Księgi rękopiśmienne cechu introligatorów gdańskich (1595-1911)
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The guild of Gdańsk bookbinders produced manuscripts for their own use. They recorded the rolla, acknowledging the guild’s legal entity as a municipal corporation, endorsed by the Gdansk Town Council in 1595; to have it was a matter of priority for every guild. They also possessed a book of the journeymen’s guild; after a dispute with the masters it was recognized by the Council as an independent organization in 1604. The books give a record of social life, business and educational relationships within the organization between the masters, journeymen and apprentices. There are twenty other archival materials retained; although they are called ‘books’ in the Inventory of the National Archive in Gdansk, some of them are just collections of documents sewn together and given numbers by archive workers. Not all the commemorative books, which recorded the most important events in the corporation have survived turbulent times. Nevertheless, the collection is one of best retained office files among the 120 town guilds. The rolla was written on papyrus and with leather cover; the journeymen’s book of entries of 1800-1911 includes a beautiful Baroque painting showing a bookbinder at work. There is also a collection of valuable migratory letters of 1740-1804, which proves that a large number of masters bore Polish names.
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