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Bound in Intrigue

Bindings and Book Covers from the Botany Libraries

Books come and go from libraries, drifting in and out of hands, across continents, and through centuries. The Harvard Botany Libraries contain books whose stories and provenance are a mystery; some of which can be strung together by notes scribbled in the margins, stamps from previous owners, embossing, and distinctive original bindings. While many of our books may have once had fascinating lives, they sit now safe and dry upon our shelves.

The Botany Libraries and Archives are proud to present these three online exhibits. The first exhibit focuses on the life and literary works of Pietro Crescenzi. The second exhibit describes some of the more intriguing bindings from our collections. The third exhibit offers a display of beautiful book covers from the Botany Libraries Collections.

The Botany Libraries are open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. We welcome both researchers and the general public.

Exhibits are by, in order of presentation, Sarah Burke, Elise Ramsey and Tessa Updike. They would like to thank the librarians of the Botany Libraries for their generous assistance throughout the project.


Pietro Crescenzi


The Ames Bookbindings


Book Covers


Botany Libraries * Harvard University
22 Divinity Avenue * Cambridge, MA 02138
phone 617.495.2366 * fax 617.495.8654

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Last updated September 2011
Copyright 2010 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College

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