This quick video only scratches the surface of a process that could sometimes take months.
If you’re a fan of How It’s Made, then you may find this video particularly interesting. The Getty Museum produced a short film that demonstrates the elaborate process of bookmaking in the medieval age. They cover everything from creating the parchment from animal skins to binding the pages to the cover.
The majority of scribes in medieval times were monks. Monasteries would usually contain an entire room, a scriptorium, devoted to writing the script and illuminating the page with various colors made from plant materials and precious metals.
The laborious process of creating these books was usually divided among several monks, allowing calligraphers to focus on writing while less skilled hands prepared the parchment. However, it was not unusual for all of the scriptorial duties to fall on one man’s shoulders in the smaller religious communities.
There is something so comforting in watching a craftsman work so methodically. We are so glad that there are still dedicated workers keeping this ancient process alive. After all, this was the only way to make books for more than 1,000 years.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?