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Subject: Montefiascone Project

Montefiascone Project

From: Cheryl Porter <chezzaporter>
Date: Friday, February 2, 2007
Montefiascone Project Summer 2007

Montefiascone is a mediaeval walled city situated on a huge lake
about half way between Rome and Siena. Each summer conservators,
archivists, art historians, librarians and others interested in the
history and the structure of the book, meet to participate in
classes which are held within the city walls. There are four week
long courses with different themes. Participants may come for one
week or more.

Week 1: July 30-August 3, 2007

    Colours used to paint in manuscripts- Western and Islamic

        Participants will study the history, chemistry and
        significance of the pigments used by the mediaeval artist.
        Each of the colours will be re-created using original
        recipes and painted out in traditional binding materials

        No previous experience is necessary to do this course.

        Course Tutor:

            Cheryl Porter set up the Montefiascone Project in 1994
            and has been Director of the programme since its
            inception. She is a freelance conservator, teacher and
            researcher and has conducted workshops and lectured
            widely in Australia, Canada, USA and Europe.

Week 2: August 6-10, 2007

    The Nag Hammadi Codices - Single Quire Bindings

        The class will include an in-depth discussion of the history
        of early single quire bindings, as well as a thorough
        examination of ten of the 11 extant Nag Hammadi covers with
        discussion about how the bindings differ and in which ways
        they are similar to each other.  A reference collection of
        articles, images and models will be available for use by the
        class for the week.  The class will complete one scale
        replica binding of one of the Nag Hammadi codices, using
        papyrus for at least part of the textblock and leather for
        the covers. The class will also complete a key showing the
        attachment systems found on the Nag Hammadi codices.  Time
        permitting, we will also work on a scale replica binding of
        a 16th century Spanish binding, using paper for the
        textblock and heavyweight paper for the cover

        The class will look at slides of historical quire bindings;
        handle pre-prepared models and have access to references and
        handouts based on the scholarly work of Doresse, Robinson,
        Szirmai and Sharpe, among others.  A packet of reference
        materials will accompany the structural notes.

        Course Tutor:

            Julia Miller is a bench-trained conservator.  After
            receiving her degree in archival administration she
            worked as archivist on a grant project at the Berea
            College Library, Berea, Kentucky. She subsequently moved
            to Pittsburgh where she was apprenticed to Jean Gunner
            at the Hunt Botanical Institute of Carnegie-Mellon
            University. After working as a conservator at the Ohio
            Historical Society conservation lab in Columbus, Ohio,
            she moved to Ann Arbor and repaired books for private

            Julia joined the staff of the U of M conservation lab in
            1984 and her position there involved doing extensive
            condition surveys of rare collections, advising library
            staff about treatments, performing minor and major
            treatments on bound and unbound materials and
            supervising and training staff and student workers. She
            is particularly interested in historical binding style
            and structure.

Week 3: August 13-17, 2007

    The Armenian Manuscript

        The week long course is an introduction to the history of
        the Armenian book. Through a series of lectures with slides
        and practical demonstrations, the student will gain an
        understanding of the construction of a Armenian binding
        including sewing, board preparation, end-banding and
        covering. Areas such as Armenia and Armenian Christianity
        will be covered, including the role of the book in Armenian
        culture, literature and faith and the themes of illuminated
        miniatures in the Armenian manuscript. All the necessary
        material required for making the book will be provided  in
        order for participants to then re create the structure
        during the week (cost to be specified). Participants will be
        required to bring some basic bookbinding equipment (to be
        specified). Some knowledge of the history of bookbinding is
        desirable, but is not essential. The course will be of
        interest to book binders, conservators, design binders and
        those interested in the history of the book. A pre- course
        reading list is available.

        Course Tutors:

            John Mumford 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. John is currently the
            Head of Book Conservation at the British Library. He has
            taught at the London College of Printing, The Colchester
            Institute, as well as undertaking many workshops in the
            UK and abroad.

            Rev. Dr Vrej Nersessian is curator in charge of books
            and manuscripts of the Christian Middle East Cultures
            (Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Syrian) in the British
            Library, London. He was educated in Calcutta at the
            Armenian College and at the Etchmiadzin Theological
            Seminary. He continued his education at Kings College
            London, from which he graduated with a degree of
            Bachelor of Divinity. He has published widely including
            the much acclaimed Treasures from the Ark: 1700 years of
            Armenian Christian Art, following the  exhibition of the
            same name, held at the British Library in 2001.

            Caroline Checkley-Scott 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. In
            February 2001 Caroline started work at the Wellcome
            Library in the Preservation and Conservation Department
            with Tony Bish. In this year she became an accredited
            member of the Institute of Paper Conservation. She is
            now the Senior Conservator at the Wellcome Trust
            Library. She has lectured both nationally and
            internationally in Slovenia, Argentina and Brazil.

Week 4:  August 20-24, 2007

    Medieval Arab bookbindings in Spain: History, structure,
    materials and decoration

        The Arabs dominated Spain for seven centuries, from the
        early 7th century to the end of the 15th. They lived side by
        side with Christians and Jews, sharing and cross-fertilising
        each others' cultures. During this period a vigorous
        production of books emerged with typical features in
        different styles and structures, and in which the influence
        between these three cultures is pronounced. Although few
        books survive--mostly from the last period of their
        production--those that do, show us the richness of that
        period in the area called "Al Andalus", in the Arab occupied
        South of Spain. The course is an introduction to the history
        of these book bindings. Through a series of lectures with
        slides, together with the re-creation of an historic
        envelope model, study of the sewing of the text-block,
        endband preparations, attaching boards through a fabric
        support, leather cover and cover decoration, the student
        will gain an understanding of the construction of a typical
        binding and its variations.

        All the material needed for making the book will be
        provided. Participants will need basic bookbinding tools.
        Some knowledge of binding would be helpful, but is not

        Course Tutor:

            Ana Beny is currently a freelance conservator, with more
            than 20 years experience. Graduated in 1984 from the
            "Conservatori de les Arts del Llibre" of Barcelona, she
            rapidly built her first workshop and began working in
            Catalonia. From1988 to 2005, Ana worked in her own
            workshop in Madrid, where her major duties included the
            coordination of staff and the training of interns.
            During those years, she worked for the most important
            Spanish institutions, carrying out conservation work and
            designing workshops. She has worked with manuscripts on
            paper and parchment, printed books, maps, atlases and
            globes, fans and folding screens. She is particularly
            interested in historic bindings and has treated Arabic
            books from the Royal History Academy, Islamic Library,
            the Extremadura Library and several private collections
            in Spain. Ana Beny has conducted workshops and lectured
            widely in Spain, Brazil and the Philippines. At this
            moment she is collaborating with the University of
            Granada in the launching of a course on Arab manuscripts

The cost of the classes is UKP345 Stirling per week. ($685 US) This
includes all instruction, which is in English. For further
information contact Cheryl Porter <chezzaporter [at] yahoo__com> or see

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:38
                Distributed: Wednesday, February 7, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-20-38-016
Received on Friday, 2 February, 2007

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