Suggested Reading

Suggested Digital Resources

Cinnabar: The Chinese Art of Carved Lacquer, 14th to 19th Century

Color in a new Light

Colour: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts

Colour Context: A Database on Colour Context and Knowledge

Melo, Maria Joao and Rita Castro, eds. The "Book on How to Make Colours": O livro de como se fasem as cores das tintas todas. Medieval Colours for Practitioners

The Recipes Project: Food, Magic, Art, Science, and Medicine

Traveling Scriptorium: A Teaching Kit by the Yale University Library

Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms
A digitally illustrated version of:  Michelle P. Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms (J. Paul Getty Museum: Malibu and British Library: London, 1994)



Suggested Secondary Sources

Ancheta, Melonie. "Coloring the Native Northwest Coast," American Indian 17:1 (2016)

Baraldi, Pietro and Concezio Fagnano and Paolo Bensi, "Raman study of a ‘Tabula Colorum Physiologica’ in a 1686 printed journal," Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 37 (2006), 1104-1110.

Chenciner, Robert. Madder Red: A History of Luxury and Trade. London: Curzon, 2000.

Coomes, Mary Laura, From Pooyi to the New Almaden mercury mine: Cinnabar, economics, and culture in California to 1920. Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan, 1999.

Curtis, Emily Byrne. Glass Exchange between Europe and China, 1550-1800: Diplomatic, Mercantile and Technological Interactions. Farnham: Ashgate, 2009.

Eamon, William.  "New Light on Robert Boyle and the Discovery of Colour Indicators," Ambix 27:3 (1980), 204-209.

Easthaugh, Nicholas et al., Pigment Compendium: A Dictionary and Optical Microscopy of Historical Pigments. Oxford: Elsevier, 2013.

Finlay, Victoria. The Brilliant History of Color in Art. LA: Getty Museum, 2014.

Gaspa, Salvatore, Cécile Michel, and Marie-Louise Nosch. Textile Terminologies from the Orient to the Mediterranean and Europe, 1000 BC to 1000 AD. Zea E-Books 56 (2017).

Gettens, R. J., R. L. Feller, and W. T. Chase. Artists' Pigments: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics. Vol. 2. A publication of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and Oxford University Press, 1993.

Grasskamp, Anna. "Branches and Bones: The Transformative Matter of Coral in Ming Dynasty China." In Gems in the Early Modern World" Europe's Asian Centuries, ed. M. Bycroft and S. Dupré. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Greenfield, Amy Butler. A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.

Keller, Vera. “Scarlet Letters: Sir Theodore de Mayerne and the early Stuart Color World in the Royal Society.” In Archival Afterlives: Life, Death, and Knowledge- Making in Early Modern British Scientific and Medical Archives. Vera Keller, Anna Marie Roos, and Elizabeth Yale, eds. Leiden: Brill, 2018,

Kirby, J., Spring, M., and Higgitt, C. "The technology of red lake pigment manufacture: study of the dyestuff substrate." National Gallery Technical Bulletin, 26 (2005), 71-87.

Kirby, J. and White, R. "The identification of red lake pigment dyestuffs and discussion of their use." National Gallery Technical Bulletin, 17 (1996), 56-80.

Kusukawa, Sachiko. "Picturing Knowledge in the Early Royal Society: The Examples of Richard Waller and Henry Hunt. Notes and Records of the Royal Society 65 (2011), 273-294.

Lacey, Pippa. “The Coral Network: The Trade of Red Coral to the Qing imperial Court in the Eighteenth Century." The Global Lives of Things: The Material Culture of Connections in the Ealry Modern World, Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello, eds. London: Routledge, 2016, 81-102.

Liu, Li. The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Lozier, Jean-François. "A Nicer Red: The Exchange and Use of Vermilion in Early America." Eighteenth-Century Studies 51:1 (2017), 45-61.

Mayer, Fritz. The Chemistry of Natural Coloring Matters: The Constitutions, Properties and Biological Relations of the Important Natural Pigments. New York: Reinhold, 1943.

Meli, Domenico. “The Color of Blood: Between Sensory Experience and Epistemic Significance,” in L. Daston and E. Lunbeck, eds, Histories of Scientific Observation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011, 117-34.

Levey, M. "Mediaeval Arabic bookmaking and its relation to early chemistry and pharmacology." Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 52:4 (1962), 5-57.

Lowengard, Sarah. The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

Marques de Matos, Débora. "The Ms. Parma 1959 in the context of Portuguese Hebrew illumination." Master's Thesis, University of Lisbon, 2011.

Needham, Joseph. Science and Civilisation in China, Volume 5, part 3. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976.

Panayotova, Stella, ed. Colour: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts. London: Brepols, 2016.

Panayotova, Stella and Paola Ricciardi, eds. Manuscripts in the Making: Art & Science. London: Brepols, 2017.

Pastoureau, Michel. Red: The History of a Color. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.

Phipps, Elena. Cochineal Red, the Art History of a Color. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010.

