A book-historical collection at the Bodleian: Strickland Gibson

(from left) Bodleian Library Gibson 12 and Bodleian Library Gibson 1: A “dos à dos” binding of the New Testament (Cambridge,1628), upper cover 100 x 60mm.; and red velvet binding with silver ornaments, New Testament (London, R. Barker and the assignes of J. Bill, 1633), upper cover 110 x 50mm.

Special bindings; oak boards; surviving fragile paper wrappers; a reversible book jacket; false imprints; printing in non-Roman alphabets; contradictory dates in an edition; unusual formats; conjoined pages demonstrating imposition schemes; an example of ‘work and turn’ printing gone wrong; misbound sheets; unbound pamphlets; books in sheets; proof sheets; galley proofs; cancels; type-facsimiles of newspapers; reprints; representative editions from several centuries of European printing ….

Bibliographer and librarian Strickland Gibson (Sub-Librarian at the Bodleian from 1931 to 1945) collected specimens revealing the history of printing and book-binding for the study and teaching of bibliography. These are preserved in the Gibson collection and can be found by searching ‘Gibson’ in the shelfmark field in SOLO Advanced Search. The online records still require updating to reveal the special qualities of this material; an earlier handlist contains notes pointing out these features, and a PDF of the handlist is available here[ requires rotating it in the viewer]

Gibson 1 and Gibson 12 in the handlist

Handlist of the Strickland Gibson collection (PDF)

Catalogued as archival materials are these four manuscripts from the collection: