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Subject: Ligatus Summer School

Ligatus Summer School

From: Athanasios Velios <a.velios<-at->
Date: Thursday, May 2, 2013
Ligatus Summer School 2013

"The History of European Bookbinding 1450-1830 and Identifying and
recording bookbinding structures of the Eastern Mediterranean"
University of Uppsala
26-30 August
2-7 September 2013


The 8th Ligatus Summer School, following the success of the courses
in Volos, Patmos, Thessaloniki, Wolfenbuttel, Venice, and Paris is
to be held this year at Uppsala University in Sweden, where we have
access to its magnificent library. The university was founded in
1477, and it is the oldest university in Sweden, and still dominates
the old centre of the city, itself historically an important
archiepiscopal see and trading centre. The University Library's
collections of early printed books are made up of donations, 'war
booty' (from the conquests of Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty Years'
War and including the greater part of Copernicus' own library),
purchases and a large collection of Swedish editions, which is
particularly comprehensive because of the system of legal deposits
that was introduced at the end of the seventeenth century.

The library holds a copy of Sweden's oldest printed book, 'Dyalogus
Creaturarum Moralizatus', printed in Stockholm in 1483, as well as
the first book published in the Swedish language, 'Aff Dyaffwlsens
Frastilse' ("On the temptations of the devil"), printed in 1495.
There is also a notable collection of school textbooks from the
seventeenth century up to the present day. Printed books and
manuscripts from the library will be shown in both weeks of the
summer school, and additional visits to the libraries of Count Carl
Gustaf Wrangel in Skokloster Castle and Charles de Geer at
Leufstabruk are planned for the first week.

Summer school context:

The contribution that bindings can make to our understanding of the
history and culture of the book is often neglected, but they can
offer insights into the study of readership, the booktrade, and the
provenance of books which are often not available elsewhere. In
order to realise this potential, it is important to understand not
only the history of the craft but also to learn how to record what
is seen in a consistent and organised way. Librarians, cataloguers,
conservators, book historians and all scholars who work with early
books, need therefore to understand the structure and materials of
the bindings they encounter in order to be able to record and
describe them. Such descriptions of bindings are not only valuable
for the management of library collections, pursuing academic
research and making informed decisions about conservation, but are
also important for digitisation projects, as they can radically
enrich the potential of image and text metadata. It is our belief
that bindings should be seen as an integral part of the book,
without which, our understanding of the history and use of books is
often greatly circumscribed.

The main purpose of the summer school is to uncover the
possibilities latent in the detailed study of bookbinding. While
both courses concentrate in particular on the structure and
materials of bookbindings, each of the two courses offered in this
summer school looks at bindings from different geographical areas
and with a different approach. The first course looks at the history
of bookbinding as it was carried out in Europe in the period of the
hand press (1450-1830), with the opportunity to look at examples
from different collections during the afternoons. The second course
looks at the development of bookbinding in the eastern Mediterranean
and gives theoretical and hands-on training in a) the manufacture of
specific aspects of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine bindings and b) the
development of methodologies and tools for recording bindings,
working with examples from the collections.of the Uppsala University

The courses are taught in English and each is open to 12
participants. 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 wide range of bookbindings considered in each
week. Since these are not beginner-level courses, the participants
are expected to be familiar with bookbinding terminology and have a
basic knowledge of the history of book production in the periods
under discussion. For the second week participants will need to have
familiarity with hand bookbinding and where possible, a basic
understanding of the use of databases.

Description of courses:

Week 1, European Bookbinding 1450-1830
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 Powerpoint
presentations (over 800 images will be shown). Actual examples of
bindings will be shown in the afternoon sessions.

Week 2, Identifying and recording bookbinding structures of the
eastern Mediterranean

Tutors: Dr. G. Boudalis and Dr. A. Velios

This six-day course is divided daily into two interconnected morning
and afternoon sessions.

Dr. Georgios Boudalis, will focus on the major structural and
decorative features of the different bookbinding traditions which
have developed in the eastern Mediterranean -including the Coptic,
Syriac, Armenian, Georgian and Islamic--with special focus on the
Byzantine and post-Byzantine bookbindings. The aim is to follow the
evolution of these closely related bookbindings and establish their
similarities and differences. during lectures, slide-shows and
demonstrations of real bookbindings from the collections of the
University of Uppsala Library. This part of the course will consist
of six 90-minute presentations from Monday to Wednesday,
supplemented by practical bookbinding workshop sessions on Thursday,
Friday and Saturday.

Dr. Athanasios Velios will address methodologies and techniques that
can be used to record bookbindings. After an introduction on the
capacity and scope of each methodology and technique, this section
will focus on (a) the semantic web and the CIDOC conceptual
reference model, (b) standardised vocabularies for book descriptions
(SKOS), (c) the development of database schemas for both the
relational and the hierarchical model, d) the advantages of various
implementation tools and e) photographic records and workflows for
large collection surveys. A section of the course will be devoted to
the actual development and use of a sample of a bookbinding
glossary, a documentation system for recording binding structures
and the actual recording of specific bindings. These sessions will
consist of six 90-minute presentations from Monday to Wednesday and
hands-on workshops on Thursday and Friday.

The courses are supported by Ligatus and the University of the Arts
London, with generous help from the Library at Uppsala. The cost of
the course for this year is UKP375 per week for early payments,
UKP425 for payments made after 1 August, 2013. This fee excludes
travel, accommodation and meals.

A number of accommodation options will be provided to the
participants. A detailed schedule of the courses will be available
very soon. Applications, including a short CV can be submitted


For information about registration please e-mail Karen Di Franco
<k.difranco<-at->arts<.>ac<.>uk> and give the e-mail subject as: 'Ligatus
Summer School'.

A reading list will be sent in advance to those who will attend the
courses. The deadline for applications is 1 July, 2013.

About Uppsala: The historic city of Uppsala is just 40 minutes by
train from Stockholm and is home to Sweden's oldest university. The
city is divided by the Fyris River into two parts, the historic
quarter to the west of the river and the administrative, residential
and commercial area to the east. Most of the features of interest
are in the western part, dominated by the Cathedral, which is
Sweden's largest church, and with its old streets, river views and
parks. Close to the Cathedral is the main university building; built
in 1624 it now contains the Museum of Nordic Antiquities, the
Victoria Museum of Egyptian Antiquities and the University's
cultural history collections. Not far from here is the University
Library where the Summer School will take place; built in 1820-41,
it is the largest library in Sweden and home to over 5 million
volumes and some 60,000 manuscripts. As a thriving university city
Uppsala is host to many cultural and social events and will be an
interesting destination.


About Ligatus: Ligatus is a research centre of the University of the
Arts London with particular interest in the history of bookbinding,
book conservation, archiving and the application of digital
technology to the exploration and exploitation of these fields.
Ligatus's main research projects currently include the conservation
of the books in the library of St. Catherine's Monastery on Mount
Sinai and the development of a multi-lingual thesaurus of
bookbinding terms. Find out more about Ligatus at


                  Conservation DistList Instance 26:48
                    Distributed: Sunday, May 5, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-26-48-006
Received on Thursday, 2 May, 2013

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