Announcements

EBS-sponsored sessions, International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 14-17, 2015
EBS is pleased to sponsor four sessions at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan (May 14-17, 2015). The session titles are the following:

1. A Library, a Saint, and a Rose (co-sponsored with the IRHT, Paris)

2. When is a scribe not a scribe?

3. Magical Agency: prayers, ritual, prophecy and prognostication

4. Stories about Books: evidence and the making of narrative

The first session is preplanned but the others are open for submissions. Please send abstracts (1-2 pp), letters of commitment, and a-v request forms (please access the form through www.wmich.edu/medieval) to Martha Driver not later (preferably earlier) than September 15, 2014. EBS members wishing to serve as session chairs or respondents should send a note by the September date to the university or email address. Send abstracts to Dept of English, Pace University, 41 Park Row, Rm 1503, New York, NY 10038 or FAX to 212-346-1754 (attn: Martha Driver, English Department). Inquiries are welcome. If responding by email, please put Kalamazoo 2015 and the session of interest into the subject line.

 

Vernon and Simeon Manuscripts now both fully Digitised
Often cited by medieval English manuscripts scholars, but rarely reproduced, now the Simeon manuscript (British Library, Addit. MS 22283) is available in full on the British Library Digitised Manuscripts site. On the manuscript and research in progress on it see Wendy Scase's guest blog entry, 'Beyond the Bling', 10 June 2014, on the British Library Medieval Manuscripts blog and the Simeon Manuscript Project website at the University of Birmingham. Digitisation of Simeon follows the recent publication on DVD of The Vernon Manuscript: A Facsimile Edition of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Eng. poet.a.1, ed. by Wendy Scase (Oxford: Bodleian Digital Texts, 2012), meaning that the extraordinary Vernon-Simeon pair are now fully available for the first time.

 

New resource: Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts
From the site (here): The site offers bibliographic information and digital facsimiles for selected collections of manuscript codices, texts, documents, papers, and leaves held by Penn's Rare Book & Manuscript Library as well as those privately owned by Lawrence J. Schoenberg (C'53, WG'56). Penn holds over 2,000 Western manuscripts produced before the 19th century; medieval and Renaissance manuscripts comprise approximately 900 items, the earliest dating from 1000 A.D. Its holdings of Indic manuscripts is the largest in the Western hemisphere with more than 3,000 items. The Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection emphasizes secular topics, especially science and mathematics, and includes tablets from the 21st to 18th centuries B.C.

 

Now Available: Blackburn's 'Worthy Citizen': The Philanthropic Legacy of R.E. Hart
by Cynthia Johnston, Sarah J. Biggs

From the publisher's website (here): The exceptionally fine colour images in this catalogue are selections from the R.E. Hart Collection held by the Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery. Seven medieval manuscripts and three incunables from the Collection were exhibited at Senate House Library in November of 2013.

This project, Blackburn's 'Worthy Citizen': The Philanthropic Legacy of R.E. Hart, was made possible by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and was generously supported by the Institute of English Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London; Winchester University; the Bibliographical Society; the Economic History Society; and the Blackburn Museum itself. Graduate students from the Institute of English Studies, The Courtauld Institute of Art, and Cambridge and Winchester Universities have worked with curators and experts from a wide range of academic disciplines to produce the exhibition and accompanying catalogue.

See the blog about the Hart collection here: http://blackhartbooks.wordpress.com/about/

 

Late Medieval English Scribes website launched
Linne Mooney, Estelle Stubbs, and Simon Horobin have now launched the Late Medieval English Scribes website at http://www.medievalscribes.com/.

Late Medieval English Scribes is an online catalogue of all scribal hands (identified or unidentified) which appear in the manuscripts of the English writings of five major Middle English authors: Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, John Trevisa, William Langland and Thomas Hoccleve.

 

Harlaxton Medieval Studies Index now available
Over the course of the twenty-five years of its existence, the Harlaxton Medieval Symposium has published proceedings of its annual gatherings containing some 462 articles by 293 authors extending over 7682 pages. To mark the symposium’s quarter-century, the steering committee has now commissioned a cumulative index covering the first twenty-five volumes of the Harlaxton Medieval Studies, most of which were originally published without an index.

The newly-published index volume which runs to an impressive 841 pages

  • is comprehensive for names of places and individuals
  • provides references to a wide range of subjects
  • includes a full index of the manuscripts and documentary sources cited
  • includes a full alphabetical list of authors and essays.

