Author Archives: medievalfragments

Turning Over the Last Leaf…

We’ve been blogging at MedievalFragments for nearly two-and-a-half years, but like all good things, it has to come to an end sometime! The project, Turning Over a New Leaf, is coming, in part, to a conclusion, with two of its … Continue reading

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The Last Page of the Medieval Book

By Erik Kwakkel (@erik_kwakkel) I love the last page of the medieval book. Not because it means that my research of a particular manuscript is almost completed, but because the last page often provides information pertaining to the origins of the object – information not … Continue reading

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Lapidaries Rock: Medieval Books on Gems, Stones, and Minerals

By Julie Somers The medieval lapidary is essentially a book about stones, both precious and semi-precious gems and minerals as well as mythical stones that may never have existed. Closely linked to the bestiary, which has been discussed in previous … Continue reading

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Games of Thrones? Popular Medieval Board Games

By Jenneka Janzen Living without modern entertainment luxuries, what did medieval people do for fun? Surely it wasn’t all farm labour, praying, or jousting (to play into common misconceptions)? Believe it or not, several of our favourite board games originated … Continue reading

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Size Matters (Part 2): Giant Medieval Manuscripts!

By Jenny Weston In last week’s blogpost, Irene O’Daly explored the world of portable books — manuscripts that are small enough (and light enough) to be carried around by the user. In today’s post we shift our attention to the … Continue reading

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Size Matters: Portable Medieval Manuscripts

By Irene O’Daly Medieval books were often expensive to produce, and usually the property of institutions. But some manuscripts were copied specifically for individuals, and designed to be carried on the person. Portable manuscripts come in many different forms and … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Jenny Weston, Project News

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 … Continue reading

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