Many book collectors, past and contemporary, have had particular and exacting tastes in bindings for their libraries. Some have acquired a volume precisely for the binding on that particular copy. Others have commissioned bindings, requesting the use of certain materials and decorative designs that have come to distinguish their collections.
French, seventeenth century
A French binding for Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII.
Author: Catholic Church.
Title: L'office de la Semaine saincte.
Published: Paris: G. Clopeiau, 1627.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 5942.244.12
Spine height: 18 cm

French, sixteenth century
A bindings from the library of Jacques-Auguste de Thou. De Thou, a French diplomat, lawyer, and historian, had one of the great private libraries of the sixteenth century. His bindings were decorated with his cipher and coat of arms.
Author: Cicero, Marcus Tullius
Title: M. Tullij Ciceronis Consolatio, vel, De luctu minuendo.
Published: Lyons: Antonius Gryphius, 1584.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 2837.3025.84
Spine height: 13 cm

French, seventeenth century
Another binding from the collection of Jacques-Auguste de Thou.
Author: Erpenius, Thomas, 1584-1624
Title: Novum D.N. Iesu Christi Testamentum arabice.
Published: Leiden, Netherlands: In Typographia Erpeniana linguarum Orientalium, 1616.
Location: Scheide Library (WHS)
Call number: Scheide 7.1.8
Spine height: 20 cm

Jean Grolier is one of the great figures of book collecting and bookbinding history. He served France as a diplomat in Italy, and returned to his native country with new designs for bindings, which he commissioned in Paris in the early sixteenth century.
Author: Baptista, Mantuanus, 1448-1516
Title: Omnia opera.
Published: Bologna: Beneditto Faelli, 1502.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: Oversize 2949.146.3q
Spine height: 33 cm

Grolier's contemporary, Thomas Mahieu, also had his books bound in styles influenced by his years of service in Italy, and they share many features with Grolier bindings.
Author: Nausea, Friedrich, d. 1552.
Title: Libri mirabilium septem.
Published: Cologne: Peter Quentell, 1532.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: BT97 .xN3
Spine height: 20 cm

British, eighteenth century
Thomas Hollis, an English collector of the late eighteenth century, had most of his books bound in red goatskin, with simple gold stamping on the boards and spines. Hollis had nineteen designs cut for use on his bindings. Most of the bindings are by John Matthewman. Hollis donated a large number of books to Harvard College.
Author: Toland, John, 1670-1722.
Title: The life of John Milton.
Published: London: Andrew Millar, 1761.
Location: Rare Books: Robert H. Taylor Collection (RHT)
Call number: 17th-428
Spine height: 21 cm

British, eighteenth century
Author: Blackburne, Francis, 1705-1787
Title: The confessional.
Published: London: Printed for S. Bladon, 1766.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 5422.183.11
Spine height: 21.5 cm

British, eighteenth century
Author: Locke, John, 1632-1704
Title: Two treatises of government.
Edition: Reprinted the sixth time.
Published: London: Andrew Millar, 1764.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 7507.592 c.2
Spine height: 21 cm

British, eighteenth century
Author: Locke, John, 1632-1704
Title: Letters concerning toleration.
Published: London: Printed for Andrew Millar, 1765.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: Oversize 6106.1765q
Spine height: 29 cm

Robert Hoe was one of the great American collectors of books and bindings in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A prominent member of the Grolier Club, he was instrumental in establishing the Club Bindery in 1895.
Bound by Charles Lewis.
Title: Specimens of the early English poets.
Published: London: Printed for Edwards, 1790.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 3598.323
Spine height: 20 cm

British, nineteenth century
Bound by William Matthews.
Author: Smith, John, 1580-1631
Title: The true travels, adventures and observations of Captaine Iohn Smith.
Published: London: Printed by J. H. for Thomas Slater, 1630.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call Number: 1230.862.31
Spine height: 28 cm

American, nineteenth century
Club Bindery.
Author: La Peyrère, Isaac de, 1594-1676.
Title: Relation du Groenland.
Published: Paris: Augustin Courbé, 1647.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 1993.596.1647
Spine height: 16 cm

French nineteenth century
Bound by Joly.
Author: Settle, Dionyse
Title: [True reporte of the laste voyage into the west and northwest regions, &c. 1577. Latin].
Published: Hamburg: Johann Naumann & Georg Wolff, 1675.
Location: Rare Books: Grenville Kane Collection (ExKa)
Call number: Americana 1675 Settle
Spine height: 21 cm

American, nineteenth century
Club Bindery.
Title: Virginia's cure.
Published: London: Printed by W. Godbid for H. Brome, 1662.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 1230.9392
Spine height: 19 cm