High tech tools used to understand medieval manuscripts

Many documents are very delicate and sensitive, and ideally should not be touched or exposed to direct light. Photo by Nils Kristian Eikeland/NTNU Universitetsbiblioteket

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Gunnerus Library are developing new high-tech tools to unlock the secrets hidden in old parchment.

Touching the Past: The Hand and the Medieval Book

Getty exhibit rohan master and book of fables  - Photo by Danielle Trynoski

Touching the Past: The Hand and the Medieval Book invites visitors to get in touch. Well, not literally since we’re discussing medieval manuscripts, but the exhibition wants viewers to consider the tactile side of books and manuscripts

What is a Psalter?

What is a Psalter - St. Albans Psalter from the 12th century

Because they didn’t contain the entire Bible, psalters were nice and portable, making good girdle books for the devout – or those concerned with showing off – to carry with them.

Image and Meaning in the Floral Borders of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves

Hours of Catherine of Cleves 1

The Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves, produced in the Netherlands in the early 15th century, is one of the most beautiful and complex manuscripts of the late Middle Ages.

Qur’an manuscript discovered in England could be over 1400 years old

oldest quran manuscript - photo courtesty University of Birmingham

Experts at the University of Birmingham believe they have discovered a manuscript of the Qur’an that is at least 1370 years old, making it the oldest known copy of the Islamic Holy Book.

Exhibit: Magna Carta Through the Ages at the Society of Antiquaries of London

The Black Book of Peterborough. Photo by Medievalists.net

If you’re passing through London and want something to do that is very quick, free, and historical, check out this great little Magna Carta exhibit at Burlington House hosted by the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Medieval Parchment: Sewing Lines and Growing Surfaces

matthew paris map

Talks about growing a medieval parchment by stitching in items to it.

How to travel to the physical and heavenly Jerusalem without leaving home

Jerusalem

By the fifteenth century numerous accounts of the holy places circulated in Western Europe, many of them in Latin, a few in various vernaculars such as French and Middle Dutch.

Rothschild Prayer Book comes to Australia

Virgin and Child on a crescent moon and The seven joys of the Virgin, fols 197v–198r in the Rothschild Prayer Book c.1505–1510, Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth

One of the most remarkable books from the Renaissance period, the Rothschild Prayer Book, can now be seen at the National Library of Australia in Canberra.

Ruralia Commoda – 14th century gardening manual on display in London

Ruralia commoda

Written in Latin between 1304 and 1309 by Petrus de Crescentiis, a wealthy lawyer from Bologna in Italy, Ruralia Commoda was the only publication of its kind during Henry VIII’s reign.

The Bible moralisée of Naples

rsz_book_bible_moralisee_of_naples

The Bible moralisée of Naples (c. 1340-1350, Naples, Italy) is housed in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

12th-century copy of Consolation of Philosophy was written in Scotland, scholar finds

Dr Kylie Murray with the Boethius manucript - photo courtesy the University of Oxford

A twelfth-century copy of the ‘Consolation of Philosophy’ by Boethius, has been revealed to have been been written in Scotland, making it the oldest surviving non-biblical manuscript from that country.

Angels and the Antichrist: The Cardeña Beatus

Cardeña Beatus 1

Take a look inside the pages of the 12th century manuscript Cardeña Beatus

Renaissance Splendors in L.A.

Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts - photo by Danielle Trynoski

Danielle Trynoski takes in the new Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts exhibit at the Getty Center in Lost Angeles

The Great Hours of Anne of Brittany

Great Hours of Anne of Brittany

The Great Hours of Anne of Brittany, created between 1503 and 1508 in Tours, France, is undoubtedly a masterpiece of French painting.

Sewing as Authority in the Middle Ages

Letter of Indulgence for the Herkenrode Abbey (Source: Flandrica.be | Limburg Provincial Library) [CreativeCommons BY-NC-SA BE 2.0]

Analysing manuscripts, relics, indulgences, and even a bishop’s mitre, the article argues that stitching was a way to enact, or intensify, the ritual purpose of objects, whether that was ceremonial, devotional, or authoritative.

Magna Carta: The Road to Runnymede

This is one of the two Magna Carta owned by the British Library (c) The British Library Board

A look at the creation of the British Library’s Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy exhibition.

Shining Light on Medieval Illuminations: Pigments through the Ages

shining light on medieval illuminations

Identifying the materials used in medieval illuminated manuscripts gives us an insight into the techniques and skills of the scribes and illuminators, as well as the sometimes complex trade routes of the times.

A Broken Book of Hours – Saving a Medieval Manuscript

Three Living and Three Dead. 15th century, pigments and gold on parchment, 7 x 5 ½ in (173 x 135 mm). credit: University of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Library, Frag. III.1, fol. 75v.

In 2011 a medieval manuscript was broken apart – we take a look at the project which hopes to find all the pages and restore it.

The Atlas Miller

RCC6

This gem in the history of cartography is the outcome of the combined efforts of the workshops of the first two ‘schools’ of Portuguese cartography

Regarding the Medieval Book

reading the medieval book

What hooked me on medieval studies was my fascination with the material documents themselves: their feel, their smell, their creaking bindings, the specific and idiosyncratic redactions of texts they contain, and the marks of use on their pages.

Byzantine influences on Western aristocratic illuminated manuscripts

fecamp psalter

The main subject of this study is an outstanding twelfth-century psalter produced in Normandy which has clear Eastern influences, both in terms of technical conception and iconography.

Researchers reveal medieval drawings erased centuries ago

Black Book of Carmarthen  -  New text and image revealed under UV light (f. 39v). - Image courtesy National Library of Wales

One of the Wales’s most important medieval manuscripts is throwing up ghosts from the past after new research and imaging work revealed eerie faces and lines of verse which had previously been erased from history.

Palm Sunday in Medieval Manuscripts

BMN_162r_Ramos

How Palm Sunday was depicted in two of the most important illuminated manuscripts of Medieval Europe: The Isabella Breviary and Bible Moralisée of Naples.

Middle Age Couriers: How Medieval Polish Manuscripts Turned Up in Milwaukee, and How They Got Back Home to Poland

Neal Pease

Middle Age Couriers: How Medieval Polish Manuscripts Turned Up in Milwaukee, and How They Got Back Home to Poland Lecture by Neal Pease Given at the University of Kansas on April 14, 2014 “He said he had something – a collection of stuff – that he wasn’t actually sure what it was, but he wanted […]

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