From Manuscript to Print: the Evolution of the Medieval Book

Recycled Parchment
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Despite their reverence for Scripture, medieval readers did not worship the physical book– at least, book-owners had no qualms about tearing up an old Bible and reusing the parchment in bindings. The three fragments from a ninth-century copy of the Bible on display have been arranged according to their disposition in the binding of a book, where they were used as pastedowns and as backing in the spine. A leaf from another manuscript, which offers a chapter-by-chapter summary of the four Gospels, was used as a cover for a 16th-century printed book.

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[top] Bible fragments, Book of Numbers and Book of Daniel. France (Tours), ninth century. [bottom] Adam of Bremen. Historia Ecclesiastica. Leyden: Plantin Press, 1595.
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continue to Manuscript Facsimiles

the Sacred Word
Private Prayer
Leather and Chains
Medieval Music
How the Classics Survived
Manuscripts in the Age of Print
Evolution of the Book
Appetite for Destruction
Manuscript Facsimiles
Cornell's Medieval Books
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