Entries Tagged as 'manuscripts'

79th IFLA General Conference and Assembly

CALL FOR PAPERS: Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities, 79th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, 17-23 August 2013, Singapore. Theme: Images, lost and found innovative approaches to discovery and use of visual material found in rare books, manuscripts, and special collections.

Reflecting the theme of the IFLA World Libraries and Information Congress 2013 in Singapore Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities the Rare Book and Manuscript Section together with the Art Libraries Section of IFLA will be organizing a three-hour Open Session: Images, lost and found: innovative approaches to discovery and use of visual material found in rare books, manuscripts, and special collections.

Rare books, manuscripts, and special collections contain millions of images that remain largely ‘hidden’ to researchers because they are not catalogued individually. These include woodcuts, illuminations, emblems, drawings, sketches, paintings, and photographs, all of which are critical to a wide range of research in the humanities. In fact, many researchers focus solely on these images, and not on the texts that contain them. A similar problem exists with large image collections found in a library’s special collections, because they are too massive to be catalogued individually. These, too, are difficult to find and use.

The papers may:
- describe new discovery tools or methods
- demonstrate innovative ways of managing large visual collections
- highlight new areas of research that have resulted from analyzing and using images in innovative ways.

Aims of the Session: The session should explore various innovative tools and methods designed to help researchers find and use images that are hidden in books and large cultural heritage collections.

Format: The Open Session will last for three hours. Speakers are restricted to 20 minutes. Afterwards there will be time for questions and comments from the audience. All seven official IFLA languages are admitted for the presentations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian and Spanish). Papers in English are preferred because no simultaneous translation is planned for this session.

The proposals must be submitted in an electronic format and must contain:
- Title of the paper.
- Author(s) of the paper.
- Abstract or summary of the paper (200-400 maximum words).
- Speaker’s info: name, address, professional affiliation, email address, biographical note (40 words).

Deadline for submission of proposals and abstracts: 18 January 2013. Notification of acceptance by the Review Committee of the Section: 15 March 2013. Deadline for submission of full text of the paper: 18 May 2013.

Please submit your proposals to:
Raphaële Mouren (Chair of the Rare Book and Manuscript Section), David Farneth (Information Coordinator), Jan Simane (Chair of the Art Libraries Section) and Martin Flynn (Secretary of the Section).

All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodation etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA, but a special invitation can be issued to authors.

The Singapore National Committee and IFLA have worked hard to secure funds for Conference Participation Grants. Up-to-date information will be available on our Conference Participation Grants webpage.

Learn more or View all Call for papers

Final Harley Science MSS Published

WEBSITE: Final Harley Science Manuscripts Published.

We are delighted to announce that the remaining manuscripts in the Harley Science Project have now been published to the British Library’s Digitised Manuscripts site. All 150 manuscripts in this project have been digitised and recatalogued thanks to the generosity of William and Judith Bollinger. We hope that this resource, part of the BL ongoing campaign to make collection items more accessible, will promote new research into the books in question. Many of the texts featured in this project are by authors (such as Aristotle, Bede, Roger Bacon and Thomas Hobbes) who stood at the forefront of antique, medieval and early modern scientific discovery; and hopefully they would have approved of this mission to make their works more widely available.

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The Page to Identify the Provenance of Mss

WEBSITE: Provenence. Marks in Manuscripts.

The page provides access to some images of the marks of ownership of some important book dealers and collectors of manuscripts, and is intended as an aid to identifying the provenance of books whose history is unknown. (Beyond this, it is also hoped that it will encourage cataloguers to record apparently meaningless inscriptions, which may furnish vital evidence to other researchers). It is not systematic, but reflects personal interest and especially the availability of images.

In some cases the identity of the owner is not in doubt (e.g. when their bookplate includes their name), and in these cases these pages are intended simply to provide convenient references to furhter information, e.g. in de Ricci’s English Collectors of Books and Manuscripts.

The page also provides access to some lists of dispersed MSS that were formerly in important private collections or public exhibitions.

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Manuscripts and Their European Princes

VIRTUAL EXHIBITION: Manuscripts and Princes in Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

These were the books that once belonged exclusively to emperors and kings. Now 34 of the most significant manuscripts from the collections of Carolingian Emperors, the Aragonese kings of Naples and French King Charles V and his family are on display in our virtual exhibition: Manuscripts and Princes in Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

This unprecedented collection offers an insight into European cultural activity during three distinct historical periods and unites collections that are scattered among several European libraries.

European scholar Michel Pastoureau and specialist in medieval history supports the exhibition.

