Producing DIAMM Publications
DIAMM Publications was set up to create facsimile publications of the highest quality without the massive price markup of conventional publishers. High-quality colour printing is expensive, and the price only comes down when doing runs of tens of thousands, such as is done for glossy exhibition catalogues. With runs of a few hundred the unit cost is massively higher, but we felt that if we could produce publications without the usual overheads of a publishing house then we could create books that were affordable by individuals and research libraries, whose spending budgets have been seriously diminished in the last few years. The profit margin on our publications is therefore extremely small, and is used only to subsidize future publications. All the income is spent on the actual cost of printing and binding. Nothing is spent on marketing, advertising, office management etc. All these costs are met by private sponsorship.
The next major project is the production of the Ferrell-Vogüé Machaut Manuscript, currently on loan to the Parker Library, Corpus Christi, Cambridge.
This is one of the most important sources for the works of Guillaume de Machaut, and thanks to the generosity of its owners, James E and Elizabeth J Ferrell, it has gone from being the most secret and enigmatic of the Machaut sources to the most accessible, and is the first to be produced in facsimile. It is a very large manuscript (nearly 800 colour pages), and will be produced in two volumes, introductory study (vol. 1) and facsimile (vol. 2). The introduction is a multi-author work, with extensive new content and contextual study by Prof Lawrence Earp revealing hitherto unknown information about the provenance of the book in the library of the Duc du Berry. Domenic Leo provides a detailed discussion of the art-historical aspects of the book, and Carla Shapreau contributes an explosive chapter about the history of the book in the Nazi era. Christopher de Hamel, Fellow Librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge has contributed a preface discussing the recent history of the book. This is a massive undertaking, and will cost DIAMM publications in the region of £85,000. The purchase price of the book is therefore going to be in the region of £550-£600 per copy, but we will be offering a pre-publication discount price for orders received before 1 January 2015. The book will be ready for shipping in January 2015. Postage costs will be high as the total weight will be in the region of 7 Kg.
Work is already under way on the introductory study for the facsimile of the Old Hall Manuscript (British Library Add. 57950), a volume of similar size to the Eton Choirbook, which will probably match Eton in format. The introductory study is being written by Margaret Bent. Since we expect the volume to cost in the region of £250 we will also be offering a pre-publication discount once production is under way.
Other projects in prospect include:
- The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book
- The Baldwin Partbooks (Christ Church, Oxford), with the missing partbook reconstructed
- The Sadler Partbooks (Bodleian Library Oxford), digitally restored to readability
- Aosta C15 (introduction by Peter Wright)
- The Caius Choirbook