The following information will help you choose a topic for your oral presentation. Please select your three top choices. If there is another topic you would prefer, please let me know so we can discuss it.

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This course is designed to introduce you to the basics of traditional hand bookbinding. You will learn a bit about the history of the book along the way, but the focus of the course will be developing the meticulous skills required to produce books that are well-constructed, rich in texture, visually attractive, and built to withstand repeated use.

For the purposes of this course, we are primarily interested in book forms of the western tradition. Egypt provided the world with papyrus—the earliest form of paper-like material we know of.

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Papyrus was eventually replaced with parchment, which was made of animal skins. Virtually all medieval books were made of this amazing, durable material.

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Western paper arrived in the late middle ages. It originated in China as a carefully guarded secret process. Western paper makers modified the process to make a paper more suitable for quill pens and illumination.

The following four short videos will give you a good overview of these various materials. Please take notes. The material in these videos will become part of our course material and will appear on future quizzes.

Papyrus

Watch the first five minutes of this amateur tourist video about making papyrus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf6xI8r4eLk

Parchment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aDHJu9J10o

Oriental Paper

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMLxgkpdS-U

Western Paper

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lltkdyE1OG0

Enjoy!

Professor Doug Himes