Bindings across Physical Formats and Digital Spaces

The Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture (CHPDC) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison is delighted to announce a two-day late-Spring/early-Summer event

 Bindings across Physical Formats and Digital Spaces June 4th and June 11th, 2021

Registration Open Now

Participants will delve into the relationship between the physical components of books and their digital representations. Five speakers will present and guide participants through the work of the book binder and book artist. We will explore examples of both historical and artist book bindings and make two books, one modeled on a 15th-century limp parchment binding held in the University of Wisconsin Special Collections Library, and the other an artist book with moveable/pop-up elements. We will also learn about the potential of robust bibliographical descriptions and how to use new software tools that create collation diagrams and 3D digital representations.

Organizers: Jonathan Senchyne is an Assistant Professor in the iSchool at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Director of the Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture. Heather Wacha is the Associate Coordinator for the CHPDC and also teaches in the iSchool.

Keynote SpeakerDot Porter is Curator of Digital Research Services at the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. As a digital humanist, a medievalist, and a librarian, she participates in a wide-ranging digital humanities research and development team within the context of a special collections department. For more about Dot and her work, check out her blog.

Guest Speakers:

  • Melissa Moreton  (University of Toronto, Research Associate, The Book and the Silk Roads Project,) Global Book History, Codicology, and Material Culture 
  • Heather Wacha (University of Wisconsin, CHPDC Associate Coordinator) Manuscript Studies, Material Culture, Digital Humanities 
  • Alberto Campagnolo (University of Udine) Digital Humanities, Codicologist, Book Conservator
  • Kim Maher (University of Iowa Instructional Service Specialist, Media & Design, Art and Art History, Center for the Book, Adjunct Professor) Project Manager for the William Morris Archive, Book Artist
  • Rachel Di Cresce (University of Toronto, Digital Project Librarian) Project Librarian for the Book and the Silk Roads Project


Friday June 4th   Friday June 11th  
8:30-9:00 Welcome 8:30-9:00 Welcome
Session 1 9:00-10:00 Melissa Moreton: Sewing Techniques for Binding Books Session 7 9:00-10:00 Kim Maher: Artist Books and Bindings
Session 2 10:00-11:30 Heather Wacha: Sewing a Text Block Hands-on Session 8 10:00-11:30 Kim Maher: Making an Artist Book
Lunch 11:30-12:30   Lunch 11:30-12:30  
Session 3 12:30-1:30 Melissa Moreton: Techniques for Attaching Covers Session 9 12:30-1:15 Rachel Di Cresce: 3D Binding Visualizations
Session 4 1:30-2:45 Heather Wacha: Making and Attaching a Cover Hands-on Session 10 1:15-2:30 Rachel Di Cresce: Interactive session with 3D Binding Visualizations
Break 2:45-3:00   Break 2:30-3:00  
Session 5  3:00-3:45 Alberto Campagnolo: Describing Bindings for Research Purposes and Catalog Records Keynote Lecture  3:00-4:30 Dot Porter: Keynote Lecture, Books of Hours as Transformative Works
Session 6 3:45-4:45 Alberto Campagnolo: Small Group Activity Investigating Cover, Endband, and Sewing Descriptions 4:30-5:00 Closing Remarks
4:45-5:00 Closing Remarks    


The keynote lecture—June 11, 2021 3:00-4:30 pm—is open to the public.

The cost of tuition is $110 for the two days, or $60.00 for students or those with extenuating circumstances.

Participants will also need to buy a custom-made kit ($25.00) for the book-making components of the event. The link for the kit is HERE. Participants will have the option to collage elements for the artist book and are encouraged to utilize found materials and mark-making tools such as: old magazines, discarded books, junk mail, elements found in nature, colored pencils, watercolors, markers.

Registration for this event is highly encouraged before May 28th (so that there is time for participants to receive their kits in the mail.)


1) Please register and make your payment HERE.

2) For further information or if you have any questions, please contact Heather Wacha at