R is for…



The collection features many examples of historic thrift. In Bolton Library I.17.24, the covering leather appears to have been cut and reused from the centre of a gold-tooled binding. In the sammelband Bolton Library M.7.20, a set of holes on the inside of the boards reveals that they may have been reused from another binding, where they were simply turned around, new holes made and laced in. Spotted by our eagle-eyed conservator, Bolton Library Ms 27 is sewn on three supports of alum tawed leather. The supports are split, an early binding technique in which the sewing thread wraps around supports through the split in a figure eight. Here, however, the thread wraps just once around the whole support, consistent with a later, faster technique.  The manuscript is dated c.1649, by which time split supports had fallen out of use, meaning that the supports present here possibly come from another, older binding.




In both manuscript and printed works in the collection, chapter headings, words and sections of import are routinely emphasised or highlighted through the use of the colour red. Here inside the binding covering a 16th century commentary on Cicero’s De Officiis, we find rubrication used in manuscript fragments of Sermon CIV by Augustine of Hippo. Centuries later, in 1728, we find the same approach used in a printed missal.