Crowdfunding project to restore medieval prayer book closes in on goal

Mary of Guelders prayer book - photo courtesy Radbound University

In less than two weeks a crowdfunding campaign to restore a 600 year old manuscript has already raised three-quarters of €25,000 it is asking for.

The Medieval Alphabet

Medieval Alphabet

Take a look at the letters of the alphabet, as illustrated in medieval manuscripts

Obscenity Out of the Margins: Mysterious Imagery Within the Cent nouvelles nouvelles, MS Hunter 252

Miniature illustrating tale 30 of the Cent Nouvelles nouvelles (Tale of the three friars).

The blatant portrayal of male genitalia is reminiscent of fourteenth-century marginalia, but here is located front and centre. Unlike marginalia, which was either allegorically related or not related at all to the text, these images are a direct portrayal of events recounted in the tales which they accompany. How can we explain where the inspiration for these images came from and how they fit into the ideas and conventions of the context in which they were created?

The Apocalypse of 1313


Signed and dated in 1313 by its illuminator, Colin Chadewe, this manuscript is a one-of-a-kind creation. It contains a cycle of illustrations (one of the most extensive ones) that is unprecedented in its richness and eccentric iconography, designed exclusively to suit the demands of its patron.

The Isabella Breviary

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Within its pages lie some of the finest illuminations ever painted during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

The Universal Atlas of Fernão Vaz Dourado

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Vaz Dourado authored at least four different nautical atlases, each of them including 20 maps, painted between 1568 and 1580, which is to say at the pinnacle of Portuguese cartography.

715 year old copy of Magna Carta discovered

Kent County

The document, which is heavily damaged, could still be worth as much as £10 million.

The Auchinleck Manuscript: A Study in Manuscript Production, Scribal Innovation, and Literary Value in the Early 14th Century

Auchinleck Manuscript

The Auchinleck Manuscript (National Library of Scotland Advocates MS. 19.2.1) has presented tantalizing mysteries for scholars for several centuries because the 334 extant folios of the Auchinleck Manuscript have not left solid evidence as to its provenance, date, scribes, master artist, or patron.

Digging into the Secrets of Medieval Manuscripts

Breviary of Renaud de Bar. France (Verdun), c.1303

Digital tools, including a free, public online manuscript training course, are allowing Stanford University English professor and medieval manuscript scholar Elaine Treharne to share her expertise well beyond traditional classroom walls.

This Week in Medieval Manuscript Images

woman in dragon

From a Lobster Knight to the murder of Charles the Good – here are nearly 50 medieval manuscript images we found on Twitter this week

The Great Canterbury Psalter

great canterbury psalter2

One manuscript, created in two countries by two different workshops, over a hundred years apart.

Thirteenth-century Papal Bull repaired and digitized

Detail of the Papal bull, which consists of sheepskin or calfskin parchment. Credit: Don Erhardt

An extraordinary Papal document that’s nearly 800 years old has become a valuable teaching and research tool at University of British Columbia, thanks to a history instructor’s passion and the university library’s restoration efforts.

Gift Giving in the Middle Ages – new exhibition at The Getty

gift giving middle ages - Cutting from a choir book, 1470s - Photo courtesy

Just in time for the holidays, Give and Ye Shall Receive: Gift Giving in the Middle Ages, is now on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Domiciling the Evangelists in Anglo-Saxon England: a Fresh Reading of Aldred’s colophon in the Lindisfarne Gospels

Aldred's colophon

What is actually reliable about this highly literary colophon is Aldred’s purpose in writing the gloss: to give the Evangelists a voice to address ‘all the brothers’− particularly the Latinless.

Latin Grammar in the Cathedral School: Fulbert of Chartres, Bonipert of Pécs, and the Way of a Lost Priscian Manuscript

Priscian, or the Grammar, relief from the bell tower of Florence by Luca della Robbia

The starting point of the classical tradition in medieval Hungary is marked by a letter written by Bishop Fulbert of Chartres in Northern France to Bishop Bonipert of Pécs in Southern Hungary.

The Lindisfarne Gospels: A Living Manuscript

Lindisfarne Gospels

This article questions how current and previous owners have marked the Lindisfarne Gospels, created 1,300 years ago. Their edits, which would be frowned upon today, are useful for historians to understand how the Gospels have been valued by previous owners and thus why they are so treasured today.

‘Archaic Mark’: A Remarkable Manuscript Treasure or a Modern-Day Counterfeit?

Archiac Mark

Is this miniature codex is a valuable fourteenth-century manuscript of the Gospel According to Mark—or a clever modern counterfeit?

The Book of Felicity

book of felicity

The Book of Felicity features descriptions of the twelve signs of the zodiac accompanied by splendid miniatures; a series of paintings showing how human circumstances are influenced by the planets; astrological and astronomical tables; and an enigmatic treatise on fortune telling.

Early copy of the Qur’an discovered

early copy of quran

Researchers in Germany have discovered that a manuscript of Qur’an written between 20 and 40 years after the Prophet Muhammad’s death, making it one of the earliest copies of the Islamic holy book known to be in existence.

Healthy Eating in the Middle Ages: the Tacuinum Sanitatis


In the late Middle Ages, princes and the powerful learnt the health and hygiene rules of rational medicine from the Tacuinum Sanitatis, a treatise on well-being and health widely disseminated in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The Bible in the Middle Ages

The Bible in the Middle Ages

Twenty images from medieval manuscripts showing famous scenes from the Bible

The Bible of St. Louis: An Introduction

Bible of st louis

Few works in the history of books are as hermetic as the Bible of Saint Louis in some specific aspects.

What is the Splendor Solis?

Splendor Solis

The most beautiful and well known illuminated alchemical manuscript in the world.

This Week in Medieval Manuscript Images

medieval murder

Over 40 medieval manuscript images found on Twitter this week – including some to inspire you to get spooky for Halloween, try a maze, or build Noah’s Ark!

‘I know not what it is’: Illustrating Plants in Medieval Manuscripts


If a medical literary expert such as Simon of Genoa could not always identify the plants mentioned in the literature, where would that leave physicians who probably had little time to devote to inquiries as deeply and tenaciously as Simon?

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