by Jack Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 15, 2014 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on April 15, 2014.
Versions of the following have appeared online regularly, since 1992, as a feature of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which is distributed for free via email every month except August. Ejournal subscriptions may be obtained via email request to: email@example.com
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For the 11th edition of its Book History Workshop, the Lyon-based Institut d'histoire du livre is offering four advanced courses in the fields of book and printing history, taught by Rosamond McKitterick, James Mosley, Dominique Varry and François Vinourd, as follows:
Books, script and libraries in early medieval Europe: emulation, innovation and the transmission of knowledge. This course will explore the major developments in book production from late antiquity to the Carolingian period in their cultural and historical context.
One theme will be the question of continuities in book production from the Roman period. Another will be the new developments in script, codicology and decoration. A third theme is the creation of new types of books to accommodate changes in education and intellectual culture and the consolidation of Christianity in Western Europe. The fourth major topic will be the preservation and transmission of knowledge and the creation of libraries from antiquity and the early Christian era to the Carolingian period, with special reference to the contribution Lyon and its scholars (Leidrad, Florus Agobard) made to the phenomenon known as the Carolingian Renaissance.
The classes will be conducted with the aid of the original early medieval manuscripts in the exceptionally important collections of Lyon itself. This study will also be supported by digital images and facsimiles to illustrate each class. There will be two full afternoon sessions in the Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon. The Lyon manuscripts provide a rare opportunity to explore the development of knowledge and cultural and intellectual interests in early medieval Lyon, not least the autograph manuscripts of the scholars of Carolingian Lyon.
Rosamond McKitterick is Professor of Medieval History in the University of Cambridge, Fellow and Vice-Master of Sidney Sussex College, and has published on literacy, manuscript transmission, perceptions of the past, historical writing and political culture in the early Middle Ages. Her current interests are the migration of ideas and transmission of knowledge in the early Middle Ages, the implications and impact of the historical and legal texts produced during the 6th and 7th centuries in Rome and Rome's transformation into a Christian city.
She received the degrees of M.A., Ph.D., and Litt.D. from the University of Cambridge and studied Palæography in Munich. She has held the Chair in Medieval History in the University of Cambridge since 1999, after having been awarded a Personal Chair in 1997. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce, a Korrespondierendes Mitglied of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica and of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and Corresponding Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. She has taught summer schools and master classes in Palæography and Codicology in Amsterdam, Leiden, Glasgow, Rome, London and Cambridge. She was awarded the Dr A.H. Heineken International Prize for History by the Royal Dutch Academy in 2010.
This course explores the rich diversity of Oriental bookbindings (Coptic, Ethiopian, Syria, Islamic, Byzantine, Armenian) through the techniques and the methods used. Bindings can be differentiated by fabrication techniques, the earliest going back to the Late Antiquity. Different types of bindings will be compared on a historical basis with analyses of their fabrication techniques and their wider influence. Attention will also be given to Islamic bindings which are particularly present in this geographical zone but whose production differs in several points from other oriental bindings.
It is important to be able to identify the binding of a given manuscript, for the choice of the binding is not random: rather it provides us with evidence of a cultural environment. Manuscripts are complex units. Their most exterior element -- the binding -- can have a close relationship not only with the contents of the text block, but also with certain cultural trends concerning textual traditions. The fact that a manuscript is protected by a Syriac, Byzantine or some other form of binding is far from insignificant. Its description provides precious information which can be of great use to the historian.
The course offers a classification of Oriental bindings intended to help in identifying the characteristics of each type in terms of materials, techniques and decoration. Abundantly illustrated, it also includes a presentation of current analytical tools, and explanations of description methods including practical sessions. The study of models of sewing methods and headbands will help students understand fully the different stages of fabrication.
François Vinourd studied at the École du Louvre and at the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs. He heads the restoration department of the Centre de Conservation du livre in Arles since 1988. He has been on-mission in various libraries in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, the Balkans, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. In collaboration with Christian Förstel and Dominique Grosdidier, he is currently preparing a catalog of the Byzantine bindings of the French National Library as well as a catalog of the Syriac bindings in the collections of the Patriarchal Library of the Syro-Catholic Church of Charfet (Lebanon) with the librarian Youssef Dergham.
The largely Anglo-Saxon discipline of analytical bibliography offers an archaeology of the printed book. The course offers a practical introduction to the analysis and description of documents typeset by hand and printed on the common press before 1800. The aim is to familiarize students, already trained in physical bibliography, with the many ways in which books reveal how they were produced, who printed them, and where.
Physical bibliography is an indispensable tool for scholarly editors of rare books, for historians who need to check the validity of printed sources, and for librarians and collectors requiring a full understanding of the books in their collections. It provides the means of reconstituting the genealogy of successive editions of a given text, of identifying forgeries and pirate editions published under false imprints in order to circumvent the censors, and of identifying "manipulations" by unscrupulous booksellers, and fakes which have been put on the market at various times.
