Book Arts and Book History

picture of a Book of hours

Book of Hours. Tours, ca. 1470. (Ms. 7).


picture of Durer's Appocalypse

Albrecht Durer. Apocalypse.

Nuremberg: A. Durer, 1511.

The song of songs which is Solomon's.

Chelsea: Ashendene Press, 1902.







The tradition of the book in the Western World is well documented in the Watkinson.

Highlights include:

  • Medieval manuscripts and manuscript leaves, 12th- 15th century
  • 3,000-4,000 early printed books (15th-17th centuries)
  • Trumbull-Prime collection of early illustrated books, especially strong in 16th-century German and Italian materials, including works of Albert Durer, emblem books and Florentine and Venetian book illustration
  • ca. 10,000 18th-century titles
  • 19th-century illustrated books on a wide range of subjects and from many lands, including an extensive Cruikshank collection
  • Alphabet books (ca. 350 titles)
  • Fine printing from the Private Press collection including:
    • a nearly complete run of the Ashendene Press
    • classic titles from the Private Press movement
    • 100+ contemporary artists' books and examples of fine printing
  • Examples of fine bookbinding (15th-20th centuries)


  • Extensive secondary holdings on the history of printing and bookbinding

 Book Arts and the History of the Book Guide