Manuscripts and bookbinding

I came across a video on making an illuminated manuscript and binding it into a codex. This video has some interesting closeup action shots of people making vellum, trimming quills, applying gold leaf, sewing sheets together and applying boards to the book.  It’s just over six minutes long.  It looks as though this site has some other interesting videos, apparently at least partly driven by the resources of The Getty Museum.




Filed under Book binding, History and Future of the Book, Illuminating, Physical book construction

2 responses to “Manuscripts and bookbinding

  1. Kemael Johnson

    Watching the video on the making of manuscripts, I thought more about how slow the process might have been. There is a point at which the clip shows the “scribe” writing on the parchment, and I could not help but notice the particular attention he gives to the actual process of writing. As he printed, I could see that it is a very deliberate act that, on some level, speaks to the overall permanence of a text as it exists on parchment as well as the specific permanence of the printed word as the product of this deliberateness. For some reason, I do not remember at all considering this while reading through the Greetham text.

  2. lmaruca

    Kamael, I had the same reaction. Not to the writing, though–we always hear about how laborious and time consuming that way–but just to the parchment prep. Imagine how long it would take to make pages for a book of any serious length! And your right about permanence. This sheds light on why Trithemius is so skeptical about print on paper.

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