Lecture on Traditional Ethiopian Bookbinding

Traditional Ethiopian Bookbindinng (or “What’s the difference between Coptic and Ethiopian bookbinding anyways?”)
By Bill Hanscom

Wednesday, November 18th at 6:00pm
Harvard University
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Schlesinger Library
3 James Street Cambridge, MA
(enter library from west side of Radcliffe Yard off Brattle Street)

Bookbinding in Ethiopia is arguably one of the oldest continuously-practiced material traditions in the world. Despite its steady decline during the last century, little has changed in the production of an Ethiopian bound manuscript for more than a millennium. Please join us on November 18th to hear Bill Hanscom talk about his research into these bindings. He will describe processes involved in the creation of a traditional Ethiopian manuscript from parchment manufacture through binding, decoration, and storage.

Bill Hanscom is a special collections conservation technician for Harvard Library at the Weissman Preservation Center in Cambridge, MA; coordinator and adjunct instructor for the Book Arts BFA program at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA; and an independent workshop insttructor. He is a 2008 graduate of the Book Arts/Printmaking MFA program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His essay on traditional Ethiopian book satchels will be included in Volume 3 of theSuave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding series to be published by The Legacy Press in 2016, followed by a larger essay on Ethiopian bookbinding practices and techniques in Volume 4 of the same series.

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