Sheepskin, saffian and shirting

The exhibition records several milestones in the 100 year history of the library bookbinding office. The name derives from three types of materials used in bookbinding. In the occasion of the centennial there will be lunch talks in the library main building in October and November.

The exhibits include books in different bindings and various instruments used for bookbinding. When the bookbinding office was started 100 years ago it was difficult to find qualified bookbinders for the books which were in very different states. These were mostly made from organic materials and would show wear after being used by many generations often living in bad housing. A few skilful individuals initially did bookbinding work for the library but later Danish-educated bookbinders were hired.

When Icelanders started demanding Icelandic manuscripts back from Denmark several opponents of the idea in Denmark often answered that in Iceland there were no experts in manuscript repair nor adequate facilities. As a consequence of this arts and crafts teacher Vigdís Björnsdóttir went abroad to study repair and the necessary equipment was acquired. Since then the bookbinding office has grown and continues to exercise its very important role in preserving and repairing the manuscripts and books of the library.

The exhibition, which is in Icelandic, is open to all and entry is free of charge.

Photographs from the opening of the exhibition:

➜ Other exhibitions