Winter-Session Workshops at Columbia

Book with historical binding

Book with historical binding

In January, Saira Haqqi and I attended a two-week workshop at Columbia University as part of the Library and Archives program. The first week was an introduction to the study of the history of bookmaking, which considered the appearance and evolution of structured components such as sewing, endsheets, covering, and decoration. The workshop was taught by Columbia book conservators Alexis Hagadorn, Vasare Rastonis, and Jennifer Jarvis.

We were able to examine books from the amazing collection at Columbia, which epitomize important individual workshops, historical periods, and places of production.

Examination of historical books

Examination of historical books

During the second week we addressed the physical examination, description, and understanding of printed books and their illustrations. We were joined by students from the University of Delaware/Winterthur and the Buffalo conservation programs. The week was broken into three major themes: codicology, descriptive bibliography, and book-illustration processes. Jane Siegel, the Rare Book Librarian at Columbia University, taught a one-day workshop on book illustration processes. We had another session on Paleography with Dr. Consuleo Dutschke, the Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Columbia University. The final days of the workshop were dedicated to Descriptive Bibliography and were taught by Gerald W. Cloud, the Clark Librarian at UCLA. During the course of a lab exercise, we formulated format and collation and wrote standard descriptions of signings and pagination. The workshop gave us the framework upon which to build connoisseurship and historical understanding. It also gave us the opportunity to get to know the fellow Library and Archive students at the other programs



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