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Medieval Book Structures: Questions

I have a couple questions I'm hoping you can help me with. I'm writing a
thesis about the Medieval Book: Pre-Guttenberg; specifically from about
1100 (the period of fledgling commercialization) to 1450.

I've found many references for sewing on alum tawed thongs but not too many
referring to linen cords. Question: are you aware of any references to
linen cords during that time period or were books usually sewn onto thongs?
I'm also looking for instructional references for the process of alum
tawing -- I'm interested in recreating this myself.

I'm also looking for actual references to bookbinding tools & equipment
during  early codex production. Do you know when the sewing frame came into
common usage? How would they have thinned the wood? I remember reading from
someone (Dorothy Africa?) that leather was not pared the way we do now so
paring knives are not in the toolbox, right? I'm remembering also that the
hinges were not nipped the way we do now so would there have been a need
for the nipping press (as a smaller book press)? Or would there just have
been the large standing press? Did they use curved gouges for tunneling or
straight chisels?

Any sources & information greatly appreciated!
Whitney Dickinson <whitneyd@xxxxxxxx>
Online Systems Manager
SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
360.676.3290 x549

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