The term codicology is of recent vintage, there being some argument
as to who invented it, the classical philologist Alphonse Dain or
the historian Charles Samaran. It seems likely that Samaran
invented _codicography_, based on _paleography_, and that Dain
invented _codicology_, based on this.  It is unimportant at any
rate, the thing having existed long before the name (res ante
nominum, to calque a phrase). See J. P. Gumbert, "Ebert's
Codicology a Hundred and Fifty Years Old," Quaerendo 5 (1975), 336-
39. In German, one spoke long ago of Handschriftenkunde, Buchwesen
and such things, and the term `archaeology of the book' has been
bandied about.  Codicology seems handy, though it must be extended
to include scroll, roll, and other writing materials and modes of
gathering. See: What is Codicology?

1. It is always good to have a taxonomy when approaching a new (or
even an old) subject, and one is provided for codicology by: Denis
Muzerelle, "Le vocabulaire codicologique. Anhang: Lexique
codicologique," Palaeographie 1981. Muenchener Beitraege zur
Mediaevistik und Renaissance-Forschung. 32, ed. Gabriel Silagi
(Munich: Bei der Arbeo-Gesellschaft, 1982), 43-46. A taxonomy based
on this is available in the archives of Medtextl. Each of the
studies on the vocabulary of codicology, of course, offers a sort
of taxonomy. Denis Muzerelle, Vocabulaire codicologique: repertoire
methodique des termes francais relatifs aux manuscrits. Rubricae 1
(Paris: CEMI, 1985). -- Basile Atsalos, La terminologie du livre-
manuscrit a l'epoque byzantine. 1e partie: termes designant le
livre-manuscrit et l'ecriture. Ellenika 21 (Thessalonika, 1971) --
Robert Devreesse, Introduction a l'etude des manuscrits grecs
(Paris: Klincksieck, 1954), a must.

2. For a gentle introduction, you can't beat one of the pioneers:
Alphonse Dain, Les manuscrits, 2d ed. (Paris: Les Belles Lettres,
1964; originally 1949). An even earlier pioneer is still worth
reading: Theodor Birt, Das antike Buchwesen (Berlin: Hertz, 1892).
Excellent, good coverage.

3. A useful introduction, with a good starting bibliography is:
Jacques Lemaire, Introduction a la codicologie. Universite
Catholique de Louvain, Publications de l'Institut d'Etudes
Medievales, Textes, Etudes, Congres, 6 (Louvain la Neuve, 1989).
Somewhat more restricted, but good: Leon Gilissen, Prolegomenes a
la codicologie: recherches sur la construction des cahiers et la
mise en page des manuscrits medievaux (Gand: Story-Scientia, 1977).
Often cited, though obviously restricted: Malachi Beit-Arie, Hebrew
codicology: tentative typology of technical practices employed in
Hebrew dated medieval manuscripts (Paris: CNRS, 1976). Another:
Johannes Pedersen, The Arabic Book, trn. Geoffrey French (Princeton
University Press, 1984).

4. Bibliography:

a. Doris H. Banks, Medieval Manuscript Bookmaking: A Bibliographic
Guide (Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, 1989). Strongly
anglophone, not always trustworthy, somewhat wide-ranging, more a
bibliography of the medieval than bookmaking. You can safely skip

b. John van Hook, "The Indexes to Current Work on the History of
the Book: A Review Article," Analytical and Enumerative
Bibliography ns 6 (1992), 10-19.

5. Encyclopedias: A number of encyclopedic undertakings are worth
keeping in mind:

a. Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens, ed. Karl Loeffler and Joachim
Kirchner, 3 vols (Leipzig: Hiersemann, 1935-37).

b. Lexikon des Buchwesens, ed. Joachim Kirchner, 4 vols.
(Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1952-56).

c. Nordisk Leksikon for Bogvaesen, 2 vols. (Stockholm: Foerlaget
Biblioteksboecker, 1949-62)

d. Handbuch der Bibliothekswissenschaft, founded Fritz Milkau, ed.
Georg Leyh, 3 vols. in 4 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1950-65).  Note
especially vol. 1 "Schrift und Buch". If you can't find it in
Milkau-Leyh, it probably doesn't exist.

e. Geschichte der Textueberlieferung der antiken und
mittelalterlichen Literatur, ed. Herbert Hunger, Karl Langosch et
al., 2 vols (Zuerich: Atlantis Verlag, 1961-1964).  Vol. 2 is on
the Middle Ages.  One of the great undertakings, but spotty. Do not
ignore it!

6. Books on the book. It is also worthwhile keeping in mind books
written abou the book in general, since many of them take up
medieval bookmaking:

a. David Diringer, The Book before Printing (NY: Dover, 1982; a
reprint of his The Hand-Produced Book, 1953). Inexpensive and

b. Curt F. Buehler, Early Books and Manuscripts: Forty Years of
Research (NY: Grolier, 1973). His collected articles.

c. Hendrik D. L. Vervliet, ed. The Book through Five Thousand
Years; A Survey by Fernand Baudin and Others. Intro by Herman
Liebaers, afterword Ruari McLean (London: Phaidon, 1972).

d. The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain (Cambridge: CUP, in
progress) has begun publishing; we look forward this year to two
new volumes of concern to us: 1. The Early Middle Ages, ed. Michael
Lapidge (2000); 2, The Later Middle Ages, ed. Nigel Morgan (2000).

