In field of book binding research, a tried and tested means of obtaining visual reproductions of motifs impressed upon book bindings by various techniques, making use of stamps, rolls, and panel stamps, is provided by so-called rubbings. To obtain a rubbing, a sheet of paper is placed on top of a book cover. By then rubbing a graphite pencil over the paper, a representation of the original motif is obtained that is true to scale, and free of distortion through shadings or other visual artifacts. Furthermore, this method does not require any kind of technical equipment - it is as inexpensive as it is effective.
The Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage - is home not only to the Schwenke collection - which was introduced to the scientific community through a two-volume publication - but also to the collection of rubbings of book bindings from the Renaissance.
The Württemberg State Library in Stuttgart is owner of the extensive collection of late gothic book bindings compiled by Ernst Kyriss. During his numerous travels, Kyriss focused most of all on the region of Southern Germany.
The Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel owns an excellent collection of individual stamps found first and foremost on book bindings from libraries in northern and central German.
The Bavarian State Library is home to both the voluminous collection of stamps characteristic for late gothic book bindings, built up under the direction of Ferdinand Geldner and to a large number of other rubbings frequently obtained from whole book binding, including those from the late gothic and Renaissance era found largely in southern German.