For thousands of years, books have preserved the stories, religious beliefs, and discoveries of cultures around the world. But just as books have served as archives for a diverse range of thoughts and beliefs, they’ve also been constructed from an incredibly wide range of materials. From papyrus to cotton paper, books have reflected the technological and cultural worlds of their creators.

In the latest episode of the YouTube show “How To Make Everything,” Andy George explores 5000 years of writing history, employing a wide range of methods in order to create a book from scratch. He does everything by hand, from stretching animal hides to making glue with boiled bones. He constructs his own pencils, quills, and brushes, and makes paper from cotton, papyrus, hemp, and animal hides. The entire process is incredibly laborious and takes a total of 50 hours. Check out a three-minute summary of George’s work above, and to see the full process, visit the “How To Make Everything” YouTube page which dedicates a short video to each stage of the bookmaking process.

[h/t: Gizmodo]

Banner Image Credit: How To Make Everything, YouTube