Project Grant Narrative | PBO
| Press |
Publicity & Outreach | Credits
In September 2003, The
University of Alabama, University Libraries, in partnership
with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries, received
an IMLS National Leadership grant to create the digital
Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books (PBO).
All academic libraries have
within their holdings books bound in 19th century decorative
materials are significant in their place within the fabric
of American history and culture, but efforts to present these
bindings in a collection that is representative of the era
as a whole and to make them available virtually, via the
World Wide Web have been limited.
a significant digital collection of decorative bindings,
glossary and guide
to the elements of these objects, will strengthen the growing
interest in and create broader awareness for this “common” object
called the book.
Decorative bindings cover many of
the books that people have in their homes today, but their
owners are often unaware of
their cultural and historical significance. These bindings
reflect not only social and cultural history, but bibliographic
history as well.
expands awareness of the book as artifact and of the role
play in providing a window into historical, cultural, and
industrial period of 1815-1930. This project increases
the awareness of the general public about the importance
of publishers' bindings
as reflections of historical events, art movements, and the
evolution of commercial binderies.
The project will also
afford students, teachers, binders, and scholars in many
different areas the opportunity to study up to 5,000 decorative
bindings from two different physical collections in a single,
One can look upon this project as developing
a model that other repositories can use with their own collections.
PBO greatly broadens a relatively unexplored
This resource will encourage interested parties to look at
their own collections, and to gain an understanding of design
movements and trends both within the United States as well
as abroad, comparable to Jugendstil in Germany, Art Nouveau
in France, Arts and Crafts in England, and Glasgow School
The additional resources and scholarship that are developed
through the PBO project will serve a myriad