Author Archives: medievalfragments

“There’s a map for that!” Visualizing the Medieval World

By Jenneka Janzen Generally, a map is a visual illustration of an area, a means to symbolically represent spatial relationships between objects, regions, and even ideas. I bet for many of us we most commonly use maps to find the quickest bike … Continue reading

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CSI: Manuscript Edition

By Ramona Venema Ramona Venema works as a research assistant in the Turning Over a New Leaf project. She maintains her own cookery blog. When I was a small Ramona, I wanted to be an archeologist. I love how history becomes … Continue reading

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Historiated Initials: Letters with a Story to Tell!

By Jenny Weston Medieval initials come in all shapes and sizes. They also come with different kinds of decoration. While some feature twisty vines, flowers, and other abstract designs, others present more detailed and distinctive figures and scenes. Known as … Continue reading

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Talk to the Hand: Finger Counting and Hand Diagrams in the Middle Ages

By Irene O’Daly In the absence of computers and calculators, a highly elaborate system of finger-counting and gestural sign-language developed in the Middle Ages for representing numbers and facilitating conceptual reasoning. These are often represented graphically in medieval manuscripts and … Continue reading

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My Week of Lecturing in Oxford

By Erik Kwakkel (@erik_kwakkel) It is the evening of Thursday 27 February, 2014, and at the moment I am sitting in The White Horse being stared at by Inspector Morse, who frequented this pub back in the day – and who seems … Continue reading

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When is a Book not a Book? The Medieval Book Shrine.

By Julie Somers While browsing images of medieval treasure bindings, I noticed that one example I was looking at was not actually a book at all.  In fact, it was an ornamented wooden case made to closely resemble a book. … Continue reading

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Dragons and Courtiers: Medieval Doodles in a Leiden Manuscript

By Jenneka Janzen This week’s blog is a show-and-tell of one of my new favourite finds in Leiden University’s Special Collections. Two weeks ago, Turning Over a New Leaf hosted another successful colloquium and Lieftinck Lecture. I coordinated the manuscript … Continue reading

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Medieval Book Furniture!

By Jenny Weston Today’s post is dedicated to lecterns and bookshelves — the essential furniture of the medieval book! Both of these items were regular companions of the book and they played an important role in supporting and protecting manuscripts while in … Continue reading

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Scribal Abuse in the Middle Ages

Today’s blog is a guest post from Thijs Porck, a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Culture, Universiteit Leiden. Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle  Boece or Troilus to wryten newe,        Under thy lokkes thou most have … Continue reading

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Medieval Ghostbusters: The Story of M.R. James

By Irene O’Daly On Christmas Day I was delighted to see that the prime-time offering from the BBC was a documentary on a giant of the field of manuscript scholars, M.R. James. The focus of the documentary was not James’ … Continue reading

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