A collection of decorated books from the London College of Communication Library has been launched online this week by the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS). The collection of Dutch decorated books provides primary source material for bookbinding research and is also of use to graphic design and typographical researchers.
The collection includes bindings in the Nieuwe Kunst and Art Nouveau styles by artists such as Jozef Cantre, Jan Toorop, and P.A.H. Hofman. The collection includes a Dutch translation of a collection of the writings of poet and designer William Morris (1834-1896), and this is the first binding work of designer and typographer Sjoerd Hendrik De Roos (1877-1962), who was inspired by the Arts and Craft movement, of which Morris was a leading figure.
There are several titles by Arthur van Schendel (1874-1946) the Dutch novelist and short-story writer, who produced some of the greatest novels of his period. Pieter Adriaan Hendrik Hofman (1885-1965) was a Dutch book binder and designer of many medias. His work represents a seminal period in book art, combining the sensibilities of the Art Nouveau movement with those of the Bauhaus. His work therefore represents a design bridge which stylistically links the oldest and newest titles of the collection.