In another historical era, decorative bookbindings were commonplace and even if owners of such items were not aware of their symbolic importance, they still often treasured such volumes. As part of a unique partnership between the University of Alabama University Libraries and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, close to 5,000 of these intriguing bookbindings are now available online from this site. It is the project's hope that its work "will strengthen the growing interest in and create broader awareness for this 'common' object called the book." Visitors to the site will want to browse the various bookbindings by subject or perform a more detailed search, if they so desire. The "Research Tools" section of the site also contains some brief biographies of noted binding designers in the 19th and early 20th centuries and this area of the site also promises a glossary in the near future. Rounding out the site is ample documentation regarding the creation and development of the project, along with two reports presented to the funding agency, which in this case was the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
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