From Manuscript to Print: the Evolution of the Medieval Book

Leather and Chains
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The study of the manuscript book as a physical object is known as codicology – from codex, a Latin word for "book," especially one whose pages can be turned, as distinguished from a scroll. Codicology is concerned with writing surfaces (parchment and paper) as well as the covers, stitching, etc. that make up a binding. Since bindings bore the brunt of wear and tear, the leaves that they protected have tended to outlast them; it is not uncommon for manuscripts to have been rebound several times. But, as the following examples show, a book’s original covers can preserve important clues to a text’s origin, owners, or how and where it was read over time.

continue to Medieval Music

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
Cornell University Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections Cornell University Library

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