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Publishers' Bookbindings: Find in a Library

A guide to decorative books in special and circulating collections at Brooklyn College Library, and research resources for related topics.

Search tips

Begin your search in the Brooklyn College Library catalog. Put quotation marks around phrases that you want to search, and see below for more suggestions.

Search by Keyword: In the current Brooklyn College search engine, this is called "All Fields".

  • Try searching for designer name using this option. Remember to put names and organizations that have more than one word titles in quotation marks!  (Ex.: "Margaret Armstrong" or "Sarah Wyman Whitman" or "Decorative Designers")

Keyword Suggestions: Below are sample keywords that represent subjects, designers, and publishers of decorative bindings.


  • Publishers' cloth bindings
  • Pictorial cloth bindings


  • Houghton Mifflin
  • Dodd, Mead
  • Dana Estes & Company
  • The Century Company
  • L. C. Page
  • Stokes
  • Macmillan
  • Little, Brown
  • Revell
  • Herbert S. Stone
  • Scribner's (sometimes C. Scribner's Sons)
  • D. Appleton


  • Armstrong, Margaret
  • Ball, Thomas Watson
  • Decorative Designers (Firm)
  • Edwards, George Wharton
  • Gyles, Althea
  • Iorio, Adrian
  • Kent, Rockwell
  • Morse, Alice C.
  • Richards, Amy
  • Smith, Frank Berkeley
  • Stuart, Bertha
  • Whitman, Sarah

Keyword Author: A few authors had several titles issued in publishers' bindings. The Library has publishers' bindings for the following authors:

  • Earle, Alice Morse
  • Ford, Paul Leicester
  • Harte, Bret
  • Hearn, Lafcadio
  • Hopkins, William J.
  • Jewett, Sarah Orne
  • Miltoun, Francis
  • Reed, Myrtle
  • Stockton, Frank
  • Van Dyke, Henry


For Library Nerds

Can't get enough of cataloging language? Want to view Brooklyn College's discovered publishers' bindings all in one convenient spreadsheet? Look no further.

The spreadsheet above was created with MARC standards in mind, and provides citations - many with links! - for over 100 books in our collection. The spreadsheet provides source/citation information, binding descriptions, and artist attribution, and is view-only, but freely available to share (within the CC license parameters).

In Other Libraries

The Thomas J. Watson Library of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a large collection of artist-era publisher's bindings, in addition to reference resources on researching this format, its artists, publishers, and history. 

Search their catalog, Watsonline, using keyword "publishers bindings"

BC students, staff, and faculty can borrow books from other CUNY locations and have them delivered to the Library. 

See the CLICS Guide for more information.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Find a book about publishers' bindings somewhere else, or want to see another library's copy of a decorative book?

Request it through InterLibrary Loan (ILL)!

Learn more here

Call Number Guide

Useful Library of Congress Classifications for Book Cover Design

Publishers' bindings can be found in books in the subject areas below.
Detailed call number ranges are provided for two subjects:

  • D - Subject area: General and Old World History
  • E, F - Subject area: History of the Americas
  • G - Subject area: Geography, Anthropology, and Recreation
  • N - Subject area: Fine Arts
    • NC1860-1896 Greeting Cards and Book Jackets
    • NE1-NE3002 Print Media and Printmaking
  • P - Subject area: Language and Literature
  • Q - Subject area: Science
  • Z - Subject area: Bibliography, Library Science, and General Information Resources
    • Z116.A3 Book Design
    • Z266-Z276 Bookbinding
    • Z688 Special Collections (NOTE: this is different than BC Library Archives & Special Collections)
    • Z700-Z701.5 Library Binding and Preservation
    • Z987-Z996.3 Book Collecting

A Good Start: Special Collections

Brooklyn College Library Archives & Special Collections has approximately 200 publishers' bindings, all of which can be viewed in our Reading Room during regular hours. Below is a sample of some of the available books.