Printed Books & Bindings

Diversity and quality have been hallmarks of this collection, with works spanning Western book production from the earliest printed ephemera to important first editions from the twentieth century. The Morgan Library & Museum's holdings encompass a large number of high points in the history of printing, often exemplified by a lone surviving copy or a copy that is perfect in every way. Areas of exceptional strength include incunables, early children's books, fine bindings, and illustrated books.

The collection's strong base derives from the major acquisitions of Pierpont Morgan, who sought to establish in the United States a library worthy of the great European collections. It is rich in special and unique copies, first editions of classical authors, and works of notable printers, such as Jenson and Caxton. Among the highlights are three Gutenberg Bibles, a strong collection of works by Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, John Ruskin, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and William Morris, and classic early children's books. The Carter Burden Collection of American Literature, a major 1998 gift, strengthens the Morgan's twentieth-century holdings with authors such as Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Vladimir Nabokov, Gertrude Stein, and Tennessee Williams.

There are many beautiful and important bindings in the Morgan, but the bindings collection comprises about a thousand volumes acquired primarily to document the development of bookbinding. It is among the finest collections of bindings in this hemisphere, equally strong in quantity and quality. Areas of particular distinction are English, French, and Italian bindings of the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries.

See a selection of incunable bookbindings »

Leaves of grass.
Modern painters / by John Ruskin.
Paris dans sa splendeur : monuments, vues, scènes historiques, descriptions et histoire / dessins et lithographies par MM. Philippe Benoist [etc.] ; vignettes de Félix Benoist et Catenacci, exécutées sur bois par les premiers graveurs ; texte par MM. Audiganne [etc.].
Poems / by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The story of Sigurd the Volsung and the fall of the Niblungs / by William Morris.
A tale of the house of the Wolfings and all the kindreds of the mark / written in prose and in verse by William Morris.
Salome : a tragedy in one act / translated from the French of Oscar Wilde ; pictured by Aubrey Beardsley.
The works / of Geoffrey Chaucer ; now newly imprinted.
The yellow wall paper / by Charlotte Perkins Stetson.
The tale of Peter Rabbit / by Beatrix Potter.
The North American Indian : being a series of volumes picturing and describing the Indians of the United States, and Alaska / written, illustrated, and published by Edward S. Curtis ; edited by Frederick Webb Hodge ; foreward by Theodore Roosevelt ; field research conducted under the patronage of J. Pierpont Morgan.
Three stories & ten poems / Ernest Hemingway.
Fire!! a quarterly devoted to the younger Negro artists / premier edition edited by Wallace Thurman in association with Langston Hughes [and others].
Die tragische Geschichte von Hamlet Prinzen von Dænemark in deutscher Sprache, neu übersetzt und eingerichtet von Gerhart Hauptmann; begleitet von Auszügen die den Geschichten von Saxo Grammaticus und François de Belleforest und der Hystorie of Hamblet entnommen sind; mit Figurinen und Holzschnitten gezeichnet und geschnitten von Edward Gordon Craig ...
Light in August / William Faulkner.
Cirque / André Suarès ; eaux-fortes en couleurs et en noir de Georges Rouault.