Topics include: the importance of comparing different copies of the same book (variants, press corrections, manuscript or xylographic corrections, cancels, reprintings); the detection of counterfeit copies, false imprints and forgeries; the identification of typical booking styles (common bindings and provenances).
The course is in French.
Dominique Varry is agrégé d'histoire and professor of book history, library history and physical bibliography at the ENSSIB (Lyon) where he trains French librarians. Between 1983 and 1989, he was researcher at the Direction du livre et de la lecture (Ministry of Culture). From 2004 to 2009 he taught physical bibliography at the École pratique des hautes études (Paris). His doctoral dissertation (Sorbonne 1986) dealt with confiscated libraries under the French Revolution. He was the editor of volume 3 of Histoire des bibliothèques françaises (1991, second edition 2009) and has published many other books. He is the secretary of the journal Histoire et civilisation du livre and is currently working on the history of printing and of the book-trade in Lyon in the 18th century, and especially on false foreign imprints used by Lyon printers.
Some knowledge of printing type is essential in describing printed materials, and it can be of vital importance in assigning a reliable date and a place to documents in which these details are either absent or misleading. The object of this course is to trace the development of letterforms from the period of the invention of printing until its mechanization in the early 19th century.
It will concentrate on the development of the design of printing types, and it will look at the relationship between letters used in other media (writing, sculpture and architecture), and explore the cultural, technical and economic factors that have had an influence on their development.
The course offers a broad historical overview under the following headings: gothic hands, gothic types, the revival of "antique" capitals in Italy, the humanistic script and early roman and italic types, the "Aldine" roman type in 16th-century France, the "Dutch taste" (goût hollandois) in the 17th century, the "chancery cursive" hand (cancellaresca corsiva) and the calligraphic revolution of the later 16th to 18th centuries, new types of the 18th century in France, Britain and Italy, and the commercial types of the first decades of the 19th century.
There will also be sessions in which original artifacts and documents will be examined. The collections of the City Library, Lyon, and the Museum of Printing provide original documents for study.
The course includes a session on the traditional process of making types with a punch, matrix and mould, with a demonstration of casting type by hand. Nelly Gable, punch-cutter at the Imprimerie Nationale will give this demonstration.
Course in English with the possibility of discussion in both English and French.
James Mosley is a professor in the Department of Typography & Graphic communication at the University of Reading (UK). He was was for many years librarian of the St Bride Library in London. As a student he worked at the Water Lane Press in Cambridge, the bibliographical workshop of Philip Gaskell, and he had brief practical experience at a type foundry in London. He has written and lectured extensively on the history of European and English typography. He curated the exhibition Le romain du roi: la typographie au service de l'état at the Musée de l'imprimerie in 2002 and contributed to its catalog. He added an introduction and notes to the facsimile edition of Fournier le jeune, Manuel typographique (1764) and of its English translation by Harry Carter that was published in 1995. His study of the revival of the sans-serif letter, The Nymph and the Grot (1999) was published to accompany an exhibition at the Soane Museum, London.
His personal blog, with the title Typefoundry: documents for the history of type and letterforms (http://typefoundry.blogspot.co.uk/) comprises a series of essays on these topics.
Course fees : 500 euros for one course (4 days), lunch meals included.
Information/registration : email@example.com
Institut d'histoire du livre brings together two major rare book and printing collections and three teaching and research establishments closely involved in the history of printing and the book:
As posted online by,
Ms. Sheza Moledina, workshop coordinator
Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon
-- with course-description details, and some alterations including the addition of a few américanisms, by me [JK].
Have a very nice time in Lyon: remember to eat well, and often -- and remember the chocolate!
Jack Kessler, firstname.lastname@example.org
FYI France (sm)(tm) e-journal ISSN 1071-5916 * | FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic | journal published since 1992 as a small-scale, | personal experiment, in the creation of large- | scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler. / \ Any material written by me which appears in ----- FYI France may be copied and used by anyone for // \\ any good purpose, so long as, a) they give me --------- credit and show my email address, and, b) it // \\ isn't going to make them money: if it is going to make them money, they must get my permission in advance, and share some of the money which they get with me. Use of material written by others requires their permission. FYI France archives may be found on the Internet at http://listserv.uh.edu/archives/pacs-l.html (PACS-L archive), or http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Collections/FYIFrance/, or http://www.fyifrance.com. Suggestions, reactions, criticisms, praise, and poison-pen letters all gratefully received at email@example.com . Copyright 1992- , by Jack Kessler, all rights reserved except as indicated above.
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