Category Archives: Jenny Weston

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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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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Teeny Tiny Medieval Books!

By Jenny Weston While most of the manuscripts produced in the Middle Ages are roughly the same size as today’s books, some volumes feature outrageous dimensions—either super-large or teeny tiny! Today’s blogpost is devoted to the ‘small-end’ of this spectrum, … Continue reading

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Manuscripts for the Rich & Famous (Super Bling)!

By Jenny Weston For the most part, medieval books do not look like this: But just as some people today add chrome to their cars or gems to their watches or phone cases, some medieval people chose to add ‘bling’ to their … Continue reading

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Strange Weather, Volcanoes, and a Roof Collapse: Secrets of the Medieval Chronicle

By Jenny Weston This past June, a great news story was published about a set of Irish medieval manuscripts that helped a team of  scientists study the relationship between volcanic eruptions (!) and changing climates. In recent months, a team … Continue reading

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Making a Medieval Book: Workshops and Classes for the Curious Artisan

By Jenny Weston As manuscript researchers, we often study how medieval books were produced. We love to look at the quality of the parchment, how the book was originally bound, the character of the script, and the beautiful decorations. It … Continue reading

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Reading Medieval Script: Three (not-so) Easy Steps!

By Jenny Weston Medieval manuscripts are often beautiful to look at. With their strange letter-forms, their often gold-plated initials, and their aged parchment, they inevitably spark a sense of curiosity and awe. They can also be complex and mystifying. Almost … Continue reading

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The Last of the Great Chained Libraries

By Jenny Weston On a beautiful sunny day last week, the Turning Over a New Leaf project team decided to take a day off from the office to visit a spectacular chained library in the small town of Zutphen (located in … Continue reading

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“Devil Be Gone!” : Temptation, Sin, and Satan in Medieval Manuscripts

By Jenny Weston For most God-fearing medieval Christians the Devil was ‘legitimately scary’. He (and his band of demonic followers) presented a very real threat to one’s spiritual fortitude—always out to trick, torment, and tempt good Christians into a life … Continue reading

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Listening to the Book: Medieval Music Manuscripts

By Jenny Weston As a researcher studying the reading habits of medieval monks, I spend a great deal of time pondering the ‘world of the monk’. While I usually focus on the books that the monks were reading, I cannot … Continue reading

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