Conservation and Rebinding of 14th c. Italian Missal

This large 14th c. Italian missal contains 157 parchment bifolios of the church service. The pages measure 13”x17.” It features an accomplished central Italian gothic hand with many rubrications and gold initials. Thanks to extensive collations by Katherine Tachau, History department, and Jonathan Wilcox, English department, the manuscript is now in its

Evidence of previous binding was revealed during disassembly of a 20th century resewing and recovering. This evidence of original knife cuts used to accommodate stitches indicates an initial gothic style binding which was followed, perhaps 150 years later, by a binding in a Renaissance style.

The conservation of the Missal involved repair and stabilization of damaged leaves and the rebinding of the text. Damaged gold of initial letters was stabilized with the use of parchment size glue. This delicate work was carried out under a (7x) stereo microscope. Damaged folds were mended and various interleaves for turning pages with excised initials as well as new endpapers were provided, all using papers produced at the UI Oakdale paper mill. The rebinding follows the renaissance sewing alignment as revealed in the exposed sewing stations. The rebinding is in the traditional Italian wooden board binding style.

Project costs: $3,500