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early-books-msg - 11/25/16


Early books. Construction, size. References.


NOTE: See also the files: gold-leaf-msg, paper-msg, parchment-msg, quills-msg, calligraphy-msg, alphabets-msg, inks-msg, bookbinding-msg, scrpt-develop-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: sniderm at mcmail2.cis.McMaster.CA (Mike Snider)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Fallacies

Date: 12 Apr 1995 12:37:32 -0400

Organization: McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


The question was raised "are there standard book sizes"?


In medieval bookbinding, the pages are actually a packet of pages

achieved by multiple folding. Even very small books, there is one lovely

book of prayers that is just 5cm across, would have needed a much larger

"page" of parchment to fold into the "quire" or packet of pages. The

folded quire was then sewn down during the binding process and the folds

at top and bottom slit so the pages could be turned.


If this is a little hard to follow, try taking a piece of standard paper

and fold it once in half. Now fold this in half. You now have a quire of

four pages, or 8 if you count both sides of each. Some medieval quires

had even more folds, so the larger the original sheet of parchment, the

better off you would be, even for small books.


As for standard sizes, books seem to have run the entire scale. I hope

this will help explain, however, why large sheets were needed even for a

small finished product.


Elizabeth Cadfan



Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 08:23:00 +22300454 (EST)

From: karen at addl.purdue.edu (Karen Stegmeier)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: manuscript stuff


        I don't know if anyone else has already mentioned this or not

since I am not able to watch all the posting that closely, but

There is a wonderful supplier of period manuscript goods including

kits for making period inks, or period inks, vellum etc.

It is The Gabriel Guild.  I believe they are out of New York and somewhat

affiliated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  They are likely to be

at Pennsic.  I picked up a catalog last year when I bought some gold leaf

They have an Oak Gall Ink Recipe/kit that I am thinking about getting


-Isabeau Pferdebandiger



Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 19:38:10 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Re: sources of sources.


> RuddR at aol.com writes:

> << "Mass market production" in the Middle Ages is not to be confused

> with what we now understand by that term. >>

> I am not aware of any "commercial" type set-ups as are theorizing. The usual

> way a nobleman aquired books was to hire a calligrapher to copy a work from

> someone else's library, IIRC. At least this was the most common way of

> acquiring tomes during the Middle Ages. Of course, this was not the case after

> the printing press became established in Europe.

> IMO, there is no need to theorize a "commercial book source. Libraries

> were restricted to the wealthy and a collection of 10 works would have been a

> modest library. There is , however, evidence of an active

> calligrapher's/illuminator's type of service with famous people being paid

> decently to reproduce and/or create works. An example would be the Duc de

> Berry's Book of Hours.

> I agree with His Grace that there is no evidence that cooksbooks were produced

> commercially before 1450 C.E. The rarity of such manuscripts, along with the

> manner in which they were produced plus the social status of the houses extant

> copies originated from clearly point to special volumes created by specialized

> craftsmen.

> Ras


There was large scale commercial copying of texts in Northern Italy by the

13th Century.  At first, the copying was done primarily for the wealthier

families, but quickly moved down the social scale as cheap paper became

available. The Travels of Marco Polo became very popular in the trade

oriented city-states.


The first commercial print shop known opened its doors in Ravenna in 1289 as

part of this publishing industry.  This industry quickly adopted moveable

block type and Gutenberg's standardized metal type when they became



By the 16th Century, the printers of Northern Italy were supplying books to

much of Europe.


I know of no similar large scale copying industry elsewhere in Europe.  Most

secular scribes outside of Northern Italy seem to have made their living as

government clerks or secretaries to wealthy families.


Of the cookbooks, the only one I think may have been commercially copied is

Apicius, which was published about 1498, having been derived from two 9th

Century manuscripts which were apparently copied from a 4th Century






Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 02:53:11 -0700

From: Twcs <no1home at encompass.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Calligraphy Query


Melanie Wilson wrote:

> Secondly  as 13th C lady would one takes a book of hours around with one ?

