic Book Bindings: An Aberdeen Perspective with David Pearson

The Value of Historic Book Bindings: An Aberdeen Perspective with David Pearson

A public lecture on the importance of book bindings by one of the foremost experts in the field

Aberdeen has a great wealth of bindings of all kinds and periods among its outstanding holdings of historic books.  Bindings have traditionally been noticed, or studied, if they are objects of taste and luxury, but book historians should see that they have much wider value.  At a time when we are increasingly interested in the ways that books were owned, used, read and regarded, we need to look at bindings as part of the whole story that any book can individually and uniquely tell.  This talk by David Pearson will explore the book historical value of bindings from various angles, illustrated with examples from Aberdeen’s collections.

David Pearson retired from a long professional career in libraries and archives in February 2017 and is now concentrating on work as a book historian. He has published extensively on aspects of provenance, private libraries and bookbinding and his projects currently in hand include a directory of book ownership in 17th-century England. He teaches regularly on the Rare Book Schools in London and Charlottesville. He is a Past President of the Bibliographical Society and is appointed Lyell Reader in Bibliography at Oxford for 2017-18. Amongst his many publications are Provenance Research in Book History (1998),  Oxford Bookbinding 1500-1640 (2000), English Bookbinding Styles 1450-1800 (2005), and Books as History (2008).

The talk is aimed at everyone interested in the study of books and bookbinding, it will take place in the Special Collections Seminar Room on the Lower Ground Floor of The Sir Duncan Rice Library.

Admission is FREE but booking is essential.

David Pearson
Hosted by
Special Collections Centre, Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen
The Sir Duncan Rice Library

For more information please contact Jane Pirie from the Special Collections Centre at

Online booking available