My name is Sofia Varela Hernandez and I am an undergraduate Honors in the Major student at Florida State University majoring in English - Editing, Writing, & Media, and in Spanish. My interest in bookbinding stems from a course I took my second year in college titled “History of Text Technologies”; in that course, I completed an assignment related to bookbinding which led to an ongoing interest in bookbinding. My specific interest in children’s bookbinding comes from my interest in children’s literature and the way in which the bindings of said literature are often overlooked. 


This project serves as my Honors in the Major thesis and it began with the general idea of bookbinding, but, after doing research on children’s literature, it focused on the value of bookbinding in children’s literature. After reading Mirjam Foot’s Studies in the History of Bookbinding I realized that her concept of bookbinding as a transaction was incredibly interesting and accurate. I tried to apply this concept to children’s literature but realized there was a missing step, and thus I developed the concept of the “double transaction.” The double transaction is based on Foot’s concept but I added an extra step to account for the transaction between child and parent while also considering the transaction between publisher and parent. 

The data collected for this project comes from the Shaw Collection of Childhood in Poetry found at Florida State University’s Special Collections and Archives. The books I focused on in this collection were all published between 1850 and 1950 and were published either in the United States or in England. I was particularly interested in the developments of bookbinding during this era, especially by the fact that books and bindings became mass-produced and more easily accessible. I looked at over 100 bindings and took note of their size, binding material, binding style, subject, publisher, publishing location, and publishing date. 

The goal of this project is to unite the studies of bookbinding and children’s literature. By talking about bookbinding through the scope of children’s literature I hope to showcase the way in which they influence one another. Through the unison of these studies, the study of bookbinding and the study of children’s literature will be much more comprehensive. The concept of the double transaction will also add to these studies and will take into account the role of the parent and child within the transaction that occurs in bookbinding practices.