Les Ans du Roi – from manuscript originals to printed copies

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With the invention of the printing press and the loose type setting of Gutenberg human communication entered a new era. Manuscripts became either obsolete or lived on in multiple printed copies. The book now not only held information but became a vehicle of spreading it and became instrumental in a new dynamic world.
This posed a new challenge to bookbinders who had to adapt and even compromise their bindings to keep up the new reality of mass communication made possible by the printing press
‘Les Ans du Roi’ is a typical example of a book from this revolutionary era, not bound to sit finely on a shelf, but bound to communicate its content to the wider world.
Being a conservator allows me to look under the ‘bonnet’ of a book and see how this period in history has changed the book too.

Book archaeology

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‘You cannot write a history of bookbinding by just studying the decorated fine bindings as you cannot write a history on humanity by just studying the ascendancy.’Dr Nicholas Pickwoad Over the three centuries no comprehensive history of bookbinding has been … Read More

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