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Thread: why the new binding by Douglas Cockerell in the 1930s?

  1. Default why the new binding by Douglas Cockerell in the 1930s?


    If you read carefully the CSP site, between the lines, you see that this Douglas Cockerell binding was rather destructive of historical evidence. We don't have easily available much archival material, so let's conjecture reasons why this was done:

    a) appearance
    We spent a lot of money on this thing, it will look nice in the Museum as a book rather than leaves. (Keep in mind, though, that with quires and leaves, as received from Russia, there is much more that could be exhibited.)

    b) we can do it
    The professional's craft and pride. We spent so many years learning bookbinding. Here we can show our skills. Let's push to have it done.
    We can do it, so we should do it.

    c) change the physical layout, limit inquiries.
    By doing the new bindings, lots of stuff will get lost in the shuffle. Such as the edges of the leaves when we received them from Russia (a point strongly emphasized by Morozov, of whom they may or may not have been aware.) It will be harder to take out a quire and really examine the parchment for its strength and flexibility as a theorized 1,500 year old ms (another point emphasized by Morozov). Thus, we are helping to seal in place the ms.


    Any or all of the above could have contributed. Personally, I do believe that (c) may well have been a major factor. When the 2009 CSP came forth, finally the ms. could actually be seen (although not physically examined, even today scientific tests have never been done and very few can talk of handling the ms.) As one person who actually handled the Leipzig part of the ms wrote to us:

    "the pages were in a very good state according to conservation standards."
    Last edited by Steven Avery; 07-26-2018 at 01:43 PM.

  2. Default

    Clearly, there was concern over this binding. It spilled over into:

    Classical Philology Vol. 37, No. 4 (Oct., 1942), pp. 429-431

    And we will seek to build on the excerpt immediately available.

    Skeat and Milne
    "the process of binding would present such an opportunity for examining the book, both from the technical and paleographical standpoint, as would never occur again,"
    Prof. Kirsopp Lake:
    "Why, after enjoying this opportunity themselves, have they acquiesced in the policy of rebinding the Codex and so prevented all others from seeing it under the same advantageous conditions? To me, at least, it seems certain that a codex such as the Sinaiticus ought not to be bound but kept in a box. This was the policy of the librarian at Leningrad, and the result was that I was able to photograph it under favorable conditions."
    Harold Idris Bell
    It is undeniably true that for certain purposes it is more convenient to handle unbound leaves than a bound volume. But Prof. Kirsopp Lake seems ...
    Charles van der Poole also discussed this problem of Cockerell's binding and notes losing valuable information.
    Last edited by Steven Avery; 07-26-2018 at 01:44 PM.

  3. Default

    More at research section -

    Harold Idris Bell - 1942 - defends binding by Cockerell properly ripped by Kirsopp Lake

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