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Reflections on Bindings: Research Results

This guide is an online version of the exhibit "Reflections on Bindings: Using New Imaging Technology to Study Historical Bindings" held at the Lillian Goldman Law Library Rare Book Collection

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Find out more about our results on the Law Library Rare Books Blog:

Common Motifs

Some of the motifs on these bindings are nearly unbiquitous, such as these palmette rolls:


Findings in Detail

Using the RTI software, it is possible to simulate different light sources and decipher the content of text and images:



"Death was swallowed up [in victory]"

 "When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortal, then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory'." 1 Corinthians 15:54


Sometimes the decoration on a binding can give clues to where it was made or who owned it.

The stamp on Institutionum includes the following coats of arms:

Arms of the Holy Roman Emperor (left)

Greater and Lesser Arms of the City of Nuremberg (center and right)

About the Books


Ayd-buch compared with a rubbing from a 16th Century binding in the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve


Institutiones imeriales with an exact match of the decorative roll of David and Goliath from a book in Einbanddatenbank


Commentarius D. Huberti Giffani with an exact match of the stamps of Lady Justice and Lucretia from a 16th century binding of a text by Antonius liberalis in the British Library


Institutionum compared with a similar coat of arms on a binding of a 16th century copy of Vesalius's Anatomy, held by the Nuremberg State Library, in Einbanddatenbank