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Kalamazoo: Four Sessions on Manuscripts

CONFERENCE: The Four sessions on medieval manuscripts have been organized by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence (A New Jersey nonprofit corporation, 46 Snowden Lane, Princeton, New Jersey, 08540-3916),

Programs for the sessions:

I.  Session 92 (Thursday 10 May, 1:30–3:00 p.m.)
Medieval Manuscript Discoveries in North America:  Texts, Illuminations, Collections
Co-sponsored with King Alfred’s Notebook
Organizer: Scott Gwara (University of South Carolina and King Alfred’s Notebook)
Presider:  Mildred Budny (Research Group on Manuscript Evidence)

The dispersal of Western European manuscript materials in North American collections entails painstaking examination, and sometimes serendipitous discovery, so as properly to assess and, if possible, to identify the nature, origin, and provenance of these materials.  The unexpected richness of the medieval manuscript resources on this continent continues to challenge the individual scholar or collector as well as scholarly awareness at large.  Our session contributed to this ongoing investigation — and celebration — of the trashed or treasured books and scraps which have found their way, by one means and another, into various hands, both private and public, prepared to give them a home or shelter of some kind.  We rightly expected the revelation of unsuspected surprises.

* 1.  Scott Gwara (Department of English, University of South Carolina), Composite Books of Hours in American Collections
* 2.  David Sharron and Stacey Morris (Brock University, Ontario), The Budding Medieval Document Collection at Brock University and the Study of a Letter from the Scottish Throne in 1579
* 3.  Anna Dysert (McGill University, Montreal), In hoc antiquo libro:  A Study of Osler Library MS 480 (De anima in arte alchemiae)

Also, King Alfred’s Notebook had an Exhibitor’s Display during the Congress.  The current catalogue is available upon request.

II.  Session 366 (Saturday 11 May, 10:00–11:30 a.m.)
Dream Books
Co-sponsored with the Societas Magica
Organizer: László Sándor Chardonnens (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Presider:  David Porreca (University of Waterloo)

The compelling nature of dreams, both mysterious and fantastical, which persistently combined with the notion of a revelatory potential between these envisioned events and conscious life, ensured a widespread interest during the medieval period (as at other times) in any means of understanding or “reading” dream phenomena.  This session examined the characteristics, approaches, and transmission of such knowledge, emphasizing the interaction between the texts and their material contexts of manuscripts and early printed books.

* 1.  Valerio Cappozzo (Department of Modern Languages, University of Mississippi), Editing the Somniale Danielis:  Vox Populi and Dream Culture in Medieval Italy
* 2.  Dimitri Drettas (Centre de Recherche sur les Civilisations de l’Asie Orientale, Paris), Classified Dreams:  Oneirocritical Manuscripts from Dunhuang (9th-10th centuries) and Their Place in the Mantic Culture of Medieval China
* 3.  László Sándor Chardonnens (English Department, Radboud University, Nijmegen), Dream Divination in Manuscripts and Printed Books:  Patterns of Transmission.

III.  Session 430 (Saturday 12 May, 1:30–3:00 p.m.)
Material and Craft Aspects of Manuscript Production
Organizer:  Sean Winslow (University of Toronto)
Presider:  Mildred Budny (Research Group on Manuscript Evidence)

This session focused on physical codicology and the study of the craft of book production.  It examined and compared a range of areas and periods of production across the medieval world and its heritage, so as better to distinguish modes, regions, and styles in crafting the manuscript book throughout its development, transmission, and transformation across time and place.  The papers considered the materials, construction, and processes involved in bookmaking and the craft aspects of production, including the archaeological evidence for manuscript production.

* 1.  Sarah J. Biggs (The British Library and the Courtauld Institute of Art), Pigments, Painters and the Parc Abbey Bible:  A Multispectral Imaging Study
* 2.  Jacob Thaisen (Department of Cultural Studies and Languages, University of Stavanger), How Middle English Scribes Avoided Eyeskip When They Copied Texts
* 3.  Sean M. Winslow (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, Ontario), Contemporary Ethiopic Scribal Practice as an Informant for the Study of Antique and Medieval Manuscript Production

Sarah’s post (07 May 2012) to the British Library blog on Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts gives an illustrated preview of her talk and this session.

