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martedì, febbraio 10, 2009

Montefiascone Project Summer 2009

Montefiascone is a small medieval walled city about 100 k (80 miles)
north of Rome, on Lake Bolsena. Since 1988 conservators and others
interested in books and their history have come together to work, to
learn and to enjoy this special place. The summer 2009 programme is
as follows:

Week 1: July 27-31, 2009
Re-creating the medieval Palette

Through illustrated lectures, participants will examine the
story of colour in medieval times. The class will address the
history, geography, chemistry and iconographic importance, and
the actual techniques of colour manufacture, with special
reference to manuscript painting. Using original recipes,
participants will make and paint out the colours. No previous
experience is necessary.

Course tutor: Cheryl Porter

Week 2: August 3-7, 2009
Multi-quire, wooden boarded codex from Egypt

The multi-quire, wooden boarded codex from Egypt is a small
family of bindings that structurally predate the familiar sewn
through the fold, laced on wooden board, leather covered binding
of later eras. The model made in this class is based on a
reconstruction by Charles Lamacraft, restorer at the British
Museum in the early decades of the 20th century. In 1925, a
ceramic jar was uncovered in Egypt containing 5 parchment
codices dating to the 6th century AD. Two of the five had bare
wood boards, stamped leather spines and multiple leather slips
laced through the boards (with no connection to the unsupported
sewing) leather wrapping bands terminating in large, decorated
bone slips to secure the bands and a large decorative

Charles Lamacraft studied these early bindings and published an
early analysis and photographs of them. He made at least 2
models of the book structure based on the fairly complete but
fragmented pieces of the bindings. One was for Chester Beatty,
who purchased 3 of the ancient books, and now resides in the
Chester Beatty Library and another for Prof. Kelsey of the
University of Michigan who purchased the other 2 remaining
manuscripts in the jar. Kelsey's model resides in the Rare Book
Room of the University of Michigan Library.

Course tutor: Pamela Spitzmueller

Week 3: August 10-14, 2009
Late 18th century French Binding Structures

Apart from the French Revolution, one of the most exciting
aspects of late 18th century French culture is the existence of
two full-length bookbinding manuals. This workshop will focus on
reconstructing a typical full calf French structure of this time
period, by comparing and contrasting the descriptions in these
manuals and examining extant bindings. In some respects, this
structure is the end of 1,200 years of utilitarian leather
binding. 50 years later the cloth case begins to predominate.
Some of the interesting features of this style include: sewing
on thin double cords; edges trimmed with a plough in-boards and
colored; double core endbands, vellum "comb" spine liners and
sprinkled cover decoration. Special emphasis will be placed on
using reproductions of period tools, constructed from Dudin and
Diderot's Encylopedie (1751-1780). Participants will learn to
use and maintain a plough, and become fluent in translating
written descriptions of bookbinding into the construction of a
model. Extensive notations (in English) on Gauffecourt's Traite
de la Relieure des Livres (1763) and Dudin's L'Art du
Relieur-doreur de Livres (1772) will be provided. Basic
bookbinding skills are a prerequisite and materials will be
supplied at a nominal cost.

Course tutor: Jeff Peachey

Week 4: August 17-21, 2009
Ethiopian Bindings Workshop

This five day course is aimed at conservators interested in the
history of the book. The course will give an introduction to the
history of Ethiopian Bindings. Through a series of practical
demonstrations and exercises, participants will gain an
understanding of the construction of an Ethiopian binding within
a cultural and historical context. There will be an introductory
lecture on Ethiopian Bindings, placing them in the context of
the history and development of book structures. This will be
followed by practical workshops focusing on:

Preparation of text block and wooden boards.
Sewing the text block and boards.
Endband construction and covering in leather.
Embossing leather with replica tools
The making of a traditional leather carrying pouch with
camel skin

Participants will be required to bring some hand tools, a list
will be provided following registration. All materials will be
supplied at a nominal cost. Some knowledge of the history of
bookbinding would be desirable but is not essential.

Tutors: John Mumford / Caroline Checkley-Scott

Cheryl Porter is Manager of Conservation and Preservation at the
Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and Deputy Director of the Project.
She has been Director of the Montefiascone Project since its
inception in 1988. After graduating from Camberwell College of Arts
and Crafts, she worked with the Paintings Analysis Unit at
University College London analysing the use of pigments in
manuscripts. From 1992 to 2007 she worked as a freelance
conservator. She has published many articles concerning colour in
manuscripts and has lectured in the USA, Australia and throughout

Pamela Spitzmueller is Needham Chief Conservator for Special
Collections at the Weissman Preservation Center in the Harvard
University Libraries. Pam previously headed Rare Book Conservation
at the University of Iowa Libraries, worked as Book Conservator at
the Library of Congress, and the Newberry Library in Chicago. She
specializes in historical book structures and book sewing
techniques, and incorporates what she learns into conservation
treatments of rare books and creation of one of a kind artists'
books. She has taught many workshops on these topics.

Jeffrey S. Peachey is the owner of a New York City-based studio for
the conservation of books the maker of conservation tools and
machines. He is a Professional Associate in the American Institute
for Conservation and chair emeritus of the Conservators In Private
Practice. For more than 15 years, he has specialized in the
conservation of books and paper artifacts for institutions and
individuals. A consultant to major libraries and university
collections in the New York City region and nationally, he has been
the recipient of numerous grants to support his work. A well-known
teacher, Peachey also provides conservation-focused guidance to
students in art, archives, and bookbinding programs.

John Mumford is the currently head of Manuscript Conservation at the
Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation. He was formally Head of Book
Conservation at the British Library. John served a five year
apprenticeship at the British Museum and subsequently helped
establish the Rare and Early Book Conservation Studio at the British
Library. In 1992 he was appointed manager of the Oriental and India
Office Book Conservation Studio, furthering his study of early
Oriental and Eastern binding structures. In 1998 he became manager
of the Oriental and Eastern Book Conservation Studio at the new
British Library at St Pancras. He has taught frequently in
Montefiascone and lectured and run workshops throughout the UK,
Argentina, Patmos and many other European locations.

Caroline Checkley-Scott is currently head of Collection Care at the
John Ryland's Library. Caroline, studied printing and bookbinding in
Dublin, Ireland. She was appointed trainee book conservator at the
British Library, London in 1991, where she worked at the House of
Lords in the Palace of Westminster, and the Oriental and India
Office Library and Records. Here she specialised in the conservation
of early Christian manuscripts from the Middle East. Caroline was
formally head of Conservation at the Wellcome Library and organised
the planning and design of the new Wellcome Conservation Studios.
She is an accredited member of the Institute of Paper Conservation.
She has lectured both nationally and internationally in Italy,
Slovenia, Argentina and Brazil.

The cost of the classes is: 445 British pounds ($640 US, 500 Euro)
per week and includes all tuition(which is in English) and (most)
materials. The Montefiascone Project is a not-for-profit
organization, and all extra monies are used to finance the
cataloguing and the conservation and preservation of the collection.

For further information or to register for one week or more, please
contact Cheryl Porter chezzaporter [at] yahoo__com

More information is on


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