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Assembly

Gatherings

gathering

Binding

Binding of the manuscript is a final stage of the manuscript's production. Once the text and decorations were complete the loose gatherings (quires) were ready to be bound into a codex. 

gatherings

Preparing the manuscript for binding

put together on top of each other and sewn at the

After the text was written and the decorations were completed, the gatherings were put together on top of each other and sewn at the back edges into a book-block.

See a close-up of AM 468 4to to see a picture of a book open between two gatherings. In order to protect and strengthen the book-block, two wooden boards were bound to it, with sometimes the addition of buckles to keep the binding closed. These boards and the spine of the book were often covered in leather.

Some bindings were decorated with engravings or embossed patterns. See AM 225 fol. and AM 226 fol.

Manuscripts with the original binding are rare. Because of damage, many bindings have been renovated or replaced with new ones. Bindings are constantly undergoing conservation nowadays to protect the manuscripts' contents. See an example of the conservation of a manuscript