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The binding is an indispensable component of a manuscript as it was designed to keep the sheets of vellum or parchment together and protect them from being damaged. Binding was the final stage of the manuscript production process and typically took place after the manuscript had been purchased by the manuscript’s owner, often in a different location from where it was copied.

This particular Office of the Dead received a new binding early in the sixteenth century and features decorative tooled leather (that displays St. Paul and Virgin and Child motifs) covering substantial wooden boards. Oak was commonly used for the boards of manuscripts, as hardwood was essential to minimize worming. Once the pages of the manuscript were ordered properly, they would have been placed into a sewing frame and attached together with linen thread. They were then sewn onto leather strips known as bands, creating a text block. The text block was attached to the boards by having the bands run through tiny holes bored into the edge of the beveled boards and then fastened to the inside with metal or wooden pegs.

This Office of the Dead also features ornately decorated metal bosses and corner pieces that were attached to the binding with metal pins; these elements served as protection for the decorative leather and boards of the binding. This protective measure was necessary as it was common for medieval manuscripts to be stored both flat and upright, which put stress on the binding and boards.

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