He's trying to prove something to me, I'm trying to prove something to him. It was a revealing day!
Studying MSS involves wearing very special glasses.
Case bindings. Note stamps above. We looked at a variety of MSS including quite 'average' manuscripts - to see the everyday workings. The elite stuff might be in the best condition and then we can't see the inner workings, it might be too polished. These were real books that were really used and read (not just exchanged as gifts etc necessarily).
Will explain more about these stamps and leather tooling in class.
We were supposed to be studying the outsides of the MSS (much less studied - and even more rarely catalogued for that matter) but of course I couldn't help sneak peeks of the insides. Variety of MSS including Avestan (Zoroastrian), Delhi Persian scripts
Really used books have amazing marginalia
And really really used books are not in pristine condition. This is 'minor damage' apparently. (What is major damage?!) Look at those wormholes
The famous envelope flap. Did you know that these were not traditionally kept on the outside but on the inside? We are so used to thinking of them on the outside. Islamic books were also generally. stacked horizontally, not vertically. Lots to discuss! And lots of implications for the art of the book inside.
Note on the fore edge gorgeous!