7. You should keep a list of specialized studies, of interest to
you, e.g. pricking: Leslie W. Jones, "Pricking Manuscripts, the
Instruments and their Significance," Speculum 21 (1946), 389-403.
Or even pouncing: Dorothy Miner, "More About Medieval Pouncing,"
Homage to a Bookman, Essays on Manuscript Books and Printing
Written for Hans P. Kraus on his 60th Birthday, ed. Hellmut
Lehmann-Haupt (Berlin: Munn, 1967), 87-107. An example might be

a. David N. Carvalho, Forty Centuries of Ink (NY: Burt Franklin,
1971; reprt. of 1904).

b. Monique Zerdoun Bat-Yehouda, Les encres noires au moyen age.
Editions du CNRS (Paris: CNRS, 1983). Good bibliography, though a
little wide-swinging.

c. For colored inks Daniel V. Thompson, The Materials and
Techniques of Medieval Painting (NY: Dover, 1956; repr. of 1936
book), has not lost its value.

8. Parchment:

a. Ronald Reed, Ancient Skins, Parchments and Leathers (London:
Seminar Press, 1972).

b. Ronald Reed, The Nature and Making of Parchment (Leeds: Elmete,

c. Peter Ruck, ed. Pergament: Geschichte-Struktur-Restaurierung-
Herstellung (Sigmaringen: Thorbecke, 1991).

9. There are a number of good books of readings on codicology. Two:

a. Codicologica 1 (1976) is mostly a collection of previously
published works, a kind of status quaestionis report.

b. Griechische Kodikologie und Textueberlieferung, ed. Dieter
Harlfinger (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1980).
Somewhat larger than the preceeding, good index and bibliography.

10. As markup languages get better and better, one has to keep up
with such things as SGML and TEI.  Our best source for this is the
journal Computer in the Humanities, which often even has issues
devoted to one of our subjects, for example, vol. 33, which is
devoted to TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), e.g. Syd Bauman and
Terry Catapano, "TEI and the Encoding of the Physical Structure of
Books," CHum 33 (1999), 113-27.

11. There are many series of manuscript reproductions (facimiles),
and you need to keep these in mind; these will be treated under
each tradition.

12. Illustrations will be taken up in a special section, but let me
mention a few now:

a. David Diringer, The Illuminated Book, Its History and
Production, rev. ed. (NY: Praeger, 1967).  Good reproductions.
Bibliography with each section.

b. Kurt Weitzmann, Illustrations in roll and Codes. A Study of the
Origin and Method of Text Illustration, second printing with
addenda (Princeton: PUP, 1970).  A great book.

c. Lilian M. C. Randall, Images in the Margins of Gothic
Manuscripts (Berkeley: UCalP, 1966). Groundbreaking. Great index.

d. In this country, the Braziller Company put out a series on
manuscript illumination: John Williams, Early Spanish Book
Illumination (NY: George Braziller, 1977 -- Richard Marks and Nigel
Morgan, The Golden Age of English Manuscript Painting, 1200-1500
(NY: Braziller, 1981) -- Kurt Weizmann, Late Antique and Early
Christian Book Illumination (NY: Braziller, 1977) -- Francois
Avril, Manuscript Painting at the Court of France. The 14th Century
(NY: Braziller, 1978). In the same format: Olga Popova, Russian
Illuminated Manuscripts (NY: Thames & Hudson, 1984).

e. Raphael Posner and Israel Ta-Shema, The Hebrew Book (NY: Leon
Amiel, 1975.

13. Often, individual manuscripts receive special treatment.  For
the Beowulf manuscript we now have the CD-ROM treatment by
Medtextler Kevin Kiernan, Electronic Beowulf (Ann Arbor: University
of Michigan, 1999); CD-ROM 2 contains excellent reproductions.  The
treatment of the Exeter Book, for example, has been extensive; see
the bibliography by Bernard J. Muir, The Exeter Book: A
Bibliography, Exeter Medieval English Texts and Studies (Exeter:
University of Exeter Press, 1992); there is a later edition with an

14. You will need to add some periodicals to your list of works to
keep up with.  I add some here which you might miss:

AEB, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography, is good to keep up
with; it will on occasions have things of use to us, e.g. Jan van
Hook's bibliography mentioned above under 4. -- Editio -- Gutenberg
Jahrbuch -- Library -- PBSA, Papers of the Bibliographical Society
of America -- SB, Studies in Bibliography -- TEXT, Transactions of
the Society for Textual Scholarship -- Scriptorium, "Bulletin
codicologique," 1946- (not bad to browse through old issues).

Look, of course, at A Guide to Serial Bibliographies for Modern
Literatures, ed. William A. Wortman (NY: MLA, 1995), e.g.
"Printing, Publishing, History of the Book, and Textual Studies,"
pp. 213-217.

Woefully out of date, but still worth looking at: Richard H. Rouse,
Serial Bibliographies for Medieval Studies (Berkeley: UCalP, 1969)

15. It is good to keep pictures of artists and scribes, from which
you can learn much about how they worked: Cf. Virginia W. Egbert,
The Medieval Artist at Work (Princeton: PUP, 1967)