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Montefiascone Summer program report

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Just a brief note to those of you interested in medieval/Ren books
and binding: if you possibly can make it to any or all of the
Montefiascone summer program, YOU MUST. I could only go for a week,
to the "Making of a 15th century book" class, and it was FABULOUS.
Not only did we build models of 15th century English books with some
excellent teachers/conservators, doing virtually all of the work with
period-style tools, but we were also able to study some real 15th
bindings up close -- a real treat for those of us without rare books
collections to work in! The food was great, living was darned near
free (I spent less than $600 for the course, food and lodging for the
whole week) and all the people involved were wonderful to work with.
When we weren't working on our books or looking at slides or real
books, we had the lovely medieval town of Montefiascone to explore,
Lake Bolsena to swim in, and plenty of the local wine to drink! (Wine
was more expensive than water, but only a little -- most bottles of
the local stuff, QUITE drinkable, were about $2.) I hear from those
who took the other two courses, Medieval Atlases, and Pigments on the
Medieval Palette, that these were also marvelous. The money you spend
on tuition is almost all used to fund the conservation project on the
local seminary library, which dates from 1660 and has books much
older than that, and which was allowed to fall to absolute ruin until
fairly recently.

I'd be happy to give a more blow-by-blow account to anyone who's
interested (I'm already making plans to go back in '03) but didn't
want to bore the entire list.

Meg Miller

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