Princeton University Library announces a new resource for research in book history: BOOKBINDINGS ON INCUNABLES, THE SCOTT HUSBY DATABASE
Given that incunables generally were bound in places other than where they were printed, users may consult this remarkable “researcher’s notebook” for their own investigations not only of the history of bookbinding, but also the original distribution of the early printed book market, as well as patterns of later incunable collecting, the varied fortunes of libraries, and the fates of editions or individual books over time.
Multiple methods of searching the Husby Database are provided, using terms distinctive to the database. By searching “Collection: PrinUL” and “Binding Era: Early”, for example, the user can survey descriptive data, photographs, and rubbings of more than 100 bindings at Princeton University (searching “Scheide” provides 46 more). Or, one might search “Printer: Koberger” and “Bindery Location: Nuremberg” and retrieve more than 70 results. This searchability should provide a powerful tool for research in 15th-century book history, or for simply learning more about historic bookbindings.
Naturally, the Husby Database does not focus exclusively on the external appearances of books: the compiler's experience as a bookbinder and conservator led him to record numerous features that inform the “archaeology” of the book, such as sewing structures, endbands, board treatment, binding waste, clasps, and other hardware. The photographic documentation also records hand-decoration and illumination of texts and other evidence of early provenance, mainly as invitations to further research.
As Husby remarked on the eve of the project’s completion, “It is always gratifying to find that years of work have not been an exercise in futility. My great appreciation goes to those at Princeton for helping turn this census of 15th-century bindings into what I hope is a useful contribution to the study of early printed books.” Indeed, Eric White, a collaborator in the development of Princeton’s online version, was able to make several valuable discoveries while reviewing the database. For example, thanks to Husby’s decision to photograph interior details of the books, such as binding waste and provenance inscriptions, White noticed traces of a 9th-century Carolingian Bible in a binding at Cornell University, and the signature of one of Johannes Gutenberg’s relatives within a book at the Huntington Library. Such is the nature of the Husby Database: it will allow each researcher to bring his or her own potential for discovery to this remarkably rich assemblage of contemporary physical evidence.
EBS Conference 2019 CALL FOR PAPERS
Send your title and abstract (350 words) along with a-v requirements to the program committee by December 1. These are: Martha Driver at firstname.lastname@example.org, Niamh Pattwell at email@example.com, and Margaret Connolly at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please include EBS Conference Abstract DUBLIN 2019 in the subject line of your email.) Please also send a paper copy of your abstract to Martha Driver at Dept of English, Pace University, 41 Park Row, Rm 511F, New York, NY 10038 so as to insure that nothing is lost in transit. Scholars planning to combine the conference with a research trip might be reminded that the many library collections in Dublin tend to be busy with visitors in the summer months, so booking ahead is advised.
CFP: Early Book Society at Kalamazoo 2019
- Middle English Texts and Manuscripts: In Memory of Ian Doyle
- Finishing Touches: Perfecting Manuscripts and Printed Books
- Utilitarian Texts: Authors, Makers, Users
- Archaeology of the Book
- Outside London and Paris: Regional Manuscript and Book Production
- Magic, Multilingual Papyri, Books within Books [cosponsored with Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT)]
Only the last of these sessions is pre-planned. The others are open for submissions. Please send abstracts (1-2 pp) and Participant Information Form (please access the form through www.wmich.edu/medieval now available on the website) to Martha Driver not later (preferably earlier) than September 15, 2018. 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 or email abstracts to Dept of English/WGS, Pace University, 41 Park Row, Rm 511F, New York, NY 10038 or FAX to 212-346-1754 (attn: Martha Driver, English Department), along with the PIF. Inquiries are welcome. If responding by email, please put Kalamazoo 2019 and the session of interest into the subject line. Email: email@example.com
EBS has sponsored sessions at Kalamazoo since its founding as an independent entity in 1987 and is open to everyone engaged in the study of MSS and books made between 1350 and 1550. This year, for the first time in this millennium, EBS was given all six sessions that were proposed. Because EBS was given six sessions by the programming committee, EBS was recently cited, along with several other organizations, in a dispute over the assignment of sessions for 2019 by two groups.
