The goal of this international project is to publish every writing tool extant from Roman antiquity to A.D. 1500 in a format both useful and consistent. All tools used at every stage of book production will be included, from tools for preparing the physical support of texts (e.g., parchment-makers' knives) to furniture for book storage (e.g., capsae, armaria). Wax tablets and associated tools (e.g., styli, Wachsspachteln) will also be incorporated. Impetus for the project comes from the fact that while great strides have been made in the study of books as artefacts (e.g., statistical studies on the make-up of quires, characterization analyses of parchment, atlases of layout) less progress has been made in the study of the artefacts employed in the manufacture of books and documents. Very few typologies of writing tools have been attempted. CInS will provide a basic research tool for mapping the geographical and temporal distribution of instrumenta scribendi and chronicling their morphological changes. Improved knowledge of some of the tools available to scribes and other writers can only lead to a better understanding of how they produced books. The project will be of benefit to archaeologists as well as to palaeographers and codicologists.
It is planned to publish the volumes of CInS by country, or region, or, where warranted, by collection, along the lines of projects such as the ChLA, or the Manuscrits datés. Each object will be given a compendious physical description, and be represented by a photograph, line drawing, or both. An electronic database of the complete corpus is contemplated, as well as an annual register of new finds. Editors for the individual volumes will be appointed in consultation with the Comité international de paléographie latine, and others. Guidelines for a working classification of the tools, their nomenclature, and a standard format for entries are being developed by the initiators of the project, Professor David Ganz, Kings College, University of London, and R. A. Rosenfeld, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.
Please send comments or requests for more information to R. A. Rosenfeld, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 59 Queen's Park Crescent East, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C4, Canada ;. fax [+1] (416) 926-7292 ; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.