IV.  Session 488 (Saturday 12 May, 3:30–5:00 p.m.)
Medieval Writing Materials:  Manufacture, Use, and Trade
Organizers:  Mildred Budny (RGME) and Eleanor Congdon (Youngstown State University)
Presider:  Mildred Budny (Research Group on Manuscript Evidence)

The survival of medieval records of any kind depends upon the media which carry them, which comprise two general classes:  (1) the media upon which records were written and (2) the materials used to write them.  This session considered both classes, as an aid to discourse between different fields of research in rapid development.  The writing surfaces themselves present researchers with challenges ranging from the steps and equipment of manufacture to the ranges of trade and use, including redeployment at the hands of collectors.  Likewise, the scribing tools, pigments, and ingredients which allow the media and pigments to bind together offer further avenues for exploration.  Examining these subjects in combination may prove invaluable for the study of medieval records in many areas.

* 1.  David W. Sorenson (Independent Scholar, Quincy, Massachusetts), Varities of Islamic Paper:  Laid-Lines Only
* 2.  Eleanor A. Congdon (Youngstown State University, Girard, Ohio), Venetian Trade in Writing Materials in the Datini Letters: Paper, Pigments, and Other Chemicals.

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The British Library ‘Harley Science Project’

The British Library has embarked on a project to digitise some of its most prestigious medieval and early modern scientific manuscripts. Generously funded by William and Judith Bollinger, the project will supply complete coverage of selected items from the Harley collection, augmented by revised catalogue records for the books in question.

Medieval and early modern manuscripts are vital for transmitting ancient scientific thought to the modern world. The texts they contain document the roots of modern scientific enquiry, based on observation, experimentation and the testing of hypotheses.

The Harley collection is particularly rich in such material. One of the foundation collections of the British Library, it contains more than 7,000 manuscripts and 14,000 charters, collected by Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Mortimer (d. 1724), and his son Edward Harley (d. 1741). Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta, née Cavendish Holles (d. 1755), during her lifetime, and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, Duchess of Portland (d. 1785). In 1753, the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess to the British nation for £10,000 under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum.

The conservation, digitisation and cataloguing phases of this project are already underway. The manuscripts selected range in date from the 9th century to the 17th century, and are written in a variety of western European languages (including Latin, Old and Middle English, Dutch, French, German, Irish, Italian and Spanish). They embrace many aspects of early scientific knowledge, such as astronomy, the computus, mathematics, medicine and veterinary science.

It is anticipated that the Harley Science Project will provide full digital coverage and descriptions of some 150 manuscripts in the Harley collection. Not only to improve access to one of the British Library’s world-class collections, but to facilitate research and teaching devoted to those manuscripts.

The images and descriptions will be made available in due course via the Digitised Manuscripts site. Regular updates will be provided here as the project progresses.

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Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts Online

Last year we told you about the British Library’s project to catalogue Hebrew illuminated manuscripts. Here is an update with a list of the books in question.

The British Library holds one of the world’s most important collections of Hebrew manuscripts, of which about 300 have some decoration. All of the illuminated manuscripts and those with significant decoration are part of the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. Their inclusion was made possible through grants from the American Trust for the British Library in memory of William T. Golden, the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, Roger and Julie Baskes, and an anonymous donor.

These Hebrew illuminated manuscripts range in date from the 10th to the 18th century, and their geographical division is just as wide, encompassing Europe, Northern Africa and the East. Most of them contain religious works, such as biblical and liturgical texts, but there are also a number of legal, philosophical and scientific books.

From the 13th century, Jewish books were examined by Christian censors in order to eliminate passages that were considered blasphemous. The first official list of prohibited Hebrew books (Index autorum et librorum prohibitorum) was published in 1559, but the expurgation or destruction of certain Hebrew books had started much earlier.

Official revisers, usually converted Jews, were appointed to revise Hebrew books and implement the restrictions. Many of the Hebrew items in the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts were present in Italy at some point and include evidence that they were examined by censors.

Here is a list of Hebrew manuscripts in the British Library’s Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts.

A Recent Acquisition of the Ohio State University

NEWS: The Ohio State University’s Recent Acquisition: Virginia Brown Beneventan Collection.

Through the generosity of the estate of the late Virginia Brown, the CEPS has recently received a gift of Beneventan materials which will add significantly to the Center’s already extensive holdings in this area.  Professor Brown’s bequest (consisting of some 15 boxes rich in Beneventana) including microfilms of manuscripts and photographs of manuscript fragments and leaves she had amassed in her research on the Beneventan script.  Wendy Watkins is currently cataloging this material, and we hope to make it accessible online in the near future.  Those interested in the material should send enquiries to epig@osu.edu. The Center is very grateful to Professor James Hankins of Harvard University for facilitating the shipping and transfer of these very precious materials.

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