About this Exhibit: Julia Miller

Julia Miller has worked in the field of book conservation for more than thirty years. She began her binding training in 1978, and in 1984 she joined the Conservation Department at the University of Michigan Library, where she spent ten years. Over the past decade, she has extensively researched the history of binding structure and style, and in 2010 she published Books Will Speak Plain: A Handbook for Identifying and Describing Historical Bindings (Ann Arbor, MI: The Legacy Press). A second edition was published in 2014.

Julia has taught the history of bookbinding in the U.S. and abroad. In 2009, she was invited to join the team that conducted the conservation survey of the manuscripts of the Coptic Museum in Cairo, Egypt. In 2010, as a research fellow at the Library Company in Philadelphia, she studied bindings in that collection in order to create a typology for American scaleboard bookbindings.

Photograph of Julia Miller

Photograph of Julia Miller, Guest Curator


I would like to thank everyone associated with the Papyrology Collection at the University of Michigan, past and present, with special thanks to Professor Emeritus Ludwig Koenen, the late Professor Traianos Gagos, Professor Arthur Verhoogt, Dr. Nikos Litinas, Karla Vandersypen, Adam Hyatt, Brendan Haug, Monica Tsuneishi, Amber Innis, and W. Graham Claytor, for advice, guidance, and help in locating items of interest to me in the collection over the years. I also offer my thanks to papyrus conservator Leyla Lau-Lamb who has helped me and so many other researchers through her knowledge and conservation of papyrus in this and other papyrus collections around the world.

Thanks also to Pablo Alvarez, Outreach Librarian & Curator in the Special Collections Library for his help with this exhibit and for creating the online version, Cathleen Baker, Conservation Librarian and Exhibition Conservator in the Preservation & Conservation Department for her help designing and installing this exhibit, Mary Claire Morris in the Communications Office for handling the publicity, and last but definitely not least, Shannon Zachary, Leyla Lau Lamb, Tom Hogarth and Marieka Kaye in the Preservation & Conservation Department for their help with this exhibit.

Almost all of the photographs that accompany this essay were taken by Randal Stegmeyer, and I thank him for his time, his knowledge, and his great skill in photographing the often difficult subjects among my research selections from the Papyrology Collection. And many thanks to J. Wayne Jones for the excellent images of the models, taken at very short notice.

Julia Miller, Guest Curator

Selected Bibliography

Adam, Paul. “Der koptische Einband in Berlin.” Archiv für Buchbinderei 11 (1912): 177–181.

Avrin, Leila. “The Hebrew Book.” Chapter 5 in Scribes, Script and Books. The Book Arts from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Chicago: American Library Association and the British Library, 1991. 

Bagnall, Roger S. Early Christian Books in Egypt. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. 

Baker, Cathleen A. “Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose (SCMC) Re-Evaluated for Paper, Book, Papyrus, and Parchment Conservation.” Book and Paper Group Annual 26 (2007): 177–185.

Becker, Adam, and Annette Reed. The Ways that Never Parted: Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.

Černỷ, Jaroslav. Paper and Books in Ancient Egypt. An Inaugural Lecture Delivered at University College London, 29 May 1947. London: H.K. Lewis, 1952.

Charlesworth, Scott D. “T.C. Skeat, P64+67 and P4 , and the Problem of Fibre Orientation in Codicological Reconstruction.” Paper presented at the 25th International Congress of Papyrology, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 31 July 31 2007.

Cockburn, Andrew. “The Judas Gospel.” National Geographic 209 (2006): 78–95.

Cockerell, Douglas. “The Development of Bookbinding Methods—Coptic Influence.” Library 13 (1932): 1–10.

Darbre, Florence. “The Papyrus Codex Tchacos.” Papier Restaurierung 9 (2008): 19-25.

Depuydt, L. Catalogue of Coptic Manuscripts in the Pierpoint Morgan Library. Corpus of Illuminated Manuscripts. Leuven: Uitgeverij Peeters, 1993.

Deuel, Leo. Testaments of Time. The Search for Lost Manuscripts and Records. London: Martin Secker and Warburg, 1966. 

Diringer, David. The Book before Printing, Ancient, Medieval and Oriental. New York: Dover, 1982.

Doresse, Jean, and Togo Mina. “Nouveaux Texts Gnostiques Coptes Découverts en Haute-Egypte: La Biblioteque Chenoboskion.” Vigiliae Christianae 3 (1949): 129–141.

Elderen, Bastiaan van. “Early Christian Libraries.” In The Bible as Book: The Manuscript Tradition, ed. by John Sharpe and Kimberly Van Kampen, 45–59. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press, 1998.

