Medieval Book production - binding

Medieval Book Production and the Crafts and Tools involved

Book production in the Middle Ages required the contribution of specialized craftsmen and artists: parchment-makers, scribes, painters and illuminators, binders, booksellers, etc. Each had to master specific tools of the trade.

In the Middle Ages, the manuscript book brought together a number of “artisans”: parchment-makers, scribes, painters and illuminators, binders, booksellers, etc. Each of those required unique tools. A double issue of the journal, Pecia, will be published in 2017 with the title: Le livre et l’écrit (volumes 19 and 20). Articles relating to these themes are sought.

Pecia is an international journal devoted to sources, mainly manuscripts, for the study of the cultural history of Western Medieval Society. Pecia is published by Brepols

Medieval culture cannot be understood without considering the manuscript book in all its forms. In the beginning, the monastic scriptoria and libraries connected to cathedrals exercised a de facto privilege. Later, however, the book became immersed in the life of the city; first with the foundation of large academic centres and their associated colleges, later the considerable growth of workshops furnished the laity with books galore. Around these innovative businesses developed, where the art of the illuminator came to symbolize the importance of the image in medieval society. This created the concept of “the collector” which formed a new audience for Bibles and Book of hours as well as romances and other handbooks. Apart from this new market, the Church continued to use books in the liturgical ministry – gospels, missals, hymnals, breviaries, but also in connections with funerals (obituaries). At the University, the masters established appropriate collections of law, theology, or medicine; the student has copied his book courses. Each manuscript is this single fact. Pecia promotes bibliographical studies of both production, dissemination and consumption of books by publishing contributions dedicated to the history of manuscripts and books in the Middle Ages. Each volume is organized around a central theme.


Jean-Luc Deuffic
Please send short abstracts before the 30th April 2016


Auckland Libraries, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Med. MS S.1588 Antiphonal, Italy, sixteenth century