Tuesday, February 10, 2009
"Hand Bookbindings: Plain and Simple to Grand and Glorious."
This digital image collection is one of nine online exhibits currently available through the Rare Books and Special Collections Department at Princeton University Libraries. Originally created in 2004, the online collection mimics what ran as an extensive physical exhibit from 2002 to 2003 (containing “211 exhibits”). The digital collection provides images of rare books with the intent of displaying their binding structures. While it is not explicitly stated, it appears that these rare books (out of about 200,000 rare books in the physical collection of the department) were selected for digitization because they represent the most relevant or beautiful examples of hand bookbinding genres. The criteria employed in creating the online collection were the same as the criteria applied in designing the physical exhibit.
The digital object may offer some advantages over the physical display, which enhances the value of the online exhibit. For example, a “magnifier” permits more detailed view of the book and bindings, and each image can be expanded. But these are the only manipulations available. The book cannot be rotated, and only the covers and bindings are captured.
The audience for the physical exhibit seems to have been the general public. The digital exhibit also seems to have the same intent, though some neat features (like the “magnifier” for zooming) may make this suitable for a researcher.
Posted by Curious Georgette at 5:41 PM