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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: Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Summer school:

Identifying and recording bookbinding structures for conservation
    and cataloguing

Volos (Greece)
Municipal Centre for Historical Research and Documentation (DIKI)
September 11-15, 2006 and September 18-22, 2006

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 database for recording and processing
bookbinding records.

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 with the possibility of visiting one
or more of their monastic libraries.

The language of the courses is English and they are open to 14
mid-career individuals from the fields of book conservation,
librarianship or palaeography. 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 aware of bookbinding terms 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

        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 alongside the role of relational databases in
    documenting bookbindings. This session will involve discussions
    on a) commercial and open source software options for databases,
    b), the semantic web and XML, c) job advertising for database
    developers and administrators, d) long-term digital preservation
    of data and e) basic theory of relational databases. A large
    part of this session will be devoted to the actual development
    and use of a database for storing binding details. This session
    will consist of four 90-minutes presentations and four
    90-minutes hands-on workshops. Basic knowledge of database use
    is desirable for this course.

The cost of the courses is 670 Euros for the first week and 600 for
the second excluding 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 diki [at] diki__gr stating in the title 'For the
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 March. At least 50% of the course fee has to be paid during
the registration in April.

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.

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

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:35
                 Distributed: Monday, February 6, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-35-016
Received on Tuesday, 24 January, 2006

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