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Course Detail

Limp bindings: the unsung book heroes of the Middle Ages

Joscelin d'Outremer

University Session UA97 - 9/16/2017 Course # 306
Time 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM Fee
Length 2 hrs Credits 2
Attendees 7/10 Room 804
Course Category AS: Arts & Sciences

Limp bindings were the unglamorous workhorses of the Middle Ages. They contained accounts, timber inventories, even listings of who fell asleep during Mass. Versatile and ubiquitous, they also were fragile and relatively unvalued compared with the art books produced for conspicuous consumption. In this lab we make a limp binding based on a palimpsest in the city archives of Talin. Paper, cover materials, and thread are provided, but students should bring their own scissors, a ruler (12” is fine), and a sharp pencil.

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