These groups called for, among other things, more transparency in the session selection process, which we agree with. The ICMS response to their letter is posted at https://wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u434/2018/medieval-to-the-steering-committee.pdf
We wish to encourage anyone who loves MSS, books and book history to participate in the EBS sessions in 2019 and are particularly interested in proposals for papers that describe MSS and books owned, made or read by women, along with abstracts that explicitly engage with MSS and books from outside Western Europe and/or which place Western European MSS and books in dialogue with those from other parts of the globe and other cultures. All proposals are welcome!
Exciting discovery at the University of Reading
Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexander
Exciting plans for Ushaw College Library, Durham
NEH Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant to fund The Independent Works of William Tyndale
William Tyndale is one of the most significant writers of the English Renaissance. He is best known for translating the first printed English New Testament (1526) and portions of the Old Testament. His other writings are valuable for our understanding of his Bible translations. They are also valuable because they shaped discussion, during the English Renaissance and Reformation, on topics as diverse as education and political obedience. However, because these books are not generally available, this project will increase knowledge of Tyndale's ideas.
The Independent Works of William Tyndale will produce reliable editions of these books for an audience of scholars, students, and general readers. Dr. Rankin will collaborate with professors and members of staff at seven colleges and universities in completing this work, as follows:
-- Dr. Tibor Fabiny (Károli Gáspár University, Budapest, Hungary)
Catholic University of America Press will publish these Tyndale editions as printed books, following the example set by the first completed volume in this series: William Tyndale, An Answer unto Sir Thomas More's Dialogue, edited by Anne M. O'Donnell and Jared Wicks (Washington, DC, 2000; first printed 1531).
Free and open-access online versions of these Tyndale books will be developed and maintained by The Institute of Advanced Technology at the University of Virginia.
Rober Thornton Memorial Appeal Update, May 2016
In 2013 the Early Book Society collected signatures from members around the world in support of a memorial appeal to restore Robert Thornton to his place in local memory and the place of his burial, Stonegrave Minster. This has been welcomed by Stonegrave PCC and the Stonegrave Village Committee. It is hoped to collect funding for a memorial plaque honouring Robert Thornton and his contribution to literature in Stonegrave Minster.
A few more donations have been received in the course of the last year, bringing the total to some £1k. Thanks to all those who have contributed.
However, events in the parish have held back plans for pursuing the appeal locally. Last summer an appeal was launched to raise urgently needed funds for Stonegrave Minster roof and this absorbed local funds and attention. More seriously, the incumbent, Susan Bond, who has been very supportive, is taking early retirement this summer which will leave the parish in an 'inter-regnum' for at least six months, during which time all decisions are shelved.
In the meantime, I should welcome any ideas for taking the appeal further into Thornton-aware academic circles, any offers of contacts etc and of course the appeal remains open. (RTStonegrave@yahoo.com)
The funds collected so far are in a separate and secure bank account. If any donors feel that in the circumstances they would like their money back, just ask Rosalind Field (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beinecke acquires Egge's collection
Ege (pronounced EGG-ee) argued that his book-breaking served a noble purpose by providing people access to medieval relics that they otherwise would never be able to afford. Scholars lament the damage he did to numerous significant manuscripts.
When he died in 1951, Ege left to his family a collection of full manuscripts and manuscript fragments. Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library recently acquired Ege's collection, adding dozens of manuscript fragments and more than 50 complete manuscripts to the library's rich collection of medieval material.
"This remarkable collection will provide students and scholars with an unprecedented opportunity to study both a wide variety of hundreds of previously unknown manuscripts and fragments, as well as the complex man who collected them," says Raymond Clemens, curator of the library's Collection of Early Books and Manuscripts.
Find full story and manuscript images here.
The Sherry L. Reames Graduate Student Travel Award for Hagiographical Studies
Eligibility: Students enrolled in a graduate program (anywhere in the world) are eligible to apply if their paper, on a topic involving hagiography, has been accepted for inclusion in the program of the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI, at the time of application. Preference may be given to Hagiography Society members. For complete information on how to apply, please visit http://www.hagiographysociety.org/ and click on "Awards."
Story in the New York Times:
EBS member James Carley discovers key book in Henry VIII's break with Rome
Recataloguing of all Caxton imprints at the Morgan Library & Museum
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.
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 9/8/2018