Now available from:

Shaun Tyas Publishing
1 High Street
Donington
Lincolnshire
PE11 4TA
United Kingdom

T: + 44 (0)1775 821 542
E: pwatkins@pwatkinspublishing.fsnet.co.uk

The cost is £35.00 (post free for UK orders)

 

New Blog from St Andrews: Echoes from the Vault
In an age where books have become an increasingly rare item to find in libraries, and as libraries themselves are experiencing their largest sea-change since electronic cataloguing was introduced, special collection departments are slowly becoming what defines one library from another.

Echoes from the Vault is the official blog of the Rare Books Collection of the University of St Andrews. Here you can find posts about unique or exciting finds amongst the vaults in our day-to-day work, bringing to light voices that have remained quiet for many years. This blog will also feature news and events happening within the Special Collections Department and the University Library.

The Rare Books Collection of the University of St Andrews is estimated at over 200,000 volumes, and almost half of these have not been catalogued online, with only a portion of it having been recorded in the old Page Catalogue and reported to the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) and other bibliographies. Most of the unique items are not completely unknown to previous and existing Special Collections staff, they have just lain dormant for centuries. It is our hope that we can reawaken the potential of these books as research and educational resources by getting them in the hands of students, staff and researchers.

As part of its launch, Echoes from the Vault is showcasing bookbindings in St Andrews' collection with a special feature "52 Weeks of Fantastic Bindings," adding photos and discussion of one new fantastic binding each week. Follow the blog here: http://standrewsrarebooks.wordpress.com/.

 

Opuscula: Short Texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (OSTMAR)
The Editorial Board of Opuscula: Short Texts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (OSTMAR) is pleased to announce the official launch of its website: http://opuscula.usask.ca. We seek single-witness editions of Medieval and Renaissance texts under 6,000 words accompanied by a brief introduction (1000-1500 words) and translation. We invite submission of a broad range of pre-modern texts including but not limited to literary and philosophical works, letters, charters, court documents, and notebooks. Texts should be previously unedited and the edition must represent a discrete text in its entirety.

For more information or to view a sample edition, go to opuscula.usask.ca or write Frank Klaassen, General Editor at editor@opuscula.usask.ca.

OSTMAR is an on-line and open-access journal published by Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies at the University of Saskatchewan under a creative commons license. All submissions are subject to a double-blind peer review and must be accompanied by readable digital facsimiles of the original documents.

 

Announcing a new series from Ashgate Publishing Company:
Material Readings in Early Modern Culture

Series Editors:
James Daybell, University of Plymouth; and Adam Smyth, Birkbeck College, University of London
This series provides a forum for studies that consider the material forms of texts as part of an investigation into early modern culture. The editors invite proposals of a multi- or interdisciplinary nature, and particularly welcome proposals that combine archival research with an attention to the theoretical models that might illuminate the reading, writing, and making of texts, as well as projects that take innovative approaches to the study of material texts, both in terms the kinds of primary materials under investigation, and in terms of methodologies. What are the questions that have yet be to asked about writing in its various possible embodied forms? Are there varieties of materiality that are critically neglected? How does form mediate and negotiate content? In what ways do the physical features of texts inform how they are read, interpreted and situated? Consideration will be given to both monographs and collections of essays.

    The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to:
  • History of the book, publishing, the book trade, printing, typography (layout, type, typeface, blank/white space, paratextual apparatus)
  • Technologies of the written word: ink, paper, watermarks, pens, presses
  • Surprising or neglected material forms of writing
  • Print culture
  • Manuscript studies
  • Social space, context, location of writing
  • Social signs, cues, codes imbued within the material forms of texts
  • Ownership and the social practices of reading: marginalia, libraries, environments of reading and reception
  • Codicology, palaeography and critical bibliography
  • Production, transmission, distribution and circulation
  • Archiving and the archaeology of knowledge
  • Orality and oral culture
  • The material text as object or thing

Proposals should take the form of either 1) a preliminary letter of inquiry, briefly describing the project; or 2) a formal prospectus including: abstract, brief statement of your critical methodology, table of contents, sample chapter, estimate of length, estimate of the number and type of illustrations to be included, and a c.v. Please send a copy of either type of proposal to each of the two series editors and to the publisher: Dr James Daybell, james.daybell@plymouth.ac.uk; Dr Adam Smyth, adam.smyth@bbk.ac.uk; Erika Gaffney, Publisher, egaffney@ashgate.com.

 

THE MEDIAEVAL JOURNAL
Brepols Publishers and the St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies are delighted to announce a forthcoming journal for 2011, beginning with two issues.

