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The Legacy Press



Books about the Printing, Paper, and Bookbinding Arts

"[This book] is an erudite, comprehensive, and enjoyable addition to Julia Miller’s ongoing efforts to emphasize the importance of describing and recording historic bookbindings. The Legacy Press’s publication of this volume and Miller’s previous work is central to the success of her efforts. This publication exemplifies the potential of historic bookbinding information to be recovered from collections everywhere ... [and] provides an exemplar which other bookbinding historians can use in their efforts to describe the material, structure, and decoration of their own collections."

— Francisco H. Trujillo, "Review," PBSA  117, no. 2 (June 2023): 254–256.

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Tradition and Individuality

Bindings from the

University of Michigan

Greek Manuscript Collection


Julia Miller

Tradition and Individuality came about as the result of an irresistible invitation: to examine and describe the bindings on 100 Greek manuscripts in the University of Michigan Library’s rare-book collection, which date from the fourth to the nineteenth century. This book is intended as a companion to the two-volume catalogue of the U-M Greek manuscripts written by Nadezhda Kavrus-Hoffmann, both volumes to be published by the University of Michigan Press.

 The project was both a challenge and a joy; the bindings more than live up to the title of this book – full of tradition, mystery, and individuality – and it has been a pleasure to observe and define each one. Most of the bindings are firmly traditionally Greek, but there are also numerous hybrid Greek-style bindings and several surprising anomalies, including Mich. Ms. 76 with bridled leather boards and Mich. Ms. 96, which is bound in traditional Armenian style.

 Each binding description is accompanied by documentary color photographs of the major components – covers, spines, edges, endbands, etc. – as well as details, most taken by U-M digital photographer Randal Stegmeyer. Pablo Alvarez, U-M Library’s curator of manuscripts and early printed works, has contributed a fascinating introduction covering the history of the acquisition of the Greek manuscript collection. Kyle Clark, U-M Library conservation technician, has contributed an outstanding appendix wherein he details his study of one of the Greek manuscripts, Mich. Ms. 79, and the model he created based on his examination of the original. His text is accompanied by x-radiographs of the original cover, photographs, and line drawings.

661 pages   •   731 illustrations   •   full color   •   cloth, sewn


11 x 8 in.   •   2021   •   $110.00


isbn: 9781953421012


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