While both courses concentrate in particular on the structure and materials of 15th to 19th century book bindings, both courses will look at bindings from different geographical areas and with a different approach. The first course (tutors: Dr. G. Boudalis and Dr. A. Velios) focuses on the development of bookbinding in the eastern Mediterranean. The second course (tutor: Professor N. Pickwoad) concentrates on the history of bookbinding as it was carried out in Europe in the period of the hand press (1450-1830), with the opportunity to look at examples from different collections during the afternoons.
Ligatus is a research centre of the University of the Arts London with particular interest in the history of bookbinding, book conservation, archiving and the application of digital technology to the exploration and exploitation of these fields.
The contribution that bindings can make to our understanding of the history and culture of the book is often neglected, but they can offer insights into the study of readership, the book trade, and the provenance of books which are often not available elsewhere. In order to realise this potential, it is important to understand not only the history of the craft but also to learn how to record what is seen in a consistent and organised way. Librarians, cataloguers, conservators, book historians and all scholars who work with early books, need to understand the structure and materials of the bindings.