CLUB BINDERY Research Collection, [1895]-2004
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Club Bindery Research Collection, [1895]-2004



Club Bindery Research Collection, [1895]-2004.    

The Grolier Club.


Bulk dates:

3 boxes (1.16 linear feet)

Artificial collection of material relating to the history of the Club Bindery and its future incarnations.  It includes research notes, correspondence, ephemera and imagery.   

Material is in English.

Access Restrictions:
Collection is open for research use. Copyright restrictions may apply; please contact repository for requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce the materials.

The collection was found in the office of the Grolier Club Director in June 2019.  It is believed that items in this collection were primarily gathered by former Grolier Club Librarian Martin Antonetti and Club staff in preparation for research and presentation about the Club Bindery.

Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.

Preferred Citation:
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Club Bindery Research Collection, [1895]-2004. The Grolier Club of New York.

About the Finding Aid:
This finding aid was prepared by Kendra Meyer in Microsoft Word at the Grolier Club, July 2019.

Biographical/Historical Note:
The Club Bindery (1895-1909) was established in New York City by Robert Hoe Jr. and Edwin B. Holden in order to make available in America craft binding qualitatively competitive with European artisans.  Although it was not technically under the auspices of the Grolier Club, it was intrinsically connected.  Organized as a private corporation, all the shareholders were Grolier Club members and it was also arranged that all the Bindery commissions would be provided by those shareholders.[1]  After about a year,  Hoe assumed the Presidency of the Bindery corporation and soon implemented some staffing changes.  He brought both Henri Hardy (as foreman) and Leon Maillard (as finisher) to New York from Paris, and later Thomas James Holmes, an English forwarder. Although the quality of the Club Bindery work was considered excellent, the business was only viable financially until 1909.  Attempts were made by Hoe to retain the services of the Bindery in New York, but ultimately Judge Willis Vickery tempted Hardy, Maillard and Holmes to recoup to the Rowfant Club in Cleveland where he established the Rowfant Bindery (1909-1913.) 

Publications note:
It is believed that this collection was gathered in preparation for the following publications:
Antonetti, Martin. “The Club Bindery and its Later Incarnations.” Gazette of the Grolier Club 47 (1995-1996): 83-102.
Antonetti, Martin. "The History of the Club Bindery." in Bound to Be the Best: The Club Bindery, 1895-1908, 11-25. New York, NY: Grolier Club, 2004.

Related Materials Note:
Related materials may be found in the following collections at this institution:
Grolier Club Institutional Records, Record Group 1, Series 3: Records of the Librarian/Director 1884-2004; ID: 79458531; 54 boxes (27 linear feet).  Of note: Series I Box 1 Folder 9
Rowfant Club: Printed Ephemera and Associated Items, 1901-1997; ID: NYGG02-A6; 2 boxes (0.8 linear feet).

Access points:
Club Bindery.
Grolier Club.
Rowfant Club (Cleveland, Ohio). Bindery
Hoe, Robert, 1839-1909
Vickery, Willis, 1857-1932
Maillard, Léon, -1920
Hardy, Henri, 1854-1945
Holmes, Thomas James, 1874-1959
Antonetti, Martin.

Bookbinding industry.
Fine binding.
Book clubs (Discussion groups).

Black-and-white photographs.
Black-and-white negatives.
Lantern slides.
Research notes.
Printed ephemera.

Scope and Content Note:
The material in this collection was gathered by Club Librarian (1991-1997) Martin Antonetti and other Grolier Club staff to prepare for published writings and lectures about the Club Bindery between 1994 and 2004. The collection contains photographs and negatives, correspondence, research items and ephemera.  The largest set of photographs and negatives consists of eight unique images in multiple formats including lantern slides, film negatives, and prints; the derivative versions of prints and film are believed to have been created for exhibition or lecture purposes.  The images show scenes from the interior of the Bindery and employees at work. The research material was almost certainly compiled in the early 1990s by Martin Antonetti (Grolier Club Librarian 1991-1997) for 1994 and 2004 lectures and articles regarding the Club Bindery and its history. The collection is comprised of correspondence, slides and negatives, photocopies of articles and archival material, and lecture scripts. The material relates both to the Club Bindery as well as its next incarnation as the Bindery at the Rowfant Club.  There are a few items of original correspondence, which were probably removed at a previous time from another location, as well as a small set of Rowfant Club Bindery printed ephemera. There are notes on the versos of some photocopied archival material indicating that the originals were lent by Mr. Arthur Hoe in the 1970s. 

Arrangement Note:
The original order of the material as found was retained; items were rehoused for suitable long-term preservation. 

Physical access note:
Two of the lantern slides are cracked and at a future point may need further stabilization.

Container List:







Club Bindery research material




Rowfant Bindery research material



Negatives and prints: eight (8) Hand colored lantern slides; fourteen (14) 4x5 inch film negatives; eight (8) 5x7 inch b/w photographic prints.



Enlargements: seven (7) mounted photographic enlargements, 10.5 x 12 in.


[1] Antonetti, Martin. “The Club Bindery and its Later Incarnations.” Gazette of the Grolier Club 47 (1995-1996): 88.

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