> or a bible ie does anyone know if there were small versions that didn't

> require 2 chaps to carry them ? If so how big are they, how are they bound

> and what would be an example ? Most of the ones I have copies of are hugh.


I think this is a deeper question than it first appears.  To begin with, a 13th

Century lady would not be reading a book of hours.  For devotional purposes,

I believe a psalter would have been the book of choice.  To support this, I'm

going to quote myself, from a work in progress that hasn't reached a publishable

state yet.  Here goes:


In the 13th century, many illuminated manuscripts were still produced in

monastic scriptoriums.  This isn't to say that members of the laity never

illuminated, because they did.  Secular art in the 13th century is not an oxymoron. The 13th century saw the beginnings of what would explode into the humanistic revolution called the renaissance.  There are any number of reasons why this is so.


In the wake of the first three crusades, proto-nations began to expand their

power beyond the limits defined by feudal agreements, while market economies

grew and eventually superseded the agricultural economy of feudalism.(60)

The growing middle class fueled the growth of the great medieval universities of

Paris, Oxford and Bologna.  Students and the well-to-do created a demand for

secular manuscripts.  The future market for books of hours had not yet arrived;

that fad will not erupt until after the Black Death.  In the mid to late 13th

century, the fad was for psalters and bestiaries instead.(61)  Many of these were professionally illuminated, for sale to the wealthy.  The existence of secular illumination workshops is exposed by tax rolls and other municipal  records of the time.(62)


The high gothic was an age of conspicuous consumption, and ownership of a

handwritten, handpainted book is what conspicuous consumption demanded.


60. Braudel, F., 1972, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the

   Age of Phillip II, Harper & Row, New York, pp. 325-327.

Evergates, T. 1993, Feudal Society of Medieval France: Documents from the

   County of Champagne, pp. 74-75.

61. Dupont, J., and Gnudi, C., 1979, Gothic Painting, Rizzoli International

   Publications Inc., New York, pp. 19-22.

62. Ibid., p. 37.


As to size, small will be it.  Books like the Grandes Heures of the Duc de Berry

were rare, because few people could afford to use one whole piece of vellum

per page like that.  The idea was to stretch the vellum or parchement as far as


it would go, because it wasn't cheap to begin with.  Also, the most affordable

vellums and parchments come from smaller animals, like squirrels, goats, and sheep.

All of these factors combined meant that most books were actually quite small up

until paper breaks into the european markets somewhere around the 16th century

(the date varies a great deal, depending on where you were in Europe).  Also, I

suspect that our 13th century lady would have had her personal psalter bound in

what it known as a girdle binding, which would have hung off her belt - somewhat

the same concept as little kid mittens connected by a yarn so they won't be

misplaced. A book was quite a chunk of money - a girdle binding was protection


for one's investment.  (remember the Cadfeal mystery where a murder was

committed over a Book?!?)


A decent overview of the subject of book bindings (binding for personal use vs.

bindings in medieval libraries) is in Edith Diehl's _Book Binding_.  A nice

history of paper and other writing surfaces can be found in Dard Hunter's

_Papermaking_. Both are out as Dover Books.  The dissertation monster has blocked off access to my SCA books for the moment, so I regret can't get you isbn numbers tonight.





Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 09:03:36 -0400 (EDT)

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at tulgey.browser.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Calligraphy Query


On Sat, 19 Sep 1998, Gunnora Hallakarva wrote:

> >I'm thinking perhaps she might go off in the garden to reflect on the Bible

> >with book, Possible ?


Books of Hours were indeed constructed for that very purpose.


> I believe that people carried "missals" but at this time of the night I

> can't recall what was in a missal.  I will have to look at the sources in

> the morning.  I"ve also seen reference to small editions of just the Psalms

> carried for religious devotions.


Psalteries (books of psalms) were also used for this purpose. Modern

missals, with the order of the Mass in them, would probably not have been

available, but I am not sure whether 'missals' of some sort (with readings

for the day, etc.)  might have been available.


