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Medieval Bookbinding The Middle Ages. Kai Fay December 2, 2013. Materials: Wood. -Quarter-sawn to resist warping -Type of wood varied by location -Oak in England. Materials: Leather. -Soak skin and treat with lime -Scrape to remove hair -Treat to neutralize lime -Wash again

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

Materials: Wood

-Quarter-sawn to resist warping

-Type of wood varied by location

-Oak in England

slide3

Materials: Leather

-Soak skin and treat with lime

-Scrape to remove hair

-Treat to neutralize lime

-Wash again

-Tan or taw

-Allow skin to dry

-Soften and trim to desired thickness

slide4

Materials: Parchment and Vellum

-Parchment: sheepskin

-Vellum: calfskin

-Process begins the same as making leather

-Skins are dried on a frame, then pared and sanded to desired thickness

slide5

Sewing Structures

-Kettle-stitch at head and tail

-Sewing over tapes or cords

-Packed or single

slide6

Anatomy of a Book

Head

Endband

Catch Plate

Band

(Sewing Support)

Spine

Fore Edge

Tail

slide7

Carolingian Bindings (8th-12th c.)

-Text block flush with cover boards

-Herringbone sewing on double cords

-Thick, unshaped boards

-Lacing through edge of boards

-Flat spine

slide8

Romanesque Bindings (mid 11th-late14th c.)

-Text block flush with boards

-Straight or packed sewing over split strap

-Thick, unshaped boards

-Lacing through edge of boards

-Flat spine

slide9

Gothic Bindings (early 14th-17th c.)

-Text block smaller than boards

-Straight or packed sewing on cords

-Thick, shaped boards

-Laced over top of and through board after sewing

-Rounded spine

slide10

Limp Bindings (14th-17th c.)

-No boards

-Single or multi-signature

-Sometimes included rigid spine piece

slide11

Girdle Books

-Frequently held religious texts

-Leather at tail is left untrimmed

-Exposed edge of board is covered with separate piece

-Some books were later rebound as girdle books

slide13

Further Reading

Clemens, Raymond and Timothy Graham. Introduction to Manuscript Studies. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007.

Hébert, Henry. Work of the Hand. henryhebert.wordpress.com.

Szirmai, J. A. The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Brookfield: Ashgate, 1999.