Panizzi Lectures

Bindings as evidence of the culture and business of books

A series of three lectures by Nicholas Pickwoad

This series of lectures looks at different aspects of bookbinding to show how bindings can be interpreted and how physical evidence can offer a key not only to the history of individual books and bookbinding workshops, but also to a wider understanding of the function and value of books.

At 18.15 in the Conference Centre, British Library, Euston Road.

Lecture 1
Wednesday 26 November 2008

The Art of Bookbinding: bookbindings in art and art on a bookbinding

Explores through a number of specific examples how artists consciously used different types of binding in their paintings and sculptures with the intention of conveying specific meanings, and shows a rare sixteenth-century example of a work of art by an acknowledged artist used to decorate a binding.

Lecture 2
Tuesday 2 December 2008

The binder who was not Vincent Williamson: working habits and their use in identifying who actually bound the book

Finishing tools have long been used to identify where and by whom books may have been bound, but by looking at the structures of the same books, it is often possible to identify the different individuals who made the books within the same workshop.

Lecture 3
Wednesday 10 December 2008

On the deckle edge: indications of status and economy

When all paper was hand-made, the deckle edge was seen as an awkward inconvenience, to be removed to make books easier to handle and keep clean. The survival therefore of deckle edges on a bound textblock gives an important indication of the status of a binding within the booktrade, but their survival on other parts of a binding, such as endleaves and covers, can also offer clues to the economics of the book trade.

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The Lecturer

D. Phil at Oxford University (1978), trained with Roger Powell and established a conservation workshop in Norfolk, England in 1977. In 1978 became Adviser on Book Conservation to the National Trust and in 1983 was appointed conservation consultant to the Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Served on the Committee of the Institute of Paper Conservation (1977-88) and was editor of the Paper Conservator from 1984 to 1989. Lecturer on The History of European Bookbinding 1500-1800 at the annual Rare Book School in the U.S. 1985-2003. Elected Fellow of the I.I.C in 1988 and was 1989 Rosenbach Fellow in Bibliography at the University of Pennsylvania. Was Visiting Professor in the Columbia University School of Library Service, Conservation Education Program from 1990-92. From 1992-5 was Chief Conservator in the Harvard University Library. In 1993, gave the Homee Randeria Lecture in Bookbinding for the Bibliographical Society of Great Britain. Research fellow at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenb├╝ttel in 1996. In 1998 appointed Visiting Professor at the London Institute to lead the conservation project in the library of the monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai, Egypt (appointed full professor in 2005). Director of the newly-created research unit, Ligatus, in 2007.