> There are several good scholarly works on the printings and translations of

> early Bibles available out there.  The various Protestant translations were

> made widely available very early as reading the Bible for oneself was such

> an importent aspect of early Protestanism.  In places where Protestants

> were persecuted, I would expect to see Bibles made deliberately small for

> concealment if necessary.  Thus this would be another avenue of research to

> look at.


Non-protestants, however, would probably have stuck with books of hours,

possibly gospels, psalteries, and occasionally lives of famous saints,

such as Mary Mother of Jesus.


Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Shire of Eisental; HERMS Cyclonus), mka Jennifer Heise

jenne at tulgey.browser.net



Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 21:28:31 -0700

From: Artor Hodgson <artor at efn.org>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Calligraphy Query



i know i'm getting my 2 cents worth in late.  the earliest book of

hours proper i found for my thesis was late 12th century and it was only

one and that is really early.  there were a few 13th century examples,

but a psalter is much more likely.

       a chemisette (chemise, girdle) binding, if you want to make one, is a

big square of fabric, much bigger than the book itself, with tassles,

knots, or beads at each corner.  the book is centered, so when you pick

up the corners it forms a little pouch.

       as a lady, you absolutely would carry your devotional book with you, at

least if you were going very far from home, as you would need it to

perform your various daily prayers.

in service to the dream


gwen (who hates the shift key:)



Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 08:38:42 -0500

From: "Helen Schultz (KHvS)" <meistern at netusa1.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Calligraphy Query


> AS for the Girdle hanger/chemisette (chemise, girdle) binding device has

> anyone got a online pic ref for one or a picture they could send me please?

> Mel


Yes, Mel, go to the Labyrinth page at Georgetown University site... I think

it may have a link to one... but for the life of me I cannot remember which

one. I know I have seen a copy of a chemise binding at one of the sites off

this page.




Meisterin Katarina Helene von Schoenborn, OL (for C&I)



Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 04:31:57 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Jack C. Thompson" <tcl at teleport.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Islamic traveling pen cases/inkwells


>I am curious about Islamic calligraphy and scribal arts but haven't delved

>too deeply into research yet.


I don't know of any suppliers of pen cases, etc., but here are a couple

of books you might enjoy reading.


The first item is a translation of ibn Badis' manuscript from 1025 A.D.

and is about making ink & paper, and includes a later manuscript (1619 A.D.)

about bookbinding.


Martin Levey, "Mediaeval Arabic Bookmaking and its Relation to Early

Chemistry and Pharmacology" in: _Transactions of the American Philosophical

Society, New Series, Vol. 52, Part 4, 1962.


And then:


Mohamed A. Hussein, _Origins of the Book: from Papyrus to Codex_ 1970.


Good color plates of Arabic calligraphy and bookbinding.


I have another book with good examples of Arabic calligraphy in combination

with paper marbling, but can't find it right now.




Jack C. Thompson

Thompson Conservation Laboratory

503/735-3942 (voice/fax)




From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Date: February 2, 2005 8:49:23 PM CST

To: My Work Mail <jahb at lehigh.edu>, Known World Librarians <SCA-Librarians at lists.gallowglass.org>, SCA Forum for Research in Medieval and Renaissance Re-enactment <SCA-UNIVERSITAS at LIST.UVM.EDU>, Arts and Sciences in the SCA <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>

Cc: Subject: [Sca-librarians] [tmr-l at wmich.edu:Crick/Walsham (eds), Uses of Script and Print (Erler)]


FYI, from:


From: The Medieval Review <tmr-l at wmich.edu>

Subject: TMR 05.01.36 Crick/Walsham (eds), Uses of Script and Print (Erler)


Crick, Julia and Alexandra Walsham, eds. "The Uses of Script and Print,

1300-1700". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. 298.

$70.00 (hb). ISBN: 0-521-81063-9.


