Before the invention of the printing press books were written by hand, usually by monks working in a room called a ‘Scriptorium’. The ‘Scriptorium’ was a small space, in the monastery, next to the library. Here the scribes (writers) would write, illustrate and copy manuscripts.
At the risk of disappearing down a rabbit hole (which I’ve always liked the idea of…) I’ve come across an amazing late 14th century manuscript of Dante’s Divine Comedy, beautifully photographed and available on line. It is just incredible.