About the Making and Knowing Project

Click here to learn more about what we are doing at Columbia U. to create a digital critical edition of a 16th-c. book of secrets.

Laboratory Seminars

Reconstruction of the materials and techniques described in the manuscript is being carried out in a laboratory at Columbia University, led by Prof. Pamela Smith.

Paleography Workshops

Marc Smith, Ecole des chartes, Paris, is leading paleography workshops at Columbia University for revising and refining the transcription and translation of the manuscript.

Photos from our Lab

See images of reconstructions from our first year of work in the lab. Click the image to link to our photo repository.

The Power of Failure - Making and Knowing on WHYY (NPR)

Maiken Scott (WHYY) paid a visit to the Making and Knowing Laboratory. Click the image for the podcast.
Introduction to the Project

Introduction to the Project

INTRODUCTION TO THE PROJECT: In the last decades of the sixteenth century, an anonymous French-speaking craftsperson took the unusual step of setting down on paper his techniques for a number of processes that we would now classify as part of the fine arts, of craft, and of technology. Click above to learn more about the processes in the manuscript.
Working Groups

Working Groups

WORKING GROUPS: The three working groups include Moldmaking and Metalworking; Color Making; and Natural History, Medicine, and Mechanics. These groups include scholars and technical experts specializing in the different types of technical recipes contained in the manuscript.
Laboratory Seminars

Laboratory Seminars

LAB SEMINARS: See the latest of what we have been up to in the laboratory: the reconstruction of 16th-century sand-casting methods. See our Flickr photostream, and Twitter account for the most recent updates.