   Reviewed by Mary Erler

        Fordham University


Two earlier books cast their long shadows over this new volume. Michael

Clanchy's "From Memory to Written Record, England 1066 to 1307", its second

edition published a decade ago, is still immensely powerful, right down

to the minutiae of its specific illustrations of various reading

practices--still the ones revived and re-cited to prove this or that

point, as we see often in this volume. The introduction to "The Uses

of Script and Print", while summarizing previous work on the

transition between these modes, has its own position, as we might

expect: that writing and printing have overlapping, as well as

separate, histories--and indeed that position, which emphasizes the

parallels rather than the disjunctions between the two worlds,

represents the new orthodoxy.


In adopting this perspective the volume necessarily challenges its

other great predecessor, Elizabeth Eisenstein's "The Printing Press

as an Agent of Change" (1980), whose view, although nuanced and

complex, emphasized the radical differences between a manuscript

culture and a print one. Eisenstein's work now receives a more mixed

response, though many elements are still cited deferentially and even

the thesis is still invoked at various points in this volume.


The introduction's central point is that manuscript use continues vital

long after the arrival of print. This is not a new observation: what is

new is the analysis of why manuscripts endured and for whom they filled

a need. This portion of the introduction is fascinating and important

to discussion of the script/print divide. The introduction is not quite

so successful in presenting a considered overview of the situation. For

instance the editors note the way print "served to nourish and

reinvigorate unwritten tradition," i.e. orality (17), but they later

say "wisdom transmitted by word of mouth was increasingly dismissed as

untrustworthy and vulgar" (21)--and these contrasting points of view

are not adequately distinguished in terms of period, nor differentiated

in terms of their authors. Likewise, although the point is early made

that the print medium was not necessarily well-regarded (20), with

examples from sixteenth-century Italy and the English Civil War, a page

later we are told that "over time?printing did come to carry a kind of

imprimatur," with an example from early nineteenth-century poet John

Clare--a conclusion that seems somewhat facile and inadequately



Like the introduction, Margaret Aston's epilogue offers an overview of

the volume's themes, though her finale gives a richer and more personal

response which finds particular stimulus in the subjects of talk, of

sermons, and of community reading. Aston's summing-up of script and

print's relation as demonstrating "a lasting permeability?throughout

the period" seems right, but raises the question how far the period

extends. Perhaps such interpenetration of script and print might obtain

as late as the nineteenth century. Her phrase describing the

situation--interaction rather than impact--will be recalled in pursuing

further work.


The volume is extremely interested in the relation of forms of

communication, manuscript and print, to forms of religion, traditional

and reformed. Half of the twelve essays examine this large topic, both

before and after the reformation. Before considering these essays,

however, we might look at the book's first contribution, appropriately

placed because so widely relevant to all the volume's concerns. This is

Felicity Riddy's answer to the question "How was publication done

before printing?" She summarizes what we know--not always enough for

firm conclusions--and offers a stimulating re-thinking, suggesting we

define publication in its Middle English sense as "making known" rather

than "issuing for sale." Requiring a discursive instead of a spatial

publicness, such publication stresses the importance of talk; indeed it

defines publication as being talked about. Similarly fruitful is

Riddy's thinking on the responsibilities of the book's patron. Though

some medieval dedications seem to imply that this important figure had

the burden of disseminating the text, Riddy instead sees the book as an

element in gift-exchange, the author presenting the work in return for

expected rewards and favors. This reading seems especially plausible in

light of the frequency with which inscriptions identify personal gift

books as presented in exchange for prayers. The book, in other words,

was often a counter in various sorts of transfer.


All the essays having to do with religion, with one exception, focus on

the print half of the script/print continuum. This exception is David

d'Avray's reiteration of the argument found in his 2001 book,

"Medieval Marriage Sermons", that substantive scribal changes to

sermon texts argue against commercial scribes and for friars copying

for themselves, and that the loss rate for medieval manuscripts,

particularly sermons, was huge. James Clark's intriguing contribution

traces the aborted beginnings of English Benedictine printing, and asks

what might have happened if the Dissolution had not intervened in 1539.

