Last month, I went to the Cleveland Museum of Art and toured the various collections rather single-mindedly. We were looking for books. Or book-related things.
There were a few actual books on display. Of course, they were on display for the purpose of showing the illuminated pages inside so the books were enclosed in glass cabinets. No consideration at all for the bookbinders who might be visiting! So we examined them as much as possible looking at things like clasps and headbands and discussing which ones appeared to be repaired, rebound, or with original binding features.
Books are also a very common prop in paintings through the ages, apparently. So we played a little game of "name that binding" as we found various styles represented in paintings...
... and sculptures throughout the museum.
Of course, the history of the book began long before the codex format. We found carved stone (1200 BC) and papyrus scrolls (1000 BC) from Egypt...
...as well as Chinese handscrolls on silk, porcelain plaques from Korea, and paper documents from India.
Finally this is Chaekkori, Korean for books and things. A ten panel folding screen from Korea (late 1800s) featuring bookcases filled with books and other scholarly items meant to represent a Confucian study.
Apparently the Cleveland Museum of Art also has a lot of non-book-related items too! Next time I'll try to see some of them. It is a VERY large place, though, and I didn't even come close to seeing all the collections. Next time!