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Four Centuries of Bookbinding: The Jordan Collection

Rare Book Room Display : Mainfloor, Central Library

The Jordan Bindings Collection, acquired by the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library by mutual agreement with Fred A. Jordan III in 2020, is a unique collection of books selected for their significant bindings. Dr. Fred A. Jordan II, the father, assembled the core of the collection and Fred A. Jordan III, the son, tripled its size and broadened its scope. The result is a collection that represents bindings from the Renaissance, through the Arts & Craft and Art Nouveau movements and into the mid-twentieth century—four hundred years of binding history. There are binding examples from France, Germany, England and the Netherlands and by some noteworthy binders including Sangorski & Sutcliffe, Riviere & Sons, Joseph Zaehnsdorf, Constance Karslake and the Doves Bindery among others. Some of the bindings in the collection are beautiful and representative of the artistry of fine binding while some may appear plain or unremarkable, but all are important for their historical significance.