Publication Date

4-15-2015

Advisor(s)

Michaelle Biddle, Jesse Torgerson

Major

College of Letters

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis explores the technology of medieval bookbinding through the experimental replication of several binding structures. I focus my study on eleventh and twelfth century manuscripts from England, Byzantium, and North Africa in order to understand Romanesque, Byzantine, and Islamic bindings, respectively. Based on descriptions from indirect source material and my own direct observations, I have produced three blank codices in each of the three styles, experiencing firsthand the technical processes required to bind the codex. Based on my personal experience and various historical sources, I ultimately seek to identify, interpret, and compare the functional characteristics and the culturally informed qualities embodied in the medieval binding structure.

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