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[BKARTS] MONTEFIASCONE PROJECT, Summer 2009, in bella Italia...


Montefiascone is a small medieval walled city about 100 k (80 miles) north of Rome, on Lake Bolsena. Since 1988 conservators and others interested in books and their history have come together to work, to learn and to enjoy this special place. The summer 2009 programme is as follows:

Week 1: July 27th-31st
Re-creating the medieval Palette
Through illustrated lectures, participants will examine the story of colour in medieval times. The class will address the history, geography, chemistry and iconographic importance, and the actual techniques of colour manufacture, with special reference to manuscript painting. Using original recipes, participants will make and paint out the colours. No previous experience is necessary.
Course tutor: Cheryl Porter

Week 2: August 3rd-7th
Multi-quire, wooden boarded codex from Egypt
The multi-quire, wooden boarded codex from Egypt is a small family of bindings that structurally predate the familiar sewn through the fold, laced on wooden board, leather covered binding of later eras. The model made in this class is based on a reconstruction by Charles Lamacraft, restorer at the British Museum in the early decades of the 20th c. In 1925, a ceramic jar was uncovered in Egypt containing 5 parchment codices dating to the 6th c. AD. Two of the five had bare wood boards, stamped leather spines and multiple leather slips laced through the boards (with no connection to the unsupported sewing) leather wrapping bands terminating in large, decorated bone slips to secure the bands and a large decorative bookmarker.
Charles Lamacraft studied these early bindings and published an early analysis and photographs of them. He made at least 2 models of the book structure based on the fairly complete but fragmented pieces of the bindings. One was for Chester Beatty, who purchased 3 of the ancient books, and now resides in the Chester Beatty Library and another for Prof. Kelsey of the University of Michigan who
purchased the other 2 remaining manuscripts in the jar. Kelsey's model resides in the Rare Book Room of the University of Michigan Library.
Course tutor: Pamela Spitzmueller

Week 3: August 10th-14th
Late 18th century French Binding Structures
Apart from the French Revolution, one of the most exciting aspects of late 18th C. French culture is the existence of two full-length bookbinding manuals. This workshop will focus on reconstructing a typical full calf French structure of this time period, by comparing and contrasting the descriptions in these manuals and examining extant bindings. In some respects, this structure is the end of 1,200 years of utilitarian leather binding­ 50 years later the cloth case begins to predominate. Some of the interesting features of this style include: sewing on thin double cords; edges trimmed with a plough in-boards and colored; double core endbands, vellum ?comb? spine liners and sprinkled cover decoration. Special emphasis will be placed on using reproductions of period tools, constructed from Dudin and Diderot?s Encylopedie (1751-1780). Participants will learn to use and maintain a plough, and become fluent in translating written descriptions of bookbinding into the construction of a model. Extensive notations (in English) on Gauffecourt?s Traite de la Relieure des Livres (1763) and Dudin?s L?Art du Relieur-doreur de Livres (1772) will be provided. Basic bookbinding skills are a prerequisite and materials will be supplied at a nominal cost.
Course tutor: Jeff Peachey

Week 4: August 17th-21st
Ethiopian Bindings Workshop
This five day course is aimed at conservators interested in the history of the book. The course will give an introduction to the history of Ethiopian Bindings. Through a series of practical demonstrations and exercises, participants will gain an understanding of the construction of an Ethiopian binding within a cultural and historical context.
There will be an introductory lecture on Ethiopian Bindings, placing them in the context of the history and development of book structures. This will be followed by practical workshops focusing on:
Preparation of text block and wooden boards.
Sewing the text block and boards.
Endband construction and covering in leather.
Embossing leather with replica tools
The making of a traditional leather carrying pouch with camel skin
Participants will be required to bring some hand tools, a list will be provided following registration. All materials will be supplied at a nominal cost. Some knowledge of the history of bookbinding would be desirable but is not essential.
Tutors: John Mumford / Caroline Checkley-Scott

Cheryl Porter is Manager of Conservation and Preservation at the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and Deputy Director of the Project. She has been Director of the Montefiascone Project since its inception in 1988. After graduating from Camberwell College of Arts and Crafts, she worked with the Paintings Analysis Unit at University College London analysing the use of pigments in manuscripts. From 1992 to 2007 she worked as a freelance conservator. She has published many articles concerning colour in manuscripts and has lectured in the USA, Australia and throughout Europe.

Pamela Spitzmueller is Needham Chief Conservator for Special Collections at the Weissman Preservation Center in the Harvard University Libraries. Pam previously headed Rare Book Conservation at the University of Iowa Libraries, worked as Book Conservator at the Library of Congress, and the Newberry Library in Chicago. She specializes in historical book structures and book sewing techniques, and incorporates what she learns into conservation treatments of rare books and creation of one of a kind artists' books. She has taught many workshops on these topics.

Jeffrey S. Peachey is the owner of a New York City-based studio for the conservation of books the maker of conservation tools and machines. He is a Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation and chair emeritus of the Conservators In Private Practice. For more than 15 years, he has specialized in the conservation of books and paper artifacts for institutions and individuals. A consultant to major libraries and university collections in the New York City region and nationally, he has been the recipient of numerous grants to support his work. A well-known teacher, Peachey also provides conservation-focused guidance to students in art, archives, and bookbinding programs.

John Mumford is the currently head of Manuscript Conservation at the Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation. He was formally Head of Book Conservation at the British Library. John 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. He has taught frequently in Montefiascone and lectured and run workshops throughout the UK, Argentina, Patmos and many other European locations.

Caroline Checkley-Scott is currently head of Collection Care at the John Ryland?s Library. Caroline, 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. Caroline was formally head of Conservation at the Wellcome Library and organised the planning and design of the new Wellcome Conservation Studios. She is an accredited member of the Institute of Paper Conservation. She has lectured both nationally and internationally in Italy, Slovenia, Argentina and Brazil.

The cost of the classes is: 445 British pounds ($640 US, 500 Euro) per week and includes all tuition(which is in English) and (most) materials. The Montefiascone Project is a not-for-profit organization, and all extra monies are used to finance the cataloguing and the conservation and preservation of the collection.

For further information or to register for one week or more, please contact Cheryl Porter:

More information is on the website: <http://www.monteproject.com>

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