The Concerntina-Fold Book, Across Premodern Cultures, session at the 2023 International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 3–6, 2023
‘Accordion’, ‘concertina’, ‘pleated’, ‘screenfold’ —scholars use a variety of terms to describe the zig-zag- or ‘fan’-fold book format. Although not identical in structure, books of this type share at least one common feature: they (appear to) comprise a continuous, oblong surface broken by creases. Most are bound in such a way that they can be flipped through like a codex; some can be fully or partially extended to reveal multiple ‘pages’ at once. Just how and even what information was articulated across the surfaces of concertinas, the extent to which the different folded states were meaningfully exploited by premodern people—these are among the questions to be explored in this session. We seek papers that consider the contents and mechanics of concertinas in various cultural contexts. By taking a comparative approach, we aim to identify commonalities that may signal formal imperatives whilst sharpening our understanding of particularities preserved in different traditions. Proposals by individuals in the academic, museum and library sectors; at any stage of their careers; and from any discipline and field of study are welcome.
Sarah Griffin, Lambeth Palace Library
Megan McNamee, University of Edinburgh