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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Hidden Library On The Spines Of Early Books

X-Rays Reveal "Hidden Library" on the Spines of Early Books

Researchers are uncovering fragments of medieval texts used in early book binding

Jason Daley | June 6, 2016

When the printing press made its debut in Europe in the 15th century, hand-written manuscripts went the way of eight track tapes and CD players—becoming unfashionable in the face of new technology. So early book binders cut up some of these older texts and used the paper to reinforce the spines and covers of the newfangled printed books.
That practice has put researchers in another type of bind: To get to the valuable fragments built into these early modern books, they have to tear them apart. But according to Dalya Alberge at The Guardian a new technology is giving researchers a peek at the manuscript fragments without damaging the printed books.

"Fragments of 12th-century manuscripts used to construct a 16th-century bookbinding in Leiden University Library." Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (X-rays reveal 1,300-year-old writings inside later bookbindings. The words of the 8th-century Saint Bede are among those that have been found by detecting iron, copper and zinc – constituents of medieval ink. June 4, 2016) and (Digging for treasure. April 2016)>

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