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[BKARTS] Montefiascone Project Schedule, 2007
Posted on behalf of Cheryl Porter:
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
Week 1: July 30-August 3
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
No previous experience is necessary to do this course.
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
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 c. 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
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 collectors. 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 August
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.
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
andRecords. 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: 20-24 August
Medieval Arab bookbindings in Spain: History, structure, materials
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
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 essential.
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 conservation.
The cost of the classes is £345 Stirling per week. ($685 US) This
includes all instruction, which is in English. For further
information contact Cheryl Porter (chezzaporter@xxxxxxxxx) or consult
the Montefiascone website www.monteproject.com
The Bonefolder, Vol. 3, No. 1, Fall 2006 Now Online at
Guild of Book Workers' 100th Anniversary Exhibition Online - Catalog Available
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