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The archives

Since its founding in 1983, the Wittockiana has built up an archival body that is of particular interest to historians of bookbinding. The archives are composed of not only drawings, models and photos of book bindings, but also gilders’ tools, as well as a number of correspondences from master bookbinders and other book artists. Also included in the archives are model bindings, some partial and some complete, from Belgian bookbinders like Henry Van de Velde, Paul Claessens, Hubert Beenkens, Berthe Van Regemorter, Jo Delahaut and Edgard Claes, and from French binders like Marius Michel, Georges Cretté, Rose Adler and Pierre-Lucien Martin.

The collection from Henry Van de Velde also includes a complete set of gilding irons, engraved by Béarel in Paris, that were designed by the celebrated Belgian architect for Art Nouveau style book bindings.

Concerning contemporary “livres de peintre,” or artists’ books, the Wittockiana possesses a large number of original plates (in copper or zinc) engraved by the Parisian artist Julius Baltazar for the books that he illustrated.