A fundamental challenge facing research into the early history of bookbinding is a lack of primary sources to support a robust comparative analysis of the bindings. An exception to this are the bound manuscripts produced in Ethiopia that provide a tangible connection to the beginnings of the history of the codex. Manuscript production in Ethiopia has persevered with an unbroken history that extends back centuries, perhaps even more than a millennium, and possesses two qualities advantageous to research: consistency and abundance. Seemingly little has changed in their production between the earliest known examples and the hundreds of thousands of extant codices created over the centuries since. However, due to a body of dispersed and sometimes inconsistent publications, it is exceedingly difficult to gain a comprehensive picture of the subject. Furthermore, due to an early historical connection and a few structural similarities, Ethiopian bookbinding has become inextricably equated with Coptic bookbinding, making a discourse on the subject challenging and often confusing. Through extensive search, survey, and analysis of the available literature to coalesce and identify gaps within published scholarship, coupled with examination of primary sources in a variety of collections, I have been able to produce a solid foundation for future research and address a number of areas that have received little attention to date. Through this website, I will publish this information in hopes of stimulating discussion as we consider the questions that still remain regarding these bindings.
Creative Commons License
This text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Please Note Copyrights to all images not owned by the author are reserved by their individual owners.

No comments:

Post a Comment