Though in the treatment of printing at St. Albans there are some

discrepancies with the account given by STC, the essay is successful in

drawing attention to this overlooked yet significant element in English

printing history. Indeed, given another decade of life, monastic

printing might have made its contribution to religious history as well.

The 1536 confutation of John Frith printed at St. Albans, for instance,

hints at such an outcome.


The rest of the essays treating religion and print are firmly

post-Reformation. Alexandra Walsham provides a survey of dissenting

books from the Lollards though the seventeenth century (the brevity of

the Catholic list vs. the Protestant one is notable). The second half

of her essay questions the classic linkage of Protestantism and print

(a caveat found elsewhere in the book), suggesting that print was seen

as useful in times of persecution or in the absence of a preacher, but

was judged second-best to the oral delivery of the word.


If this essay stresses the importance of the oral over the printed

word, Thomas Freeman's contribution, on the scribal culture of the

Marian martyrs, emphasizes the importance of writing over print to

controversialists on the other side of the fence, for instance in

waging internecine doctrinal disputes or correcting texts before

printing. Eisenstein's ideas about the stability of print, challenged

elsewhere, are influential here and in the following essay, Ann

Hughes', where Eisenstein's thesis on the power of print to forge

"impersonal communities linked by ideology" is invoked to illustrate

the intermingling of speech, manuscript and print around the

seventeenth-century Presbyterian text "Gangraena". Scott

Mandelbrote examines the relative weight given to manuscript and to

print sources in establishing post-Reformation printed editions of the

bible, concluding, surprisingly, that manuscript sources were not

always preferred and in fact that "reverence for traditions embodied in

print" to a large extent displaced the authority of manuscript.

Mandelbrote's lucid essay shows how first one, then the other form of

writing was dominant, concluding that, "almost paradoxically,

manuscripts and their histories retained an ability to challenge and

undermine, as well as to uphold, [scriptural] traditions that were

supported by print" (153).


Among the remaining essays, those whose focus is not religious, perhaps

the most widely useful is Anthony Musson's contribution on law and

text. It asks about the effect of the movement from oral to written law

in the late Middle Ages, and in doing so, gives a brief clear history

of the evolution of legal practice and the development of legal texts.

The interaction between oral and written forms of law is explored and

the question of who had access to law is entertained. At every point

Musson is synthesizing the work of numerous others to offer his

magisterial overview, a piece of work that, with its frequent

definition of terms, is bound to be illuminating to nonspecialists.


Equally memorable, though for its originality rather than its synthetic

power, is Christopher Marsh's call for acknowledgement of ballads as

song, and his demonstration of the evocative force of tunes, containing

"a hidden code of meanings and associations" (176). A contribution that

challenges, just slightly, Michael Clanchy's classifications is Andrew

Butcher's thoughtful and delicate exploration of the work of town

clerks as historians. Using anthropology and linguistics, Butcher sees

these histories or administrative writings, usually viewed as part of

the development of "practical literacy," as instead expressing the

community to itself. Not personal, yet incorporating individuals, these

town chronicles were the product of "fellow speakers engaged with one

another and with a local speech community, even a speech/text

community"--a term that describes, as well, Felicity Riddy's account of

the readers and talkers around Julian of Norwich.


Jonathan Barry's analysis of forms of communication--script, print,

speech--in Bristol from 1640 to 1714 is so firmly and intentionally

subordinated to a presentation of the local context that produced these

forms that what emerges is simply an essay on the city's history. Julia

Crick's essay, a byproduct of her forthcoming edition of Anglo-Saxon

charters, looks at the practice of seventeenth-century editors of these

records, and hence at their attitudes toward the past revealed in their

use of sources, but the evidence is tortuously involved and in the end,

serves only to illustrate the relative interchangeability of manuscript

and print sources.


