Birdsall & Son Bookbinders and Stationers

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Birdsall & Son Bookbinders and Stationers

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Other form(s) of name

  • Birdsall & Son

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1792-1961

History

The firm began in 1792 when William Birdsall purchased the small bookbinding business of John Lacy in Northampton, England. In the 1840's, Anthony Birdsall, great-nephew of the founder, bought the business and with his son, Richard, made it into one of the better known firms in the trade. The firm did the standard bindings which the general public requested as well as specializing in relieures-de-luxe and restoration work. Business continued to thrive until after the Second World War. When the factory closed its doors in 1961, it was the olderst firm in Northampton, with an international reputation for fine binding and restoration work. In 1968 the University of Toronto Library was able to purchase from Anthony Birdsall, 1877-1972, the last head of the firm, a collection of over 3,000 finishing tools. These are in constant use in the Rare Book Library Bindery, and have been described in 'The Birdsall Collection of Bookbinder's Finishing Tools', a pamphlet published by the University Library in 1972. Mr. Birdsall also gave the Library the Birdsall Book of Rubbings.

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Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

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