Tag Archives: Manuscript

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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Where the Wild Things Are: The Medieval Bestiary

By Jenneka Janzen While a bit denser than Maurice Sendak’s modern bed-time story, medieval bestiaries were, and still are, crowd-pleasers. A bestiary is a collection of short descriptions about a wide variety of (real or imagined) animals, birds, and in … 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 Boring, Ugly, and Unimportant – Biases in Manuscript Research

By Jenneka Janzen As I carry out my dissertation research, I’ve spent some time thinking about the role aesthetics play in which manuscripts are studied, and which ones are deemed too boring, unimportant, or ugly to attract interest. Certainly, it … Continue reading

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Voices on the Medieval Page (1): The Reader

By Erik Kwakkel (@erik_kwakkel) This is the first part of a series highlighting instances where medieval individuals added information to an existing book, either right after its production or centuries later. What precisely did scribes, readers, booksellers and librarians scribble … Continue reading

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A Look at Last Week’s Medieval and Early Modern ‘Words, Words, Words’

By Jenneka Janzen It’s taken for granted that learning or working in another language requires some use of a bilingual dictionary. Our favourite online dictionary or translation app relies on established tradition and innovative technology in organizing and presenting information. … Continue reading

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I Love Paris in the Springtime… A User’s Guide to the BnF

By Irene O’Daly Say the words Bibliothèque nationale de France to any manuscript researcher and it tends to invite a series of anecdotes – usually horror stories about long days trawling through blurry microfilms, refusals of access to manuscripts, and its … 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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Hairy Bindings and Golden Bookworms: My Research in Bruges

By Jenneka Janzen Access to digitized manuscripts online (see Irene’s Navigating the Digital World) is changing the way medievalists can and are expected to work. While the benefits of accessing an electronic facsimile for research with respect to preservation and … Continue reading

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Making Books for Profit in Medieval Times

By Erik Kwakkel (@erik_kwakkel) The novelist L.P. Hartley once said that the past is like a foreign country: things are done different there. What I find most remarkable about the bookish slice of medieval society that I study is not … Continue reading

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