Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Ligatus Summer School

Ligatus Summer School

From: Athanasios Velios <a.velios<-a>
Date: Thursday, May 8, 2014
22-26 September 2014
The History of European Bookbinding 1450-1830

29 September - 3 October 2014
Identifying and recording bookbinding structures of the Eastern

6-10 October 2014
Byzantine bookbinding: a practical workshop.

This year's Ligatus Summer School will take place in the beautiful
city of Ljubljana in Slovenia, and will be hosted by the Archives of
the Republic of Slovenia.

The price is UKP300 per week per participant, and this includes fees
for teaching only.  Travel, food and accommodation would need to be
arranged individually by each student.

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 book trade, and the provenance of books that 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, book
collectors and all scholars who work with early books, can benefit
therefore from understanding 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
our courses concentrate in particular on the structure and materials
of bookbindings, each of the 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 instruction in a) the development 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 in Ljubljana.  We are
also in a position this year, thanks to the generosity of our hosts,
the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, to offer as an extra third
week from 6-10 October, a 5-day course, Byzantine bookbinding: a
practical workshop, to be given by Dr George Boudalis.

The courses are taught in English, and the first one is open to 12
participants, the second and third to no more than 10 participants.
Although the courses can be attended individually, participants are
encouraged to attend the first two 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 the participants need to have
a basic understanding of the use of databases.  For the third week,
experience in binding books is essential.

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 discussion.

    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 in a variety
    of historic collections in Ljubljana.

Week 2
Identifying and recording bookbinding structures of the eastern
Tutors: Dr. G. Boudalis and Dr. A. Velios

    This course is divided into two interconnected 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.

    The other part of the course will be taught by Dr. Athanasios
    Velios and will deal with the methodologies and techniques that
    can be used to record bookbindings.  After an introduction on
    the capacity and scope of each methodology and technique, this
    session 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 part of this session 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.  This session will consist of six
    90-minute presentations from Monday to Wednesday and hands-on
    workshops on Thursday and Friday.

Week 3
Byzantine bookbinding: a practical workshop
Tutor: Dr. G. Boudalis

    The aim of this five-day workshop is to produce a model book
    bound according to typical Byzantine techniques, starting from
    the sewing of the gatherings and ending with the fastenings and
    decoration of the cover.  A general introduction to the features
    and evolution of Byzantine bookbinding will be provided and
    different variations of methods for sewing the bookblock,
    attaching the boards and sewing the endbands will be shown and

    If participants prefer to bring their own materials they should
    first consult the course tutor about this before doing so.

Accommodation: A number of accommodation options will be provided to
the participants.  A detailed schedule of the courses can be sent
upon request.  Applications, including a short CV can be submitted


For information about registration please e-mail Ewelina Warner
<e.warner<-a t->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 2014.  The participants will
be contacted by the end of July, 2014

About the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia: The main building of
the Archives is the listed Gruber Palace, which was begun in 1773 by
the Jesuit Gabriel Gruber; it survives as a precious art-historical
monument.  The main staircase and rooms are filled with paintings
and stucco decoration, the private chapel has paintings by
Kremser-Schmidt, and a fresco by Herrlein adorns the dome above the
staircase.  It is a fine example of the bourgeois Baroque style of
the last quarter of the 18th century.  The atmosphere is completed
by paintings in the reading room that date back to the first half of
the 19th century.  The Archives as an institution dates back to
1859, when it was part of the Carniolan Historical Society Museum.
When the museum was given its own building in 1887, the all the
archives were kept in the Gruber Palace and through the many
political changes that followed, its name changed many times as its
size and significance grew, finally to become the Archives of the
Republic of Slovenia.  To find our more about the history of the
Archive, please visit


About the Book and Paper Conservation Centre: The Book and Paper
Conservation Centre was established in 1956 as part of the museum
which was the predecessor of the National Museum of Modern History.
Since 1980 the department has been part of the Archives of the
Republic of Slovenia located in the premises of the Grubar palace.
The work of the centre is divided into three periods: its beginnings
at the Museum of the National Liberation PRS under the leadership of
Ljudmila Krese, 1956 - 1974; the incorporation into the Archives of
the Republic of Slovenia, under the leadership of Nada Cucnik Majcen
1975 - 1983; its time at the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia
(subsequently the National Archives of Slovenia) from 1990, under
the leadership of Jedert Vodopivec, who is our host for our Summer
School.  The classes and workshops will therefore be hosted by the
Book and Paper Conservation Centre, which is a part of the Archives
of the Republic of Slovenia and based also in the Gruber Palace.  To
find out more, please visit


About Ljubljana: With its 280,000 inhabitants Ljubljana is the
political and cultural heart of the Slovenian nation.  It is an
important European commercial, business, exhibition and
congressional centre, as well as the transport, science and
education centre of Slovenia.  It is located in the heart of the
country between Apls and Karst and is full of parks and green
spaces, beautiful street and squares.  For centuries Lubljana was a
capital of the historical Carniola region on the crossroads of
Slavic and Germanic cultures.  Its historic city centre remains
largely intact, with the oldest preserved architecture dating back
to the Roman period, and although the outline of the old town dates
from the Middle Ages, most of it was rebuilt after 16th century in
the Baroque style.  We are reliably informed that the weather in
late September/early October is likely to be perfect - warm and
sunny without being too hot. For more information about Lubljana,
please visit: <URL:>

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 thesaurus of bookbinding terms.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:44
                   Distributed: Sunday, May 11, 2014
                       Message Id: cdl-27-44-010
Received on Thursday, 8 May, 2014

[Search all CoOL documents]