“Medieval Binding Structures” Trial Project (1989-1990)

October 3, 2016 in Reports, Uncategorized

Trial Project at the Parker Library

for the Census of

Medieval Binding Structures to A.D. 1550
Preserved in the British Isles

Plus Continuing Links

[Posted on 3 October 2016, with updates]

At early stages, members of the Research Team both at the Parker Library (from 1989–1994) and in its 5-year Leverhulme Trust Research Project (1 October 1989 – 30 September 1994) participated in the discussions and some in-house research which, among other contributions, explored the ground for a survey of medieval binding structures in the British Isles.

That aim, directed by Jennifer M. Sheppard of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, became a large-scale project for identifying and recording the corpus of Medieval Binding Structures to A.D. 1550 Preserved in the British Isles.  Among the results of that aim was the publication of her detailed study of The Buildwas books:  Book production, acquisition and use at an English Cistercian monastery, 1165-c.1400.  (Oxford:  Oxford Bibliographical Society, Bodleian Library, 1997).  A list of her published works, including reports about this project, can be found here: Sheppard, Jennifer Mary.

Some milestones along the journey, recorded in publications by Jennifer M. Sheppard:

  • “Some Twelfth-Century Monastic Bindings and the Question of Localization”, in Making the Medieval Book: Techniques of Production. Proceedings of the Fourth Conference of the Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500, Oxford, July 1992, edited by Linda L. Brownrigg (1995), pages 181–98
  • ‘Describing Medieval Binding Structures:  Experiences of a Census-Taker’, Rare Books Newsletter, 57 (Winter 1997), 57–70.
  • ‘Census of Western Medieval Bookbinding Structures to 1500 in British and Irish Libraries’, Journal of the Society of Archivists, 13:1 (2009), pages 29–30

A worthy project, and we are glad to have witnessed stages in its creation.

As part of the work now of recording the early history of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence for our website, we enter the Archives, survey their range, and report some of their materials.  Thus we may assess the Group’s activities both for its own research projects and in support of others’.  Always glad to celebrate the work of manuscript studies, from wherever the dedication may emerge.

[Published on 3 October 2016 by Mildred Budny]

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