Quill Books before print mediamediamediamediamediamedia
choosing a writing support
making quires and sheets
preparing the page
copying the text
correcting the text
decorating the book
binding the book
using the book
> Correcting the Text

Flaws be gone!

While a Bible may take a year to produce, a mistake was made in a split-second. Even scribes who carefully copied their text, a few words at the time, would ultimately make mistakes. Hasty scribes and those who did not understand the text they copied, usually made many mistakes. An important stage in the production of the medieval book was therefore to correct the text after completion. Some copyists did so superficially, by quickly going through the freshly written pages.
Others did so more meticulously, carefully comparing their copy to the original they had copied. There were various tools to remove flaws from the page. Some were subtle: scribes could inconspicuously add or remove letters, or write on erasure. Other correction practices jumped off the page, like crossing out text or adding omitted text in the margin. Whatever technique the scribe opted for, the ultimate goal was the same, and obvious: flaws be gone!