Programme information

This summer, the research group for Book and Manuscript Studies and the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam will be organising the fifth summer school on the history of the book.
Participants can select from an ‘à la carte’ programme. The various courses, workshops and guided tours are ideal for anyone interested in the history of the book: researchers, students, library and museum staff and any other aficionados of books and manuscripts, libraries and antiquarian bookshops.

Most of the courses are in Dutch. See here for the full programme.


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The English-taught course on bookbinding will follow European bookbinding from the end of the Middle Ages to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, using the bindings themselves to illustrate the aims and intentions of the binding trade. A large part of the course will be devoted to the identification of both broad and detailed distinctions within the larger groups of plain commercial bindings and the possibilities of identifying the work of different countries, cities, even workshops without reference to finishing tools. The identification and significance of the different materials used in bookbinding will be examined, as well as the classification of bookbindings by structural type, and how these types developed through the three centuries covered by the course. The development of binding decoration will be touched on, but will not form a major part of the discussion.

During the course, actual examples of bindings are shown and discussed in separate sessions. The students are expected to have a good knowledge of bookbinding terms and a basic knowledge of the history of book production. The purpose of the course is to encourage an awareness of the possibilities latent in the detailed study of bookbindings and is thus aimed at all those handling books bound in this period, but it has particular relevance for all those involved in the repair and conservation of such materials.

Published by  UvA Summer School

19 June 2017