The Mediaeval Journal is a distinctively European-based cross-disciplinary and multinational journal of Mediaeval Studies published in English in both print and online formats. Featuring the work of specialists in all areas of Mediaeval Studies, it offers wide disciplinary coverage in every issue and welcomes submissions from the worldwide community of mediaevalists in traditional disciplines such as Art History, History, Archaeology, Theology, European Languages/Literatures (including English), as well as burgeoning areas such as Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, Manuscript Studies, Mediaevalisms, Material Culture, History of Medicine and Science, History of Ideas, Queer Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Musicology, to name a few. Each issue of The Mediaeval Journal also contains timely and expert reviews responding to the variety and energy of scholarship across the world of Mediaeval Studies.

The editors are pleased to receive submissions in any of the above areas, and to respond to queries from potential contributors. Please send submissions, in the form of email attachments, to the General Editors: Dr Ian Johnson (irj@st-andrews.ac.uk) and Dr Margaret Connolly (mc29@st-andrews.ac.uk).

Ordering Information: To order a copy of The Mediaeval Journal contact our Customer Care Department at periodicals@brepols.net or tel. +32 14 44 80 35.

 

Harry Ransom Center's Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection Now Accessible Online

AUSTIN, Texas --The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has introduced an online database for its medieval and early modern manuscripts collection. The database includes more than 7,000 digital images and can be accessed here

http://research.hrc.utexas.edu/pubmnem/

The medieval and early modern manuscripts collection contains 215 items dating from the 11th to the 17th centuries. It comprises items from various collections, including those of George Atherton Aitken, W. H. Crain, Carlton Lake, Edward A. Parsons, Sir Thomas Phillipps, Walter Emile Van Wijk, Evelyn Waugh, John Henry Wrenn and others.

The Ransom Center is digitizing all of the collection items, which will be added to the database as they are completed. At present, digital images are available for 27 of the items for a total of 7,288 pages.

The database contains item-level descriptions for all 215 items, and the collection is searchable by keyword and any combination of the following categories: name, country of origin, century, language, format (such as charters or diaries), subject and physical features (such as musical notation or wax seals).

The medieval and early modern manuscripts collection is a rich resource for many areas of research. Scholars may use the collection to trace typographical developments in printing, compare different versions of the same text or examine a manuscript's composition, decoration and binding to study the history of the book. The collection may also be valuable for those studying the history of liturgy and music.

"The new database for the Ransom Center's medieval and early modern manuscripts collection is a wonderful resource for students and teachers here at the university and for scholars everywhere," said Marjorie Curry Woods, professor of English and comparative literature at The University of Texas at Austin. "The detailed descriptions will help researchers working on individual manuscripts, provide a model for students learning palaeography and codicology, and allow scholars elsewhere to explore possible connections between the Ransom Center's manuscripts and those in other collections.

"The complete digitized versions of manuscripts are invaluable. Manuscripts that are now too fragile to be handled are still available for research and teaching, and those that have small, difficult-to-read glosses and marginalia now can be deciphered with relative ease. In addition, digitized manuscripts can be projected for class presentations and can be consulted by scholars working collaboratively but in different locations. Access to the Ransom Center's valuable early holdings is increased exponentially while at the same time reducing wear and tear on the manuscripts themselves."

The collection is particularly strong in humanistic manuscripts, vernacular literature and religious documents. Other represented subjects include alchemy, architecture, astronomy, botany, cartography, classical literature, diplomacy, drama, genealogy, government, heraldry, history, kings and rulers, law, mathematics, medicine, monasticism and religious orders, music, philosophy, poetry, science and war.

The earliest item in the collection is the Tegernsee Miscellany manuscript, an 11th-century Austrian codex of various texts compiled by Abbot Ellinger of Tegernsee. Other highlights include 11 Books of Hours, most notably the "Belleville Hours," and a 15th-century German ferial psalter and hymnal, significant because of its possible stylistic relationship to the Gutenberg Bible and early printed psalters.

The collection contains classical texts, including copies of works by Cicero, Horace, Ovid and Plato, and medieval literary works by Geoffrey Chaucer, Dante and Petrarch.

The historical documents in the collection represent numerous European monarchs, such as Henry VIII of England, Louis XIII of France and Philip III of Spain. Notable historical figures represented in the collection include Oliver Cromwell, Martin Luther, John Milton, Sir Isaac Newton, Abraham Ortelius and Sir Walter Raleigh. Document types include charters, commonplace books, contracts, correspondence, decrees, deeds, diaries, government records, indentures, letters patent, minutes, notarial documents, notes, papal bulls, petitions, pontificals, receipts, reports, speeches and writs.

