Manuscript Collection MS COLL 00205 - Birdsall & Son Papers

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Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUTF MS COLL 00205

Title

Birdsall & Son Papers

Date(s)

  • 1840-1961 (Creation)

Level of description

Manuscript Collection

Extent and medium

23 boxes

Context area

Name of creator

(1792-1961)

Administrative 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.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

This collection was acquired by purchase for the Thomas Fisher Library in 1983, 1991, and 1994.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

A collection of photographs and rubbings of bindings, tool designs, tooling patterns, designs, and drawings executed by the firm of Birdsall and Son, Northampton, England, from the 1840's to 1961.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form: https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/stack-retrieval-request.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

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Existence and location of copies

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Name access points

Description identifier

CA OTUTF MS COLL00205

Rules and/or conventions used

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