Making Manuscripts

An illuminated manuscript is a book written and decorated completely by hand. Illuminated manuscripts were among the most precious objects produced in the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, primarily in monasteries and courts. Society's rulers--emperors, kings, dukes, cardinals, and bishops--commissioned the most splendid manuscripts.

Photographs of the parchment-making process feature parchment maker E. Gentilli at William Cowleys Parchment Works in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England. Images were taken by Anthony Cains and provided by Abigail Quandt of The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Quill-cutting, calligraphy, and illumination demonstration footage features the work of master calligrapher Thomas Ingmire.

Bookbinding demonstration footage features the work of master bookbinder and conservator of rare books, William Anthony.