Author Archives: medievalfragments

Mark Their Words: Medieval Bookmarks

By Jenneka Janzen When talking about manuscripts with the uninitiated, I usually mention how features that guide us through our modern books – running titles, subheadings, and indices, for example – originated in the Middle Ages. Yet, I tend to … Continue reading

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Fireworks, Baseball and the Dog Days of Medieval Summer

By Julie Somers Since today is Independence Day in the States and many of my friends and family will be enjoying celebrations, today’s blog post takes a look at fireworks used as spectacle in the Middle Ages. First invented in … Continue reading

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Medieval Family Trees

By Jenny Weston This post was originally inspired by a recent revelation that one of my ancestors may have lived in Leiden in the early 1600s. A particularly unexpected find — given the fact that my family is from the West … Continue reading

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The Beauty of Mistakes

By Irene O’Daly Medieval manuscripts often contain traces unintentionally left behind by the scribe. A casualty of spell-check and mass-production, mistakes in books, like typographical errors, are now usually spotted before they reach the shelves. The medieval scribe wasn’t necessarily … Continue reading

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Listening to the Text: The Medieval Speech Bubble

By Julie Somers My colleagues and I at the Turning Over a New Leaf Project spend a lot of time thinking, talking, and reading about, well, reading. More specifically, we question the various forms of reading, as well as the … Continue reading

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Judging a Book by its Cover: Manuscript Bindings Without Bling

By Jenneka Janzen Our blog has featured medieval bindings before (Jenny’s blog on “bling” bindings was recently published in Quest magazine) but with an eye to the extraordinary, and extremely rare. In fact, finding an intact medieval binding, never mind … Continue reading

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The ‘Punctus’ and his Friends: Medieval Punctuation

By Ramona Venema Ramona Venema works as a research assistant in the Turning Over a New Leaf project. She maintains her own cookery blog. Today, a world without punctuation seems impossible. How could we survive without the Oxford comma? We rely on … Continue reading

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Unfurling the Past: Ancient & Medieval Scrolls

By Jenny Weston Here at the Turning Over a New Leaf project, we tend to focus our attention on the medieval ‘codex’ — texts hand-written on parchment, folded and sewn into quires, then wrapped together in a binding. The codex, however, was not … Continue reading

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Reeling Back the Years: Commemorating the Middle Ages

By Irene O’Daly As preparations for the World Cup gather momentum here in the Netherlands, it is worth remembering some of the other reasons why 2014 is an important year. Many commemorations across the world are marking the passing of … Continue reading

Posted in Irene O'Daly

The Beauty of the Injured Book

By Erik Kwakkel (@erik_kwakkel) While our eyes are naturally drawn to pages filled with color and gold, those without decoration can be equally appealing. Indeed, even damaged goods – mutilated bindings, torn pages, parchment with cuts and holes – can be highly attractive, as … Continue reading

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