Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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limp binding ( limp cloth, limp covers, limp leather, limp vellum )

A book which does not have stiff boards but instead has flexible cloth, leather, vellum, or paper sides, which may or may not be lined. The term, however, is seldom applied to paper sides. (See: SELF-COVER .) Limp vellum bindings for blankbooks were being produced at least as early as the 14th century and probably earlier. This type of binding was not a craft binding, however; it was more convenient to bind the thin blankbooks of that time in limp covers. Other limp vellum bindings were produced in relatively great numbers in the 16th and 17th centuries, but the limp vellum binding declined thereafter until revived by the private presses near the end of the 19th century. In the last quarter of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th, limp leather was commonly used for books to be carried in the pocket, but for the past century or so limp bindings have been largely restricted to devotional books, diaries, and sentimental verse, sometimes in the YAPP STYLE . (69 , 236 , 264 )

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