As we work through organizing old documentation records, we come across contact sheets and prints that show the old conservation studio and the people who worked there.  On Way Back Wednesdays, we will post a few.  Today’s post highlights Beinecke MS 4 (Antoninus, Saint. Confessionale).  Here is the manuscript as it was photographed in the Conservation Studio in the late 1970s or early 80’s. The online catalog record mentions, “Minor repairs to endleaves and headband made ca. 1976.”  It is very likely that the photographs were taken at the time of this work or just shortly after.

Image 3-20-17, 10.28.26 AM

Before, Analog


Beinecke MS 4 was photographed more recently by the Beinecke Library’s Digital Services Unit.  Unlike the early conservation records, these images represent the manuscript’s binding in color and offer a higher resolution for zooming in on details.


After, Digital

It is interesting to compare the details from both sets of images.  The blind impression on the cover boards is more visible as a pattern in some of the black and white photos than in the much higher resolution color images. But the color images allow us to more easily distinguish the various materials even though they are similar in color and value.

Beinecke MS 4 is also part of the Traveling Scriptorium’s bookbinding section.  The book model show us what the binding might have looked like when it was intact.  The model also shows the sewing structure.

Binding Model of Beinecke MS 4

This model gives us some idea of what MS 4 might have looked like when newly bound

Binding Model of Beinecke MS 4

Book model showing laced supports, sewing, and endbands