• The Collins: W. Collin, Court Bookbinders & Ernst Collin, the Author of the Pressbengel

    Peter Verheyen (see profile)
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    The Berlin-based firm of W. Collin led by Wilhelm and Georg Collin and the antiquarian, author, and editor Ernst Collin were among the leaders in German bookbinding trade and writings about the trade from the mid-1800’s into the mid-1930’s. During that same time, bookbinding experienced many transformations, as well, moving from a trade practiced in smaller master-run shops to large industrial firms, including changes in materials, book structure, aesthetics, and overall business climate with concerns about quality and business opportunities. As court bookbinders to Prussian Kings and German Emperors, the firm of W. Collin was privileged with access to commissions based on royal patronage, connections no doubt instrumental in gaining customers from the private sector, and providing the opportunity to help set aesthetic trends and influence the direction of the trade. Born into this milieu, Ernst Collin wrote about the many changes to the bookbinding trade, the arts, economics, and politics, deftly melding these themes together. This bibliography makes no claims to be comprehensive, in particular because it was largely compiled with available online collections. Instead, it is to be viewed as a beginning, and a window into the Collins, in particular Ernst Collin’s views on bookbinding and other topics. On a personal level I hope that it helps to restore the memory and contributions of this significant family of Berlin bookbinders and (re)introduces the writings of Ernst Collin, the most important source of information about the family. More information about this research project can be found on the Pressbengel Project blog under Colliniana.
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