Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books, A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, by Roberts and Etherington
The Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) Bookbinders is a group of staff members from the conservation labs of UNC, NC State and Duke University libraries. Membership to the group is by invitation only.
We meet monthly to research and recreate historic book structures. These pages represent the models made for the DUL Verne and Tanya Roberts Conservation Lab reference collection. For more information contact the DUL Collections Conservator at 919-660-5906.
Dating from the 4th Century C.E. the Ethiopic Binding, also called Coptic Binding, is the first multi-section binding known to exist. It was commonly used until the Middle Ages, but similar bindings are found through the 19th Century C.E. The text blocks were made of papyrus or parchment, however our model uses paper. The boards are sewn directly onto the textblock. These books were commonly covered with leather and carried in a leather case called a Mahdar. This model is left un-covered so you can see the sewing structure. An in-depth discussion of the history of these bindings can be found in J.A. Szirmai's "Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding."
Model by Beth Doyle, 2009.
Coptic bindings by class members.
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