Primeau, Thomas. “The Materials and Technology of Renaissance and Baroque Hand-Colored Prints.” In Painted Prints: The Revelation of Color in Northern Renaissance & Baroque Engravings, Etchings & Woodcuts. Baltimore Museum of Art, 2002, 49-80.

Purpura, Gianfranco. “Osservazioni sulla pesca del corallo rosso nell’antichità.” Archaeologia Maritima Mediterranea 2 (2005), 93-106.

Reinhardt, Carsten and Anthony S. Travis. Heinrich Caro and the Creation of the Modern Chemical Industry. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2000.

Rutherford, J. Gettens, Robert L. Feller and W. T. Chase. "Vermilion and Cinnabar." Studies in Conservation 17:2 (1972), 45-69.

Smith, Pamela H. “Itineraries of Materials and Knowledge in the Early Modern World,” The Global Lives of Things: The Material Culture of Connections in the Ealry Modern World, Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello, eds. London: Routledge, 2016, 31-61.

Sukenik N, Iluz D, Amar Z, Varvak A, Workman V, et al. "Early evidence (late 2nd millennium BCE) of plant-based dyeing of textiles from Timna, Israel." PLOS ONE 12:6 (2017), e0179014.

Theobald, Mary Miley. "Putting the Red in Redcoats," Colonial Williamsburg Journal (2012) at

Trinquier, Jean. "Cinnabaris et 'sang-dragon': le 'cinabre' des Anciens entre minéral, végétal et animal." Revue Archéologique 56:2 (2013), 305-346.

Walton, Mark and Karen Trentelman. "Romano-Egyptian Red Lead Pigment: A Subsidiary Commodity of Spanish Silver Mining and Refinement."Archaeometry 51:5 (2008), 845-860.

Watts, Ian. "The pigments from Pinnacle Point Cave 13B, Western Cape, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 59: 3/4 (2010), 392-411.

Wion, Anais. "An Analysis of 17th century Ethiopian Pigments." In The Indigenous and the Foreign in Christian Ethiopian Art: On Portuguese-Ethiopian Contacts in the 16th-17 Centuries. Manuel Joâo Ramos and Isabel Boavida, eds. New York: Routledge, 2016, 103-112.

Additional Suggested Resources available in Special Collections and University Archives, Knight Library, University of Oregon

  1. An example of a copperplate used for engraving.
    Columbus & the egg: The original copper plate. William Hogarth, 1697-1764.; London? : W. Hogarth; 1753. Special Collections and University Archives Rare Books NE642.H6 A65 1753
  2. Die Kunst des Kolorirens. A. M. (Aristide Michel) Perrot, 1793-1879.; Stuttgart : K. Erhard; 1836 Special Collections and University Archives Rare Books ND1510.P415 1836 This work includes a tipped-in chart of color samples.
  3. The color printer: a treatise on the use of colors in typographic printing John F. Earhart, 1853-1938.; Cincinnati, Ohio : Earhart & Richardson; 189 Special Collections and University Archives Rare Books Z258 .E13
  4. Letterpressworkbook. James Trissel; James Trissel, printer; Tom Leech, papermaker; Press at Colorado College, printer; Arjo Wiggins Appleton (Firm), papermaker; Strathmore Paper Company, papermaker; Cartiere Miliani Fabriano, papermaker.;;Colorado Springs, Colo. : Press at Colorado College; 1997. Available at Special Collections and University Archives Spec Coll Reference Oversize (Z256 .T7 1997 ) A sampler of letterpress techniques.
  5. Recipe: Studio as kitchen as laboratory as artist as book. University of Oregon. Department of Art. Eugene, Oregon: Haptic Eye Editions, 2014. N7433.4 .R437 2014 A handmade letterpress artist's book by students inspired by works in UO's Special Collections.
  6. A collection of individual medieval European manuscript leaves for study: Ms 76-MS 90.
  7. Leaf from French Book of Hours, Special Collections and University Archives Vault MS 061
  8. Two leaves from a French Breviary. Special Collections and University Archives Vault Oversize MS 058
  9. Leaf from a Book of Hours. Special Collections and University Archives Vault MS 054
  10. Coptic, Arabic prayers. Special Collections and University Archives Vault MS 006
  11. Missale Maronitarum, Syriac and Karshuni. Special Collections and University Archives Vault MS 022
  12.  Ethiopian Homilies. University of Oregon. Libraries. Special Collections & University Archives Vault MS 029
  13. The Transfiguration on the Mount, Armenian manuscript. Special Collections and University Archives Vault MS 056
  14. Apocalypse. Church Slavic. Special Collections and University Archives Vault MS 052
  15. Ms. 45. Southeast Asian, lacquer binding.
  16. Ms. 62. Illuminated initial of a scribe.
  17. Ms. 46. Seventeenth-century Koran.
  18. MS. 39 Statutes and Provisions of the College of Notaries of the City of Treviso, 1630. Ruled vellum. Rubrication. Manicules. Heraldry. Signs of use. Tooled gilt leather on boards. Missing clasps.