Emmel, Stephen. “The Christian Book in Egypt: Innovation and the Coptic Tradition.” In The Bible as Book: The Manuscript Tradition, ed. by John Sharpe and Kimberly Van Kampen, 35–43. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press, 1998.

Emmel, Stephen. “The Nag Hammadi Codices Editing Project: A Final Report.” American Research Center in Egypt Newsletter 104 (1978): 10–32.

Gulácsi, Zsuzsanna. Manichaean Art in Berlin Collections. Turnhout: Brepols, 2001.

Gulácsi, Zsuzsanna. Mediaeval Manichaean Book Art: A Codicological Study of Iranian and Turkic Illuminated Book Fragments from 8th–11th Century East Central Asia. Leiden, Boston: E.J. Brill, 2005. 

Gumbert, J. Peter. “Our Common Codicology (and Some Notes on the West).” Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies Newsletter no. 8 (July 2014): 23–27.

Hobson, G.D. “Some Early Bindings and Binders’ Tools.” In Studies in the History of Bookbinding, ed. by G.D. Hobson, 1–56. London: The Pindar Press, 1988. 

Husselman, Elinor Mullett. “A Bohairic School Text on Papyrus.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 6 (1947): 129–151. 

Husselman, Elinor Mullett. “The Collection of Papyri.” In Coptic Texts in the University of Michigan Collection, ed. by William H. Worrell, 3–24. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1942. 

Ibscher, Hugo. “Alte koptische Einbände.” Archiv für Buchbinderei 11 (1911): 113–116.

Kasser, Rodolphe. Papyrus Bodmer XVI. Exode I–XV, 21 en Sahidique. Cologny-Gèneve: Biblioheca Bodmeriana, 1961. 

Kebabian, John S. “The Binding of the Glazier Manuscript of the Acts of the Apostles (IVth or IV/V Century).” In Hommage to a Bookman. Essays on Manuscripts, Books and Printing Written for Hans P. Kraus on His 60th Birthday Oct. 12, 1967, ed. by Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt, 25–29. Berlin: Mann Verlag, 1967. 

Kelsey, Francis W. 1925–1926. Correspondence. The Francis Willey Kelsey Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Kenyon, Frederic. Ancient Books and Modern Discoveries. Chicago: The Caxton Club, 1927.

Koenen, Ludwig. “Ein Mönch als Berufsscreiber. Zur Buchproduktion im 5./6. Jahrhundert.” In Festschrift zum 150 Jährigen Bestehen des Berliner Ägyptischen Museums, 347–354. Berlin: 1974. 

Kotsifou, Chrysi. “Books and Book Production in the Monastic Communities of Byzantine Egypt.” In The Early Christian Book, ed. by W.E. Klingshirn and L. Safran, 48–66. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 2007.

Krutsch, Myriam and Günter Poethke. “Der Einband des Koptisch-Gnostichen Kodex P. Berol 8502.” Forschungen und Berichte Staatliche Museen zu Berlin 24 (1984): 37–40. 

Laliberte, Norman, and Edward N. West. The History of the Cross. New York: Macmillan, 1960.

Lamacraft, Charles. “Early Bookbindings from a Coptic Monastery.” Library 4 (1939–1940): 214–233.

Lau-Lamb, Leyla. “A New Material for the Conservation of Papyrus.” Book and Paper Group Annual 26 (2007): 186.

Lindsay, Jennifer. “The Development of the Codex in the Western World.” New Bookbinder 8 (1988): 9–18.

Lindsay, Jennifer. “The Edfu Collection of Coptic Books.” New Bookbinder 21 (2001): 31–51.

Meyer, Elizabeth A. “Roman Tabulae, Egyptian Christians, and the Adoption of the Codex.” Chiron 37 (2007): 295–347.

Miller, Julia. "Puzzle Me This: Early Binding Fragments in the Papyrology Collection of the University of Michigan Library." Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding, ed. Julia Miller,Volume 2. Ann Arbor MI: The Legacy Press, forthcoming.

 “New Bownde: New Scholarship in Early Modern Binding.” Conference held August 15–16, 2013 at the The Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. Audio recordings of the conference proceedings: http://www.folger.edu/Content/Collection/Bindings-Conference.cfm. 

Pattie, T.S., and E.G. Turner. The Written Word on Papyrus. London: British Museum, 1974.

Pearson, David. “Common or Garden: The Interest of Ordinary Bindings.” Bookbinder: Journal of the Society of Bookbinders 21 (2007): 13–25.

Petersen, Theodore C. “Coptic Bookbindings in the Pierpont Morgan Library.” Unpublished manuscript, Morgan Library and Museum, 1948. 

Petersen, Theodore C. “Early Islamic Bookbindings and Their Coptic Relations.” Ars Orientalis 1 (1954): 41–64.

