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Subject: Courses on identifying and recording bookbinding structures

Courses on identifying and recording bookbinding structures

From: Athanasios Velios <a.velios>
Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Summer school: Identifying and recording bookbinding structures for
conservation and cataloguing.

Volos (Greece)
Municipal Centre for Historical Research and Documentation (DIKI)
10-14 and 17-21 September 2007

Following the success of the course in September 2006 we are pleased
to announce the organisation of this year's course in collaboration
with the Ligatus research unit, Camberwell College of Arts
(University of the Arts, London).

Conservators and librarians, who work with books on a professional
basis, need to understand the structure of their bindings in order
to be able to describe them for the needs of cataloguing as well as
for making appropriate decisions on issues relevant to conservation
treatment, housing, access, etc. This is particularly important for
collections of manuscripts and early printed books.

The purpose of the course is to uncover the possibilities latent in
the detailed study of bookbinding and is thus aimed to all
professionals who handle books which have been bound between the
15th and the early 19th century. The two courses offered in this
summer school focus upon two different broad categories of
bookbindings: a) the western European and b) the Byzantine and
post-Byzantine. The technical and decorative details, as well as the
way bookbindings evolved through time and space will be discussed
during the individual sessions. Part of the school will be dedicated
to the construction of a data structure in XML for recording
bookbindings.

The courses will consist of 3 hour morning lectures and 3 hour
afternoon hands-on sessions using the collections of the historic
libraries of Zagora and Milies in the province of Volos, as well as
the collection of the DIKI itself. A visit to the monasteries of the
Meteora will also be included.

The language of the courses is English and they are open to 12
mid-career individuals from the fields of book conservation,
librarianship or palaeography. In addition, 5 MA book conservation
students from Camberwell College of Arts will attend the courses.
Although the courses can be attended individually, participants are
encouraged to attend both courses in order to get a more complete
understanding of the issues discussed, through the comparison of the
major categories of bookbindings considered each week. Since these
are not beginner-level courses, the participants are expected to be
familiar with bookbinding terminology and have a basic knowledge of
the history of book production in the period under discussion. A
basic knowledge of database use is also desirable for those who will
attend the course on the second week.

Description of courses:

Week 1
Tutor Professor N. Pickwoad

    This course will follow European bookbinding from the end of the
    Middle Ages to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, using
    the bindings themselves to illustrate the aims and intentions of
    the binding trade. A large part of the course will be devoted to
    the identification of both broad and detailed distinctions
    within the larger groups of plain commercial bindings and the
    possibilities of identifying the work of different countries,
    cities, even workshops without reference to finishing tools. The
    identification and significance of the different materials used
    in bookbinding will be examined, as well as the classification
    of bookbindings by structural type, and how these types
    developed through the three centuries covered by the course. The
    development of binding decoration will be touched on, but will
    not form a major part of the discussion.

    The course consists of ten 90-minute sessions with slides (over
    800 slides will be shown). Actual examples of bindings are shown
    and discussed to supplement the slides in separate sessions in
    the historic libraries of Zagora, Milies and DIKI itself.

Week 2
Tutors Dr. G. Boudalis and Dr. A. Velios

    This five-day course will be divided in two interconnected
    sessions. The first session, run by Dr. Georgios Boudalis, will
    focus upon the major structural and decorative features of the
    Byzantine and post-Byzantine bookbindings and their evolution in
    time and space. The relation of these bindings with the early
    bindings of the Coptic and other Eastern Mediterranean cultures
    will be discussed, during lectures, slide-shows and hands-on
    sessions. This session will centre the influences and
    comparisons of these different bookbindings. It will consist of
    eight 90-minute PowerPoint presentations supplemented by
    hands-on sessions in the libraries of Zagora and Meteora.

    The second session will be run by Dr. Athanasios Velios and will
    deal with the data management and storage of bookbinding
    information. This session is updated this year to include recent
    advancements in the use of XML for recording bookbindings.
    Alongside a brief reference to the relational databases this
    session will mainly involve discussions on (a) the semantic web
    and XML, (b) commercial and open source software options for XML
    documents, (c) job advertising for XML database developers and
    administrators, and (d) long-term preservation of digital XML
    data. A large part of this session will be devoted to the actual
    development and use of an XML schema for recording binding
    details. This session will consist of two 90-minutes
    presentations and eight 90-minutes hands-on workshops. Basic
    knowledge of database use is desirable for this course.

    Since this year the course is co-organised and partly funded by
    the Ligatus research unit, Camberwell College of Arts, we are
    able to offer the course at a lower fee. The cost of the courses
    is 400 Euros per week excluding meals and accommodation. For the
    first week, the price includes accommodation for two nights in
    Zagora with lunch and dinner. It also includes transportation to
    and from the libraries of Zagora and Milies, reading material,
    coffee and refreshments during the breaks. For the second week,
    the price includes an afternoon visit in the library of Zagora
    and a day trip to the monasteries of the Meteora including
    lunch. It also includes the use of computers, reading material,
    coffee and refreshments during the breaks. A number of
    accommodation options will be provided to the participants. A
    detailed schedule of the courses can be send upon request.
    Applications, including a statement of purpose and a short CV
    should be sent to Ewelina Hebda (e.hebda [at] camberwell__arts__ac__uk)
    marked in the message subject: 'Volos Summer School'. A reading
    list will be sent to those who will attend the courses in
    advance. The participants will be contacted by the end of June.
    For those attending the course At least 50% of the course fee
    will have to be paid by the end of July.

Volos is a thriving city of Central Greece, ideally placed by the
sea on the roots of mount Pilio, the homeland of the mythical
Centaurs. It is very close to the villages of Pilio, including
Zagora and Milies, which apart from their libraries are well known
for their traditional architecture. Volos is also close to the very
important Neolithic settlements of Sesklo and Dimini and the Meteora
monasteries complex. Finally, the islands of Sporades are a few
hours away by boat from the city.

The Municipal Centre for Historical Research and Documentation
(DIKI) is a dynamic centre for the study of all facets of history of
the area of Volos and the preservation of all its manifestations
including important archives. Its important activities include
conferences, exhibitions and publications in related fields.

Ligatus is being established as a research unit of the University of
the Arts, London, based in Camberwell College of Art. Ligatus's main
research projects currently include the assessment of the condition
of the books in the St Catherine's Monastery Library in Sinai and
the development of and English-Greek glossary of bookbinding terms.
The Unit introduces innovative technologies and their application to
bookbinding description and bookbinding conservation.

Dr. Athanasios Velios
St. Catherine's Library Conservation Project
Camberwell College of Arts,
The University of the Arts, London


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:9
                   Distributed: Friday, June 8, 2007
                        Message Id: cdl-21-9-023
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 30 May, 2007

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