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UAL Research Online

The St. Catherine's Library Survey of Bound Manuscripts Catherine on Mount Sinai

Pickwoad, Nicholas (2006) The St. Catherine's Library Survey of Bound Manuscripts Catherine on Mount Sinai.

Type of Research: Other
Creators: Pickwoad, Nicholas

The library of the monastery of Saint Catherine, Sinai, is famous for its rare biblical manuscripts, including the first complete texts of the New Testament Gospels in Greek and Syriac. The survey of the 3,306 bound manuscripts was devised and conducted under my direction over a 5 year period. It is the first full survey of the collection and also the first ever attempted. It is part of one of the highest profile library conservation projects currently existing internationally. The books and their bindings were recorded in greater detail and more rapidly than had ever been attempted before, using written, graphic and photographic records. I made use of traditional techniques to yield new results (e.g. drawing as a means of training the eye of the surveyor) and devised new techniques (e.g. percentage records of the extent and severity of damage) to achieve consistent and reliable results that reflect the complexity and variety of the material recorded. The 88-page manual describes the methodology. The recording forms have been published on the project website (http://www.ligatus.org.uk/) making them available for use by other survey projects, greatly extending the existing methodologies of future condition surveys.

The final survey holds more information on bindings of the Eastern Mediterranean than exists elsewhere in the world and is supported by a collection in excess of 30,000 slides. This body of research offers extensive potential to international scholars which has led to the formation of a UAL Research Unit Ligatus (www.arts.ac.uk/research/ligatus). Its importance was recognised in 2006 by a large AHRC grant to transfer the survey material into a specially designed database, and create an Anglo-Greek terminology of bookbinding

I lectured on this research as part of the programme accompanying the British Library Sacred exhibition(4th September 2007).
The project was externally funded by the St Catherine Foundation

Official Website: http://www.ligatus.org.uk/
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Camberwell College of Arts
Date: 3 March 2006
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 22:58
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 13:57
Item ID: 1547
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1547

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