The Legacy Press Series: Coptic Bindings

Event Info

This event takes place in-person at Center for Book Arts (28 W 27th St, 3rd Fl) on Friday, September 9 from 6:30–8pm.

About the Event

The Coptic Bindings Collection at the Morgan Library & Museum consists of the original 9th and 10th century bindings of over fifty manuscripts discovered in 1910 in the Fayum Oasis in Egypt. The Legacy Press 2021 publication of Theodore C. Petersen’s Coptic Bookbindings in the Pierpont Morgan Library provides the most comprehensive description of their construction, materials, and influence. Written between 1929 and 1950, Coptic Bookbindings is the culmination of Petersen’s extensive research into the bindings. This presentation will relate the story of how the bindings were discovered, their long and extensive restoration at the Vatican Library during World War I, and Petersen’s involvement with the bindings and the Morgan Library. An additional focus will be the several unsuccessful efforts to publish Petersen’s seminal work between 1950 and its ultimate publication by The Legacy Press. The presentation will also detail the particulars of the bindings, including board formation, sewing structures, and leather decoration that make their discovery important to the understanding of early binding structures.

Purchase Your Copy of the Book

red cover with a picture of an old book in the center

Publisher: The Legacy Press
Year: 2021
Dimensions: 11.25 x 8.25 inches
Pages: 532
ISBN: 9781953421043

This long-awaited publication of Petersen’s work includes an introductory essay by the Morgan Library and Museum’s book conservator, Francisco H. Trujillo, that details the circuitous history of the collection from Egypt to New York to Rome and back to New York, as well as the equally baroque story of the efforts to get the work published. Augmenting the text are Petersen’s original line drawings and recent color photographs of the Morgan Library’s bindings.

About the Speaker

Francisco H. Trujillo is the Drue Heinz Book Conservator in the Thaw Conservation Center at the Morgan Library & Museum. Previously he worked at the Columbia University Libraries, the Jewish Theological Seminary Library, and the Library of Congress. He has an MLIS with an Advanced Certificate in Book and Paper Conservation from the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the materials and techniques of medieval manuscripts, French Romanesque binding structures, and the Coptic bindings collection at the Morgan. He is the editor of Theodore C. Petersen’s Coptic Bookbindings in the Pierpont Morgan Library.

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