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[BKARTS] Montefiascone Project 2004
Montefiascone is a medieval walled city situated on a huge lake between
Rome and Siena. Each summer conservators, librarians, archivists, art
historians and others interested in the history and the structure of the
book, meet to participate in classes, which are held within the city walls.
The programme for summer 2004 is as follows:
The history, chemistry and significance of the pigments used by the
This course is about understanding all aspects of those colours used
throughout the medieval period, with particular reference to manuscript
illumination. Each day will begin with lectures and slides to illustrate
the history, chemistry, iconographic importance and technique of their
manufacture and application. This will be followed by a hands-on workshop,
where we will re-create the colours using original recipes. All
participants will make their own chart of organic and inorganic colours to
use for later reference, for analysis or simply for decoration.
The course will be of interest to conservators, calligraphers, librarians
and others interested in the history and techniques of book production and
the story of colour.
A practical introduction to Byzantine Binding
John Mumford and Caroline Checkley-Scott
2-6 August 2004
This week long course is an introduction to the history of the Byzantine
binding. Through a series of lectures with slides and practical
is hoped that the student will gain an initial understanding of the
construction of a Byzantine binding to include sewing, board preparation,
endbanding, covering and fastenings. The student will then proceed to make
one themselves. Reference will be made to the conservation of historical
bindings. All the necessary materials required for making the book will be
provided. The student will be required to bring along some basic
bookbinding equipment to be specified). Some knowledge of the history of
bookbinding would be desirable but is not essential. This course may be
interesting to book binders, conservators, design binders and those
interested in the history of the book. A pre-course reading list will be
provided if desired.
Maximum class number 10.
Engineering the Spine: Structural considerations in the control of opening
9-13 August 2004
The sewing, lining and materials used in the binding of books will
determine the nature of any given book?s opening characteristics. This
course will deal in detail with the appropriate construction of book
bindings for specific types of text-blocks.
Through the creation of several simple comparative models and presentation
of case histories (for example, late medieval bindings, 18th century stiff
board vellum bindings, modern Tibetan printed books) this course will
highlight binding problems and specific treatments, and demonstrate several
methods available to the conservator for creating the desired spine
movement in the treated or re-bound book. Implicit in the course content
is examination of the decision-making processes and the inevitable
compromises that much conservation work involves.
The Treatment and repair of Gutta-Percha and other single leaved books
16-20 August 2004
From the 19th century, large numbers of important books were made using
gutta-percha. These books are in libraries and private collections
throughout the world and present a number of problems: the adhesive
deteriorates and the calico linings rot so that the leaves protrude from
the case, plates are misplaced, tissues creased. Very often the object is
exposed and vulnerable. Tony Cains has developed a number of methods for
the safe repair of these single leaved books. The course will explore the
problems associated with treating gutta-percha bindings and will consider
allied issues associated with books made without sewing through the fold.
Cloth binding repair (re-backing, caps and tails, joints etc) will be
addressed where necessary. The central aim when conserving such books is to
preserve the text block and the binding in as historically authentic manner
as possible, whilst simultaneously making a repair which is non-damaging
Instructors: Cheryl Porter. Private Conservator
John Mumford: Manager of the Book
Conservation Studio. British Library
Caroline Checkley: Conservator,
Maria Fredericks: Head of
Conservation, Columbia University Libraries
Anthony Cains: Private Consrvator.
Formerly Technical Director of Library Conservation Trinity College Dublin
COST: The cost of each course is £345 / $595 per week. This
includes all materials and tuition (which is in English). This is a
non-profit making programme and any extra moneys are used to buy materials
for the library, archives and their collections.
ACCOMMODATION: Participants may stay in a house within the city
walls, close to the main square at the centre of the town. Bedrooms are
shared (maximum 4 per room) and costs are £12 / $18 per person per night.
If preferred, accommodation can be arranged at a local hotel.
CLASSES: are from 9am to 1 (30) pm. Afternoons can be used for
private study or for finishing work, or helping in the medieval library ?
cleaning, cataloguing etc., though many prefer to take advantage of the
spectacular setting to swim in the local clean, huge, volcanic lake, or to
explore the town, with its Romanesque and late medieval architecture and
For further information contact: Cheryl Porter:
8 Ashen Green, Great Shelford, Cambridge CB2 5EY, England
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