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Goatskin book binding, tooled in blind and gold (style: Mudejar, Moorish inspired geometric; Interlacing ribbon/strapwork), Africa, 13th century. Qur’an (pt 7) Manuscript [Marakesh, c1256] – British Library.

This afternoon, I went to the Royal United Services Institute Library of Military History, to learn more about the cataloguing of bookbindings, a subject relevant to the development of my own library’s burgeoning Special Collections, which are under my care.

I will write more fully about the really excellent – and entertaining – training given by Carlo Dumontet (RUSI Associate Library Fellow) and organised by Tony Pilmer (Librarian), at a later date, but today’s Medieval Monday post focuses on a small but interesting (I hope) observation of mine.

This bookbinding, an example of thirteenth century Islamic craftsmanship, was not one of the examples that we used this afternoon, but others very like it seemed immediately familiar, in spite of my knowing that I had neither curated nor researched such items. Then it came to me. Just something else to ponder of a morning.

Carpet page, f.33r, Book of Kells (Trinity College Dublin MS 58, vellum, c.800), image via Wikimedia Commons

Carpet page, f.33r, Book of Kells (Trinity College Dublin MS 58, vellum, c.800), image via Wikimedia Commons

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