Each item on display in 'The book beautiful' is a fine example of handcrafted book production methodology. The three Bibles which were on show span almost the entire history of printed books.
'Biblia pauperum', printed around 1460
The earliest printed book in the Library's collections featuring engravings of Biblical scenes, the 'Biblia pauperum' was made by engraving images and text onto blocks of wood. Engravings were then transferred onto paper by rubbing.
This type of printed book is called a 'blockbook', and was still used for some decades after the invention of printing with movable type.
The Pennyroyal Caxton Press Bible, 1999
Illustrated by the artist Barry Moser (born 1940) over a four-year period, the Pennyroyal Caxton Press Bible is the last great private press book of the 20th century. As with the 'Biblia pauperum' half a millennium earlier, an engraving technique was used to illustrate the biblical narrative.
'The English Bible', Doves Press, 1903-1905
Founded in the early 20th century, the Doves Press produced books which are completely devoid of ornament or illustration. Their elegant beauty is conveyed through clarity of type and immaculate presswork.
The beautiful Doves typeface was used in all Doves Press books, including 'The English Bible', and was used in all interpretive texts in the display.
These books featured in our display, 'The book beautiful', at the Library from 26 November 2015 until 13 March 2016.