About Ligatus

Ligatus introduction
The Ligatus Research Unit has created a unique environment, in which the study of the history of bookbinding and the conservation of books is combined with research into modern digital data analysis and collection management tools. This is the first time that bookbinding and book conservation have been made the focus of a research unit and the first time also, therefore, that it has been combined with advanced data analysis. It is intended that Ligatus will provide a central resource for these two subjects and enhance their practice through the use of current digital technologies.

Ligatus: Meaning “bound” or “tied” in Latin.
The name indicates the main subject area of the Centre, which is the study of the history of bookbinding, but also the concept of “binding” (structure) in current digital data management systems, highlighting the technological side of the Unit.

To produce internationally recognised research in the field of book history and conservation.

To produce a digital resource directly relevant to the history of bookbinding and conservation, delivering a unique mass of data to the wider research community, making Ligatus and UAL a central reference point for the study of historic bookbindings and their conservation. This resource will capture, process and deliver not only details of surviving historic bookbindings but also hitherto unpublished information contributed by experienced professionals and pioneers in the field currently held in personal archives and libraries around the world.

To develop these resources and expand research possibilities in the field of the history of bookbinding, book conservation and digital data structuring for the humanities within the wider academic world. This will be made possible by extending the Unit’s activities to initiate relevant research projects and most importantly to offer opportunities for further PhD research. It is one of the objective of Ligatus to bring the history of bookbinding into the wider bibliographical world, so that the potential of research into the history of bookbinding to enhance our understanding of the History of the Book is better understood and utilized.

Ligatus aims to develop tools and resources that will transform the documentation and study of library collections and archival material. An essential part of this process is the collaboration with other institutions and research groups, some of which are listed here:

  • School of Advanced Study, University of London.
  • Oxford (Patalogia), Centre for the Study of the Book, Bodleian Library, Oxford University.
  • Cambridge (Scriptorium), Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Online).
  • Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece.
  • Institute of Byzantine Research in Athens, Greece.
  • International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC).
  • Institute of Conservation (ICON).

See here for a full list of projects.

Ligatus Research Centre
CCW Graduate School
University of the Arts London
16 John Islip Street
London SW1P 4JU

+44 (0) 20 7514 6432