The manuscripts represent numerous countries and historical regions, including Austria, Bohemia, Bolivia, Byzantium, England, Flanders, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and the United States. The represented languages include Dutch, English, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Middle English, Old English and Spanish.

Other holdings at the Ransom Center that contain early manuscripts include the George Atherton Aitken, Eastern manuscripts, clay tablets and cones, Kraus maps, Lanza-Acosta Bolivian, Arthur Livingston, papyri, Pforzheimer, Ranuzzi, Shelley family and the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary collections.

High-resolution press images from the collection are available.

 

New Project--
Turning over a New Leaf: Manuscript Innovation in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance
Coordinator: Erik Kwakkel (e.kwakkel@hum.leidenuniv.nl), Leiden University Institute for Cultural Disciplines (LUICD); Funding: NWO VIDI-Scheme; Period: 1 May 2010 to 1 May 2015; Project Members: Coordinator; Junior Researcher; Postdoctoral Researcher.

This project is concerned with the relationship between written culture and society, specifically how innovations in the technology of the medieval manuscript relate to cultural change. The primary period of investigation is the age of renewal (renovatio) known as the “Twelfth-Century Renaissance” (c. 1075 - c. 1225). The project focuses on the new codex that emerged in this period: the “pregothic” manuscript, for lack of a better term. The new book format included new scripts, new page layouts and new reading aids, including running titles, paragraphs, “footnotes,” cross references and diagrams. These and other innovations dramatically changed the reading experience of medieval individuals: it helped to organize knowledge, convert words into arguments, open a dialogue between author and reader, and facilitated better comprehension and speedier access of information.


The project aims to show why the new format emerged and how it developed over the course of the period 1075-1225. It traces the roots of the manuscript in the institutional homes of a new breed of European scholars, and relates its creation to changes in the profile of readers and the texts they read. The Twelfth-Century Renaissance is seen as a movement that gave alacrity and optimism to educated society, whose members sensed they were living in a time different from their immediate past. Scholars all over western Europe — lacking cohesion other than a shared background (a “career,” perhaps) in higher education and a deep yearning for knowledge — started to exchange new ideas and outlooks on the world through newly designed books, which were disseminated through the main intellectual centers, monasteries, cathedral schools and (ultimately) universities.

The emergence of the pregothic manuscript raises important questions. What physical traits were introduced on the page and how did they precisely aid the reader? How quickly were these new features disseminated and which ones were most popular? Can their introduction be tied to particular institutions, schools or groups of intellectuals? Did certain texts come with certain physical attributes? To address such queries, the research project will relate the material format of the twelfth-century book to the historical context of its production and use. The affiliated researchers will focus on three dimensions: 1) Codicological and paleographical innovations (Coordinator, starting 1 May 2010); 2) Relationship between the material book and the cultural background of their users (Junior Researcher, to be appointed in 2010); 3) Relationship between the material book and the texts and genres it contains (Postdoctoral Researcher, to be appointed in 2011). The project leans heavily on manuscripts included in the Catalogues des Manuscrits Datés and will be based on in-situ study of a high volume of manuscripts.

 

"Performing Medieval Narrative Today: A Video Showcase"
This website (http://euterpe.bobst.nyu.edu /mednar/), produced through the Studio for Digital Projects and Research at New York University, offers resources for scholars, teachers, students, and performers to explore the performance of medieval narrative. Our purpose is to see how medieval stories can be brought to life in performance for modern audiences, and how performance can be used to teach medieval literature in the classroom. We hope as well to promote a better understanding of ways in which medieval narratives may have been performed for their original audiences.


Video clips constitute the primary resource on the website. The clips feature a variety of actors, storytellers, singers, musicians, mimes, puppeteers, and dancers, among them professionals, teachers, and students. They perform scenes drawn from a range of medieval narrative genres, including epics, romances, lais, tales, fabliaux, and others. Some performances of narratives from analogous traditions (such as the Egyptian Hilali epic) are also represented.


In the future, we plan to expand the site's holdings and add other resources to the site, including further information bearing on pedagogical uses of performance, and videoed interviews with performers and with faculty and students who work with performance.


We hope you will visit, and use, the website. We welcome your feedback, which may be sent to perf-med-narr@forums.nyu.edu

Timmie (E.B.) Vitz, New York University ­ ebv1@nyu.edu
Marilyn Lawrence, New York University ­ lawrence@alumni.princeton. edu
Project Directors

 

Send announcements to Martha Rust at martha.rust@nyu.edu
Last updated 7/14/2014