The shift from writing on tablets or scrolls to writing on pages of papyrus or paper put together as a codex (or book) led to the invention of bindings to protect the volume. Earliest bindings were made of wood, later ones of leather or metal. The fine materials and artistic skill expended on bindings often indicates the value placed on the books they cover.
The Library's collection of unusual and artistic bindings includes those made of wood, ivory, leather, embroidered cloth, and silver; many have fine tooling or other decorations.
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