Bibliomania; or Book Madness: A Bibliographical Romance
Friday, January 18, 2019 to Sunday, April 21, 2019

Bibliomania; or Book Madness: A Bibliographical Romance

This exhibition takes its name from the history of “arrant book-lovers” written by Thomas Frognall Dibdin. It follows these lovers of the book through four case studies, observing the powerful and often unexpected relationships of books with their readers, owners, authors, collectors, and creators.

Every Book in the World! explores the passionate collecting and printing history of the legendary nineteenth-century bibliomaniac Thomas Phillipps, whose vast collection of manuscripts and early printed books filled an English country house and required more than a century of public auctions and sales to disperse.

Collated & Perfect, organized in conjunction with the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, traces the history of the collation statement and the obsession with finding a more perfect text, from eighteenth-century book collector Thomas Rawlinson through Charlton Hinman, editor of the first folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays (1968). 

Habits Ancient and Modern: Surface and Depth in the Pillone Library Volumes traces the history of the library assembled by Antonio and Odorico Pillone in Italy in the sixteenth century, and Odorico’s decision to have the fore-edges of many of these volumes painted by Cesare Vecellio, a distant cousin of Titian. 

The Whole Art of Marbling explores the many-faceted art of paper marbling, drawing on some of the choicest examples in the Beinecke’s collection to illuminate the art’s history, techniques, patterns, and practitioners, from its origins in the East and advancement over the Silk Road to the European continent.

Related events:

January 23, panel discussion, 5 pm: Ann Rosalind Jones and Andrew Brown on the Pillone Library 

February 5, panel discussion, 5 pm: Perfect: Thinking about the Ideal Copy, with exhibition curators Kathryn James and Aaron T. Pratt, with Peter Stallybrass and David Scott Kastan

February 6, lecture, 5 pm; opening reception, 6 pm: The Duc de Berry (1340-1416) and the Origins of Bibliomania, by Christopher de Hamel, author of Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts

February 7, lecture, 5 pm: Sir Thomas and I: A Poor Comparison, by Toshiyuki Takamiya, Professor Emeritus, Keio University 

March 27, lecture, 5 pm: Sidney Berger on paper marbling

April 10, lecture, 5 pm: The Painted Book: Cesare Vecellio and the Pillone Library, by Andrew Brown

In addition, most of this semester's Mondays at Beinecke gallery talks and teas, held on Mondays at 4pm, will feature discussions related to the exhibition.

Friday, January 18, 2019 to Sunday, April 21, 2019


Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
Campus Map

Tel: (203) 432-2977    Fax: (203) 432-4047

USPS: Mailing Address and Information


Beinecke events & news email list subscription via Yale Email Subscriptions



Monday 10 am - 7 pm
Tuesday-Thursday 9 am - 7 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday (Exhibitions only) 12 pm - 5 pm
Sunday (Exhibitions only) 12 pm - 4 pm

Holiday Schedule and Closed Collections Schedule