Petersen, Theodore C. “The Paragraph Mark in Coptic Illuminated Ornament.” In Studies in Art and Literature for Belle da Costa Greene, ed. by Dorothy Miner, 295–330. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954. 

Pickwoad, Nicholas. “Tacketed Bindings: A Hundred Years of European Bookbinding.” In For the Love of the Binding’: Studies in Bookbinding History Presented to Mirjam Foot, ed. by David Pearson, 119–167. New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Press, 2000.

Regemorter, Berthe van. “Some Early Bindings from Egypt in the Chester Beatty Library.” In Binding Structures in the Middle Ages. A Selection of Studies by Berthe van Regemorter, trans. by Jane Greenfield, 151–181. Brussels: Bibliotheca Wittockiana, 1981.

Regemorter, Berthe van. “The Bound Codex at the Time of the Neo-Hittites.” In Binding Structures in the Middle Ages. A Selection of Studies by Berthe van Regemorter, trans. by Jane Greenfield, 183–191. Brussels: Bibliotheca Wittockiana, 1981.

Regemorter, Berthe van. “The Bound Codex from Its Origin to the Early Middle Ages.” In Binding Structures in the Middle Ages. A Selection of Studies by Berthe van Regemorter, trans. by Jane Greenfield, 107–131. Brussels: Bibliotheca Wittockiana, 1981.

Regemorter, Berthe van. “The Stationer-Bookseller in Egypt.” In Binding Structures in the Middle Ages. A Selection of Studies by Berthe van Regemorter, trans. by Jane Greenfield, 203–205. Brussels: Bibliotheca Wittockiana, 1981.

Regemorter, Berthe van. “The Binding of the Gnostic Manuscripts Discovered at Nag Hammadi.” In Binding Structures in the Middle Ages: A Selection of Studies by Berthe van Regemorter, trans. by Jane Greenfield, 207–220. Brussels: Bibliotheca Wittockiana, 1981.

Roberts, C.H. “The Codex.” Proceedings of the British Academy 40 (1977): 168–204.

Roberts, Colin H., and T.C. Skeat. The Birth of the Codex. London: Oxford University Press, 1983.

Robinson, James M. “Codicological Analysis of Nag Hammadi Codices V and VI and Papyrus Berolinensis 8502.” In The Coptic Gnostic Library, Nag Hammadi Codices V, 2–5 and VI: With Papyrus Berolinensis 8502, 1 and 4. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1979, 9–45.

Robinson, James M. “The Construction of the Nag Hammadi Codices.” In Essays on the Nag Hammadi Codices in Honour of Pahor Lahib, ed. by Martin Krause, 170–190. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1975.

Robinson, James M. “The Discovering and Marketing of Coptic Manuscripts: The Nag Hammadi Codices and the Bodmer Papyri.” In The Roots of Egyptian Christianity, ed. by Birger A. Pearson and James A. Goehring, 2–25. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986.

Robinson, James M., ed. The Facsimile Edition of the Nag Hammadi Codices. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1984.

Sharpe, John L. “The Earliest Bindings with Wooden Board Covers. The Coptic Contribution to Binding Construction.” Preprints of the International Conference on Conservation and Restoration of Archive and Library Material 2 (1996): 381–400.

Shier, Louise A. “Old Testament Texts on Vellum.” In Coptic Texts in the University of Michigan Collection, ed. by William H. Worrell, 25–29. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1942.

Sign, Symbol, Script; an Exhibition on the Origins of Writing and the Alphabet. Madison: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1983.

Skeat, T.C. “Was Papyrus Regarded as ‘Cheap’ or ‘Expensive’ in the Ancient World?” Aegyptus 75 (1995): 75–93.

Skeat, Theodore C. “The Length of the Standard Papyrus-Roll and the Cost-Advantage of the Codex.” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 102 (1982): 169–176.

Szirmai, J.A. The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate Press, 1999.

Tait, W.J. “Rush and Reed: The Pens of Egyptian and Greek Scribes.” In Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Papyrology II, 477–481.Athens: Greek Papyrological Society, 1988.

Turner, Eric G. The Typology of the Early Codex. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977.

Weitzmann, Kurt. Illustrations in Roll and Codex: A Study of the Origin and Method of Text Illustration. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970. 

Wetzel, H.E. “A Set of Egyptian Writing Materials.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 9, no. 8 (August 1914): 181–182.

Wisse, Frederik. “Nag Hammadi Codex III: Codicological Introduction.” In Essays on the Nag Hammadi Texts, ed. by Martin Krause, 225–238. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1975.

Worrell, William H., ed. Coptic Texts in the University of Michigan Collection. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1942.


Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS)

Folger Shakespeare Library Bindings Image Collection

Leuven Database of Ancient Books

Puzzles & Treasures from Cartonnage