Unusual books at Burns

Red garnets on a wooden book cover

The John J. Burns Library at Boston College holds a number of books with wooden covers. One example is the jeweled binding of a Bulgarian manuscript, titled Istorii︠a︡ slavi︠a︡nobŭlgarska. The cover is French Walnut wood, has sixteen faceted, deep red-colored garnets, and a chip carved cross, title, and the author’s name. The book at Burns is a limited facsimile edition of the manuscript with a unique custom-made cover. Burns Library also owns a numbers of books bound with pigskin covering wooden boards. Philippi Ecclesiae Eystettensis XXXIX. Episcopi: de eiusdem ecclesiae diuis tutelaribus. S. Richardo, S. Willibaldo, S. Wunibaldo, S. Walpurga is bound in decorated pigskin over beveled wooden boards, has its original clasps and catches, and is stamped in gold on the center of both boards with the coat of arms of Friedrich Förner (1568-1630). Read more about unusual book covers and bindings in the Burns’ holdings in a blog post from Burns Library Conservator Barbara Adams Hebard.

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