In my most recent lecture for MA Poetics of Imagination at Dartington Arts School, I considered the production of medieval books. I hope some of the students are now busy making their own writing surfaces, inks and pigments.
To survive into the 21st century these medieval books had to run the gauntlet of flood, fire, war, revolution, rodents, Vikings, and Nazi looters.
I found Christopher de Hemel’s excellent book Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts to be a key resource on this fascinating subject.
Many medieval manuscripts have been digitised and can be explored online. Here’s a selection: