Cover of Matthias Barr’s Child’s Garland of Little Poems
Perhaps the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ doesn’t always hold true, especially for many of the works in our library’s juvenile collection. The books featured in this reading room display are chosen for their beautiful illustrations and decorated covers, which draw readers into the story. As can be seen from their content to their covers, these books transform ordinary objects into pieces of art.
In the 16th century books were usually bound in leather or vellum. Kill the animals and harvest their pelts. Process the pelts by removing the flesh from one side and the hair from the other. Scrape them so that they are uniformly thin throughout their surface. Then tan them so that they can be used for shoes and belts and hats and other things . . . like bookbindings. Then, if you have the money, decorate the covers with gold or in other ways. Read more
Over the past several months, the Phillips Library has shared in the excitement of discovering the stories of the Ropes family in preparation for the reopening of the Ropes Mansion on May 23rd—after the recent restoration of the interior. Here, I’ll share some highlights uncovered during the cataloging of the Ropes family book collection.