Ligatus projects

Language of Bindings

A reference tool for the terminology of pre-industrial bookbinding. The thesaurus is based on SKOS.

Linked Conservation Data

Linked Conservation Data is a new project funded by the UK’s Arts & Humanities Research Council on Conservation Documentation and Linked Data.

The Clarkson Slide Archive

Dr Christopher Clarkson was a leading authority in medieval bookbinding. The aim of this project is to digitize his slides and create associated metadata for each.


Artivity is a project in partnership with Semiodesk which aims to produce a tool for capturing contextual data produced during the creative process of artists and designers while working on a computer.

Digitisation of slide collections of historic bookbinding

Ligatus has plans to become the repository for an unrivalled collection of materials relating to the history of bookbinding donated by key scholars who have worked internationally with major public and private collections. Wherever possible, these images will be indexed according to the thesaurus terms made available on the Ligatus website.

Norwich Cathedral Library

Beside occasionally teaching at the Norwich Cathedral Library, Prof. Nicholas Pickwoad also led a detailed survey of historic bindings of the books from the library collection. The survey was carried out by his conservation students from Camberwell College of Arts. The information gathered during the survey was entered into a detailed, especially designed database.

Lambeth Palace Library - Greek Manuscript Collection

Ligatus has been involved in Greek Manuscript Collection of Lambeth Palace Library Cataloguing Project with Prof. Pickwoad serving on the Board of the Project.

The Greek Manuscript Collection consists of fifty-three Greek codices acquired by the Library since its founding as a public library in 1610. The manuscripts are dated between the tenth and seventeenth centuries. The full catalogue of the collection is currently being prepared by Dr. Christopher Wright and Maria Argyrou under the guidance of Dr Dendrinos.

Lambeth Palace Library - teaching

Ligatus has been cooperating with the Lambeth Palace Library on many levels. Prof. Pickwoad taught a five day course on European Bookbinding 1450-1830 which attracted book conservators from all over the world. He shared his broad knowledge of bookbindings and their structure with other specialists of book conservation as well as librarians.

Sir John Soane Museum - Book Survey

With thanks to funding from the Eileen Harris Book Conservation Fund, Professor Nicholas Pickwoad together with three research assistants were able to carry out a thorough review of the conservation and accommodation of the books in Soane’s Library, which will enable the Museum to make a start on its programme of conserving Soane’s collection of books. It is the first full conservation survey of all of the 7,000 bound volumes in the library.

Bookbinding Glossary

The main objective of this project is the compilation of a definitive bilingual glossary to describe Byzantine/Greek bookbindings by combining both the existing partial and conflicting terminologies and the new terms necessitated by the St. Catherine's library survey.

Decorated papers

Ligatus, in collaboration with specialists in the field, is currently developing a digital tool for identifying decorated papers. This project aims to compile a database of described and photographed decorated papers in order to provide a reference collection and a tool to assist any user (expert or non-specialist) in the identification and recording of decorated papers.

Bookbinding bibliography

A comprehensive bibliography about historic bookbinding and book conservation including all Ligatus publications.

Ligatus summer school

Summer school courses on the history of bookbinding and on the identification and documentation of binding structures.

IIC website

Website development and classification of content for the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Saint Catherine's Project

The monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai, Egypt, holds a unique library collection. Ligatus is offering conservation support through the St. Catherine's Project.

Archive as Event

The online archive of the artist John Latham structured using Creative Archiving principles based on Latham's ideas.

Book Works archive

Book Works and the Ligatus Research Centre, University of the Arts London, secure a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) that will bring over 25-years of specialist artists books online