Many beautiful illuminated manuscripts survive from the Middle Ages and can be seen in libraries and museums throughout Europe. But who were the skilled craftsmen who made these exquisite books? What precisely is parchment? How were medieval manuscripts designed and executed? What were the inks and pigments, and how were they applied? Examining the work of scribes, illuminators, and bookbinders, this lavishly illustrated account tells the story of manuscript production from the early Middle Ages through to the high Renaissance. Each stage of production is described in detail, from the preparation of the parchment, pens, paints, and inks to the writing of the scripts and the final decoration of the manuscript. Christopher de Hamel's engaging text is accompanied by a glossary of key technical terms relating to manuscripts and illumination, providing an invaluable introduction for anyone interested in studying medieval manuscripts today.