Atlantia A&S Criteria

Includes binding of pages into a codex format and any associated metalwork or leather preparation. Calligraphy, illumination, and papermaking (if any) will not be judged.

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DOCUMENTATION (0-30 points. SCORE 0-10 then MULTIPLY BY 3):

Must have at least “EZ Doc” information. More is acceptable, although one or two pages (not counting visuals and bibliography) should be more than enough. If your documentation is more than three pages for exceptionally detailed and in-depth work, you should provide an executive summary. The best documentation will cover what they did in period, what the creator did in the project, and why the difference (if any). It will explain any conscious compromises made, and provide footnotes, illustrations, and references, as well as any original research or experimentation as it applies to the project. Give score based on the following considerations:

  • A minimum of: what it is, where is it from, when is it from, and references;
  • Identification/description/use of entry;
  • Date and place/country of origin entry is modeled on;
  • Materials used in the project (type of board, type of covering material, type of paper or parchment, type of sewing support);
  • Techniques and tools used during the process (ex. blind tooling);
  • Research (country, period of origin, typical characteristics, etc.); 
  • Description of style characteristics or discussion of logic applied to design of entry.

AUTHENTICITY (0-20 points) [SCORE 0-10 and then DOUBLE THE SCORE]:

  • 0–1: No evident attempt at period look; clearly out-of-period style or materials (ex. case binding);
  • 2–3: Inappropriate mixture of times and cultures obvious on surface (ex. exposed spine with Gothic metalwork);
  • 4–5: Good surface appearance, but problems or inconsistencies in structure (ex. Coptic stitching under leather spine on later-period book) or materials (modern binder’s board, glued-on endbands). Minimal or inappropriate decorative techniques. Problems with size or scale. Missing elements;
  • 6–8: Authentic appearance, materials, and techniques, including choices of adhesives, leather, textiles, and wood. Appropriate surface decoration styles and techniques, including endbands, cover decoration, and metalwork design where needed;
  • 9–10: Above, plus special effort to achieve completely period product, such as creation/use of leather stamping tools in period designs.

COMPLEXITY (1-10 points):

Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, scale of 1-10 considering the following:

  • Difficulty of structural techniques (packed sewing, board chiseling); 
  • Complexity of the binding (Coptic vs Japanese vs raised cords);
  • Type and difficulty of materials used (vellum harder to work than paper, full leather binding vs half leather binding, etc.);
  • Difficulty of decorative techniques (none vs pattern/design, blind tooling, edge gilding, embroidered textiles, gold stamping, etc.);
  • Difficulty of metalwork created or adapted (clasps, hasp, bosses, chains, decorative elements).

WORKMANSHIP (3-30 points. SCORE 1-10 then MULTIPLY BY 3):

Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry on a scale 1-10, considering the following:

  • Functionality: Does the book open and close properly? Is the binding too loose or too tight? Does the binding seem durable? Is the tension on the hasp/clasp appropriate, and likely to stay that way?;
  • Surface design: aesthetics, scale, proportion of elements, neatness;
  • Examine leather corners on hard-back books, cut of leather turn-ins near spine, and elsewhere for neatness. Any gaps, ragged edges, visible glue or paste? Does cover material mold well to raised cords or other structures? If textile cover, has any glue seeped through the material?; 
  • Examine endbands and metalwork, if present, for neatness, decoration, and function; 
  • Are the text block and covers square and aligned correctly? If text block has been trimmed, has this been done neatly using appropriate tools?;
  • Is any exposed sewing done neatly with appropriate tension?


Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the complete effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed.