Call for Papers: EBS at Kalamazoo 2016
Making Sense of the Material
Crossing Boundaries: the Movement of MSS and Printed Books
Networks of Reading in the Later Middle Ages
Reconstructing Medieval Libraries
Talks in the first session might address the ways in which the makers of books make sense of their exemplars or several versions of a text or a partial or muddled text. Among subjects to be considered is the work of scribes in organizing texts or the use of manuscript exemplars by early printers. While illustration sometimes serves to clarify the theme or subject of a text, in other cases it may provide a parallel running commentary; these too might be topics for discussion. Or papers might consider the ways in which texts are edited, translated or emended, which in some cases completely corrupts the text, sometimes rewrites it, sometimes corrects and restores it, and occasionally, transforms it into another text entirely. Translation of texts and the activities of antiquaries in the recovery of medieval texts are other possible themes.
"Crossing Boundaries" invites lectures on the import and export of MSS and books (as occurred quite regularly) or on one book that has been made in several places (as is the case with Books of Hours that were copied in one country but decorated or illuminated in another) or on volumes copied in places like Calais which was held by the English during the Hundred Years War where French scribes and artists made books for English patrons, for French patrons and sometimes for both.
Talks in "Networks of Reading in the Later Middle Ages" might explore the cluster of readers around great patrons like Lady Margaret Beaufort, or books made especially for religious houses, or discuss readerly friendships like that of John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer, or the circulation of MSS and books between those in the professional classes in order to discern contemporary tastes, literary influences, and intellectual and/or religious associations.
"Reconstructing Medieval Libraries" examines what a library meant to medieval readers. A library might be as small as a personal collection of MSS, or perhaps several MSS bound in one volume, or as large as a royal collection. While papers here might literally describe the building and grounds of now vanished libraries, they could also consider questions of ownership, provenance, and the ways medieval people thought about their books (or about collecting), and in some cases, trace the survival of medieval books in modern libraries.
Please send abstracts (1-2 pp), letters of commitment, and the Participant Information Form (access through www.wmich.edu/medieval) to Martha Driver not later (preferably earlier) than September 15, 2015. EBS members wishing to serve as session chairs or respondents should send a note by the September date to the university or email address. Please send your proposals to email@example.com OR to firstname.lastname@example.org and include 'Proposal for Kalamazoo 2016' in the subject line. Abstracts may also be sent by mail to English/WGS, Pace University, 41 Park Row, New York, NY 10038 or FAXed to 212-346-1754 (attn: Martha Driver, English Department). If responding by email, please put 'Kalamazoo 2016' and the session of interest into the subject line.
Scots scriever sought
It is the result of a joint initiative between the National Library of Scotland and Creative Scotland. Applications open today for the role which is designed to produce original creative work in Scots, its variants and dialects, across any art-form, as well as raising awareness, appreciation and use of Scots across the country and amongst all parts of the population.
The successful candidate will be awarded a two-year residency, based at the National Library with funding from Creative Scotland.
This was announced today at the National Library by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs. She said: “The Scottish Government’s ambition is for the Scots language to be recognised, valued and used in Scottish public and community life. The Scots language is an essential part of Scotland’s distinctive culture and heritage, and the Scottish Government takes seriously the promotion of the Scots language throughout Scotland in all its regional and local variants.”
Creative Scotland also published its first Scots language policy at the event which underlines the organisation’s commitment to supporting the language through its own work and the work it funds across the arts, screen and creative industries.
The Scots scriever role will involve a high level of public engagement and the chosen applicant will work closely with the Scots collections at the Library.
National Librarian, Dr John Scally said: “We are delighted to be working with Creative Scotland in offering this exciting new writing role, as part of our continuing commitment to the Scots language. Our collections are rich in Scots and include some of the earliest examples of written Scots through to writers such as Robert Burns, Hugh MacDiarmid and, in more recent times, Irvine Welsh.”
The author James Robertson whose novels contain prominent use of Scots and who has also translated a number of books for children and young people into Scots welcomed both the scriever role and Creative Scotland’s new policy.
He said the initiative recognises “Scots both as a part of the identity and daily life of hundreds of thousands of people, and as a special national cultural asset. I hope this policy encourages creative individuals and organisations throughout the land to engage with Scots in all kinds of ways. This is not about looking back, whatever the language’s past achievements: it is about ensuring that Scots goes forward to be seen and heard in the future.”
Story in the New York Times:
EBS member James Carley discovers key book in Henry VIII's break with Rome
New Exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum:
"Johannes Gutenberg is the name most associated with the advent of the printed book, but William Caxton's contributions are essential as well," said Peggy Fogelman, acting director of the Morgan Library & Museum. "Prior to Caxton, English was a bewildering mix of dialects and styles. By making the key decision to print in a single dialect he helped regularize the language and began the process of standardization. The Morgan is fortunate to have a premier collection of Caxton material that brings to life his important story."
William Caxton spent more than thirty years in northern Europe representing English mercantile interests in the Burgundian Netherlands. He also served as a diplomat and translator and was an active author as well. In his role as publisher, he oversaw the production of more than 100 titles. These included short religious and reference books as well as major works of English literature.
At the time of his death, Caxton was one of only two printers active in England, but printing spread rapidly thereafter. His successor, Wynkyn de Worde, published approximately 750 works over the course of his career and by the 1550s, nearly 100 printers were working in London alone. As early as the mid-1700s, interest in England's literary past developed. Scholars worked to reconstruct the history of English printing, especially Caxton's role as its founder. His books became monuments to English literature and national pride, and book collectors began counting Caxtons in their collections as a mark of prowess and prestige. Through an entrepreneurial venture to introduce the new technology of printing to Britain, Caxton helped set English literature on the trajectory of increasing consumption, circulation, and influence that has continued to develop over the last five centuries. Pierpont Morgan, the Morgan's founder, saw Caxton and Gutenberg in the same light as he built his collection of the earliest printed books. Indeed, Morgan memorialized Caxton--not Gutenberg--in the celebrated ceiling mural adorning his landmark 1906 library. Today, the Morgan's Caxton collection is considered among the top three in the world...and the museum is the only institution to hold three Gutenberg Bibles.
All gallery talks and tours are free with museum admission; no tickets or reservations necessary. They are one hour in length and meet at the Benefactors Wall across from the coat check area.
FILM: Friday, June 19, 7 pm
Inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the film follows a peasant squire who pretends to be a knight, along with his companions, in the world of medieval jousting. William competes in tournaments, winning accolades and acquiring friendships and romance along the way. Starring Heath Ledger (William Thatcher), Rufus Sewell (Count Adhemar), and Paul Bettany (Geoffrey Chaucer).
Exhibition-related films are free with museum admission. Advance reservations for Members only. Tickets are available at the Admission Desk on the day of the screening.
Organization and Sponsorship: This exhibition is generously made possible by the Acriel Foundation, the Sherman Fairchild Fund for Exhibitions, and the Zachs-Adam Family Fund.
Recataloguing of all Caxton imprints at the Morgan Library & Museum
Editing and Interpretation: Literatures of Medieval England
This three-day conference, held under the auspices of the Andrew Marvell Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, will focus on three overlapping areas central to all text-based work on medieval literatures: the identification, editing, and interpretation of texts. Major attention will be given to Medieval English, especially Middle English prose, but Anglo-Norman and Latin materials will also be discussed, as will verse texts and book illustration.
Speakers include: Julia Boffey (Queen Mary, University of London); A. S. G. Edwards (University of Kent); Martha Driver (Pace University, New York); Erik Kooper (Universiteit Utrecht); William Marx (University of Wales; Trinity St David, Lampeter); Kari Anne Rand (Universitetet i Oslo); John Thompson (Queen's University, Belfast); and Ronald Waldron (Emeritus, King's College London).
Registration (including meals): £60 full fee; £40 for postgraduates
Booking: Please send the booking form (available at http://www2.hull.ac.uk/fass/english/news-and -events.aspx), with a cheque for the relevant amount made payable to 'The University of Hull', to Veronica O'Mara, Department of English, The University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX
Registration Deadline -- with conference-arranged accommodation: 30 April 2015; without conference-arranged accommodation: 30 July 2015
Private Lives of Print: The use and abuse of books 1450-1500
Online exhibition: https://exhibitions.lib.cam.ac.uk/incunabula/
This exhibition celebrates the conclusion of a five-year project, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to catalogue Cambridge University Library’s world-class collection of incunabula, books printed before 1501. It draws on the remarkable body of information amassed during the project about how the earliest printed books were received during the first hundred years of the press. Annotations, provenance, bindings and decoration provide rare and unexpected insights into the use and abuse of incunabula, and into the private lives of both printed books and their owners.
Langland Study Day: Worcester Cathedral, 19 September 2015
Five distinguished speakers discuss Langland and medieval life. Sessions will be held in King's School Theatre. Attendees should use nearby car parks and enter the Cathedral precinct on foot via Edgar Tower, Edgar Street, WR1 2LR.
10.00 Session 1: Introducing Piers Plowman
11.00 Session 2: The Literary Context of the Poem
Session 3: Medieval Music & Minstrelsy (live music)
Buffet lunch in the Cathedral Chapter House
Session 4: Medieval Monasticism
Session 5: The Life of Langland
Followed by discussion and questions to all speakers
16.45 Tea/Coffee available
Choral Evensong in the Cathedral (optional)
Tickets £30 to include tea/coffee and lunch are available from Worcester Live Box Office, tel. 01905 611427, Huntingdon Hall, Crowngate, Worcester WR1 3LD. Bookings are accepted until 12 September. For full details see the Cathedral website www.worcestercathedral.co.uk.
For disabled access contact the Cathedral, Tel. 01905 732900 - All profits after expenses go to Cathedral funds. A joint event of Worcester Cathedral - Autumn in Malvern Festival - International Piers Plowman Society.
John Lydgate linked to Suffolk church graffiti
The Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey has been studying inscriptions at St Mary's Church, Lidgate, near Haverhill.
They are "90%" sure a newly-discovered graffito was made by poet John Lydgate (c 1370-1451), who had been vicar there.
Matthew Champion, from the project, said: "He was known for his witty puns and many of these are of that kind."
Lydgate, who became a monk in Bury St Edmunds and wrote The Lives of St Edmund and Fremund, is regarded as one of the most important and prolific medieval English writers with over 150,000 lines of verse attributed to him. Read the rest of the Guardian article ...
Shakespeare Folio Discovered in France
Dan Mosser's updated catalogue of pre-1500 Chaucer MSS and incunables now online
This edition omits the hundreds of images published on the Scholarly Digital Editions’ 2010 publication on CD-ROM, making it possible to provide the Catalogue free of charge on the Web. Verse items are hyperlinked to records in the Digital Index of Middle English Verse and, where images are available for watermarks to the Thomas L. Gravell Watermark Archive.
Vernon and Simeon Manuscripts now both fully Digitised
New resource: Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts
Now Available: Blackburn's 'Worthy Citizen': The Philanthropic Legacy of R.E. Hart
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
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
The newly-published index volume which runs to an impressive 841 pages
Now available from:
Shaun Tyas Publishing
T: + 44 (0)1775 821 542
The cost is £35.00 (post free for UK orders)
New Blog from St Andrews: Echoes from the Vault
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)
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:
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, email@example.com; Dr Adam Smyth, firstname.lastname@example.org; Erika Gaffney, Publisher, email@example.com.
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
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.
"Performing Medieval Narrative Today: A Video
Send announcements to Martha Rust at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated 6/19/2015