The Koopman Award for Bookbindings is the direct result of Koopman's will, in which his wish is formulated that the books are to be bound, in the French style, in half-leather bindings with decorative paper on the front and back cover and for the endpapers. The Koopman Bookbinding Award was first organised in 2003. The award consists of an amount of money of €2500, for which a book in the collection must be bound.
By giving Dutch bookbinders these commissions, the collection is not only enriched with handsome modern bindings, but the award is also emphatically intended as a stimulant for the art of bookbinding in the Netherlands. In order to qualify for this commission, 31 Dutch bookbinders submitted specimens of their craft in 2003-2004. These works were judged by a jury that consisted of Jan Storm van Leeuwen and Wim Smit of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, and master bookbinder Edgar Claes from Belgium.
There were 32 participants (one withdrawal) for the Koopman Bookbinding Award. These were: Chris Andriessen, Maria J. Atema, Anne Bossenbroek, Jo Bovens, Jeff Clements, Geert van Daal, Jan Daemen, Pieter de Groot, Gerard C.M. Hartman, L. de la Haye, M.F. van Herpt, Henriëtte E. van Heyningen, H.A. Holleman, Katinka Keus, Harrie Knoors, Hendrik B. Koning (d.), Fred Kroon, Herman van der Kruijk, Henri Leenaars, Berdien van Lieshout, Anneke Linssen, Mario Maas, Machteld Meeter, P.L. Mulder, Marjet Röling, Joop van ’t Veen, J.M.J. Verharen, Marja Wilgenkamp, J.P. Willems of Brilman, M.C. de Wit-Havermans, A.T. van der Woude.
The jury selected four binders for a commission: Jeff Clements, Geert van Daal, Jan Daemen and Berdien van Lieshout. Together with these bookbinders, it was decided which book from the collection they would bind, and these commissions were carried out in 2004.
Henceforth the Koopman Award for Bookbindings is to be organised every three years.
Bookbindings carried out as commissions for the first Koopman Bookbining Award presented in 2005 (listed alphabetically):
Jeff Clements Red-brown goatskin bookbinding, with onlays yellow, grey and white goatskin, 22.7x55.6 cm, for Stéphane Mallarmé, Poésies. Paris, Les Marges, 1926.
Geert van Daal Goatskin bookbinding, with onlays and inlays, ruled in gold, 36.5x56 cm, for Henry de Montherlant, Encore un instant de bonheur. [Paris], Société du Livre d'art, 1955.
Jan Daemen Aluminium bookbinding, with parts in relief, covered in black, red and blue goatskin; with a 14 carat golden inlay, 25.6x40.9 cm, for Matteo Bandello, L'histoire tragique de Romeo Montecchio & Giulietta Capelletta. Paris, Aux dépens de Pierre Vorms, 1947.
Berdien van Lieshout Black goatskin bookbinding, inlaid (in relief) in sheep's stomach, parchment and neat leather in various colours, title and ornaments in gold, 13.1x49.5 cm, for Albert Samain, Polyphème. Paris, Société des Amis des livres, 1922.