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Gathered Leaves: Manuscript Fragments from Tisch Library Special Collections

The Infamous Otto Ege

More than a half-century after his death, Otto Ege’s acts of “biblioclasm” – notorious in his own day – are subjects of research and lively discussion by scholars across North America (see Additional Reading). Ege, who taught book history and the book arts at Case Western Reserve University and other schools, dealt in manuscripts and fragments for the museum and library markets, as well as for individual collectors. He justified book breaking by pointing out that acquisition of leaves brought otherwise priceless art and craft within the reach of institutions or individuals who otherwise could not afford to own complete manuscripts and early printed books. More links to current scholarship on Ege’s books are on the Links & Credits page.