The Technique of Islamic Bookbinding is the first monograph dedicated to the technical development of the bookbinding tradition in the Islamic world. Based on an assessment of the extensive oriental collections in the Leiden University Library, the various sewing techniques, constructions and the application of covering materials are described in great detail. A comparative analysis of the historic treatises on bookbinding provides further insight into the actual making of the Islamic book. In addition, it is demonstrated that variations in time and place can be established with the help of distinctive material characteristics.
Karin Scheper’s work refutes the perception of Islamic bookbinding as a weak structure, which has generally but erroneously been typified as a case-binding. Instead, the author argues how diverse methods were used to create sound structures, thus fundamentally challenging our understanding of the Islamic bookbinding practice.
Karin Scheper has been awarded the De La Court Award 2016 by The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences for her study of the bookbinding tradition in the Islamic world.
Karin Scheper, Ph.D. (Leiden, 2014), is conservation specialist at the Leiden University Library. She has published on various conservation topics, but concentrates on her conservation practice and study of Islamic manuscripts.
Preface to the Second Edition Acknowledgements Introduction
1 Materiality Matters
A Detailed Sketch of the Current State of Knowledge and Outline of the Research
The Information Value of Binding Structures
The Present Situation of the Book Archaeology of Islamic Manuscripts
Obstacles in the Study of Islamic Bookmaking
Linking Physical Analysis, Catalogue Data, and Literature
Selection and Justification of the Corpus
2 The Anatomy of the Islamic Manuscript
A Detailed Overview of the Different Methods of Construction
Vocabulary and Images as Tools
Techniques Used to Construct the Textblock
Covering and Board Attachment
A Problematic Term: Case-binding
Meaning and Validity of the Diversity
3 A Comparative Study of the Historic Sources and Recent Literature on the Making of Islamic Manuscripts
Secondary Sources: Related Studies and General Reference Works
Founders of our Knowledge on the Use of Structure and Materials in Islamic Bookmaking
Structure as a Starting Point
Structure as a Side Issue
Structure as a Conservation Issue
The Sum of the Parts
4 Multiplicity within the Tradition
n Account of the Methodology and Quantitative Results of the Survey
Survey Results—Quantitative Analysis
5 Mapping the Variations in Time and Place
Datable and Localisable Features and a Further Interpretation of the Findings
Interior Covering of the Boards
The Envelope and Fore-edge Flap
Southeast Asia as a Sub-category in the Islamic Tradition
6 Considerations and New Perspectives
Development of the Tradition
3 Example of a Record of the Database
4 List of Manuscripts Used in Illustrations Bibliography Index
All concerned with the preservation or conservation of Islamic manuscripts, and anyone interested in the materiality of Islamic manuscripts and in codicological aspects of the Islamic book.