Workshop in October

THE NAG HAMMADI CODICES: Single Quire Bindings

A workshop with Julia Miller

Saturday, October 30, 2010

9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Hosted by the Library Company of Philadelphia

1314 Locust St., Philadelphia

Members: $100 Non-Members: $125

Materials Fee: $35

The purpose of the class is to learn about early single quire structures, understand their importance to the early history of the codex, and touch on the use of such structures up to the present. The class will make a small replica binding of one of the Nag Hammadi Codices, which date from the 4th century C.E., using a variety of materials, including paper, leather and papyrus. The class will study the history of the find and learn about the structural variations among the 10 most intact extant covers. Leather paring skills are not necessary. Time permitting, participants will also make a sampler of the variety of tie and wrapping band attachment systems used on the Nag Hammadi codices. Images of eleven covers and models of several of the extant 11 covers will be available for examination. Handouts will include a reading list and other information on the Nag Hammadi bindings.

Julia Miller is now a book conservator in private practice after being a senior conservator on the staff of the University of Michigan conservation lab for ten years. Her focus has shifted from bench conservation to researching and teaching models of historical bindings. For several years she has volunteered her time to describe historical binding structures for two rare book collections at the University of Michigan. She has taught the Nag Hammadi workshop many times, including at the Paper and Book Intensive (2006), the Montefiascone School in Italy (2007), the University of the Arts (2008), and the Delaware and NY Chapters of GBW. She has traveled to Egypt twice in order to study the original covers of the NHC and to work on a conservation survey at the Coptic Museum, Cairo. She received aconservation publication fellowship from the Kress Foundation and FAIC in 2008 and has completed her handbook on identifying and describing historical bindings, to be published by The Legacy Press in November, 2010. Julia has received a fellowship at The Library Company to study and develop a typology of American scaleboard bindings based on examples in the collection.


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"Marking Time" at Lafayette College – Easton, PA

September 5 – October 24

In September and October, the Skillman Library at Lafayette College is host to the exhibit, “Marking Time.” The exhibit showcases the diverse talents of Guild members and was curated by Guild Exhibitions Chair Karen Hanmer and juried by Jeffrey Altepeter, Melissa Jay Craig, and Peter Verheyen. The show opened at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis in May 2009 and will have traveled to nine venues across the country before closing at Emory University in March 2011.

The show features 50 works interpreting the theme of “time,” ranging from contemporary books of hours to celebrations of nature’s cycles to considerations of the end of time. Stunning leather bindings stand alongside edgy contemporary bindings that have been dyed, collaged, or incorporate photographs or handwriting. The show includes work in the codex format, complex folded structures, wooden constructions, hand-held toys, and sculptural objects. Text and imagery is produced by the most ancient and the most modern mark-marking methods—calligraphy, painting, woodcut, letterpress, and digital output.

An opening reception will be held on Sunday, September 26, from 2-4 pm in Skillman Library. At 3 pm in the Gendebien Room, exhibit curator Karen Hanmer will give a presentation. Hanmer is a Chicago book and installation artist, whose work is included in the collections of the Tate Britain, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Library of Congress, Graceland, and a number of college and university libraries, including Lafayette.

Questions: 610-330-5148 or
Also on exhibit: “Quilts in Glorious Color” by Liza Prior Lucy of New Hope