"The Uses of Script and Print, 1300-1700" grew out of a conference

held at the University of Exeter in April 2000. Unlike many collections

of conference proceedings, this collection's success rate, through its

individual essays, is high, and the introduction's framing of the

issues in current scholarship, as well as its presentation of those

issues in historical context, is valuable. Christopher Marsh calls the

process "that grand, never-ending transition from a culture centered on

orality and aurality?towards one centered more on literacy?"(172). This

book constitutes a lively and judicious marker of where we are now in

reflecting on the differences between writing and print, and at the

same time does much to make that reflection both more full and more




Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2005 20:46:20 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] OT mail question

To: "Bill Fisher" <liamfisher at gmail.com>,       "Cooks within the SCA"

        <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Gutenberg's claim to fame really isn't moveable type.  It's die cast metal

type with a standardized typeface.


Just to clarify, Gutenberg is often given credit for moveable type, but it

was in use a half century earlier in Korea.  Also, there is some debate as

to whether Laurens Janzoon Koster (Holland) or Parnfilo Castaldi (Italy)

were using moveable type before Gutenberg.




> Damn Gutenberg and his movable type!

> Cadoc



Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 05:54:25 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] moveable type

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> Is there any indication in your reading of how Gutenberg learned of

> moveable type?

> Cordelia Tose


There is no evidence that Gutenberg's moveable type was anything other than

an independent invention.  There is no way to really tell where he got his

ideas, because very little is known of his life.


No matter how he got the idea, it was the making standardized type of die

cast metal that made the idea great. When I first learned to set type in my

uncle's shop some 500 years after Gutenberg, we were using the same kind of

lead type with one exception, a groove along the bottom side so you could

tell at a glance if you were setting the type properly.





Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 23:36:41 -0500

From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] moveable type

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


According to a book that I read, Gutenberg's discovery was not

movable type as such, so much as his method using masters from which

the type was cast.  Type wears out, and you need many copies of each

letter.  His invention made printing practical, by letting him carve

each letter once, and cast copies as needed.





Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 22:11:25 -0500

From: "Martin G. Diehl" <mdiehl at nac.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] moveable type

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Terry Decker wrote:

> ranvaig at columbus.rr.com wrote:


>> According to a book that I read, Gutenberg's discovery

>> was not movable type as such, so much as his method

>> using masters from which the type was cast.

> Die cast type

>> Type wears out, and you need many copies of each

>> letter.  His invention made printing practical, by

>> letting him carve each letter once, and cast copies

>> as needed.


>> Ranvaig

> Standardized type face.  Which, BTW, originally was

> script to give the feel of reading a manuscript.


I recall reading that Gutenberg's 'alphabet' had a rather

large number of 'letters'.  I had my buddy Google help me

wander around to get a better answer than a vague memory.


(I don't guarantee this to be correct)


        Gutenberg had to dealt with more than 300 letters,

        because the Gothic writing used a lot of ornamented

        strokes and also a great number of ligatures [that

        is the connection two nearby letters into one

        graphical sign].


> Bear







Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 07:43:05 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] moveable type

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> Gutenberg had to dealt with more than 300 letters,

> because the Gothic writing used a lot of ornamented

> strokes and also a great number of ligatures [that

> is the connection two nearby letters into one

> graphical sign].

> Vincenzo


Obviously he was not the inventor of the California case.  300 letters

wouldn't fit.


Now that's an obscure reference.  In case you're interested in the

California job case, the tray that holds a font of type for a printer,

here's a site with a little of the history and yes, a reference to

Gutenberg's involvement with type cases:




And if you drop your case, you pie your type.  Shake and no-bake cookery.

Been there.  Done that.  Embarassing.





Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 09:05:44 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] moveable type

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Back in 2000-2001, there were articles in the Times and other places about

researchers at Princeton regarding Gutenberg and the invention of

movable type. There's a lot more to it than the original articles suggested.

See the open2.net section for part of the more recent material.








There was a BBC program on it but I don't recall it ever having aired in

the US--

What did Gutenberg Invent?




The history of printing, typography, and early printed books (as well as the bibliography of same) have lost  their appeal over the years as librarians and archivists have moved more into the information sciences. Most new librarians these days never take a course in the history of the book; they take courses in the history of the internet...





Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2000 11:28:04 -0600

From: Rikki Mitman <esmitman at ghg.net>

To: "'sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu'" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: FW: "The Making of a Renaissance Book" redivivus  


This is from the book arts list; I thought some here might be interested.  I'm not on any calligraphy or illumination lists; if you are, you might want to post it there, too.  


Mistress Teleri ferch Pawl  


-----Original Message-----  

Subject:     "The Making of a Renaissance Book" redivivus  


[This message is being sent to the Book-Arts-L, ExLibris, and SHARP lists]  


The Book Arts Press (BAP) is pleased to announce that copies of the classic "The Making of a Renaissance Book," are again available in videotape.


"The Making of a Renaissance Book" is the best-known and most successful film ever made on a history-of-books-and-printing subject. Shot on location in Antwerp in 1969 at the Plantin-Moretus Museum, the 22-minute black-and-white 16mm film explains hand punch-cutting and copper matrix-making, type casting and dressing, composition and proof-correction, imposition, printing on the wooden common press, and much more.


The original film, produced and distributed by the American Friends  of the Plantin-Moretus Museum, was transferred (we believe in the 1980s) to videotape, but copies have not been available for a number of years. Through the kindness of the AFPMM and Roderick Stinehour, all rights to the work have now been transferred to the BAP.


We have made a new transfer from a clean copy of the original film; the resulting videotape has notably better audio than the earlier transfer, and cleaner and more stable video. (If you already have a copy of the old video transfer, however, you may not wish to replace it; the new transfer is better than the old one, but not dramatically so.)


VHS copies of "The Making of a Renaissance Book" are available from the Book Arts Press at the address given below for $50 plus postage. Unless otherwise specified, copies shipped will be NTSC (the North American standard), but we can provide PAL copies on demand.  


Terry Belanger  :  University Professor  :   University of Virginia Book Arts Press : 114 Alderman Library : Charlottesville, VA  22903

Tel: 804/924-8851   FAX: 804/924-8824  email: belanger at virginia.edu

             URL: http://www.virginia.edu/oldbooks/  



Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2004 11:27:46 -0700 (PDT)

From: Anna Troy <owly3 at yahoo.se>

Subject: [SCA-AS] Danish Girdle book

To: Arts and Sciences in the SCA <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>,

        scribes <scribes at castle.org>


For all you bookbinder out there here's a couple of

good photos of a 1490's girdle book.



Anna de Byxe



Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2012 15:40:47 +1100

From: Raymond Wickham <insidious565 at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Lochac] portal for the study of Cyrillic and Glagolitic

        manuscripts and early printed books

To: <lochac at lochac.sca.org>






Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2012 07:40:05 -0400

From: Garth Groff <ggg9y at virginia.edu>

To: isenfir at virginia.edu, atlantia at atlantia.sca.org

Subject: [MR] BBC: Dirty Books From the Middle Ages


The BBC recently posted this interesting piece about "dirty books". No,

they're not talking about THOSE dirty books, just how the accumulated

grime on old books shows which pages were read most often. They are

particularly talking about prayer books, which can tell us a lot about

the devotional habits of their owners through a very cool bit of

scientific investigation.




Lord Mungo Napier, Shire of Isenfir's Unofficial Librarian



From: Zebee Johnstone <zebeej at gmail.com>

Date: January 7, 2015 at 3:59:38 AM CST

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list" <lochac at lochac.sca.org>

Subject: [Lochac] Online course about medieval books


Khan Academy



The production of a manuscript was a long, complex and expensive

process. It involved making parchment from animal skin, pricking and

ruling hundreds of pages, and writing down long texts by hand, one

letter at the time. When the binding was finally added, an object was

born that weighed several kilos and could cost as much as a car today.


This tutorial discusses how books were used in medieval times. After a

manuscript was produced it came into circulation in a monastery,

became part of a private library, or ended up in the hands of a

student. Readers' interactions with books left physical traces, such

as wear-and-tear, bookmarks, corrections and marginal notes. They

reflect how the book was handled, what was deemed important

information, and how that information was used.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org