With many of us locked away at home and unable to spend time with our beloved manuscripts, the large-scale digitisation projects of recent years have taken on an unanticipated importance. Arguably, the current situation has sharpened our awareness of the limitations and strengths of encountering medieval manuscripts in the digital arena. With that in mind, this paper will explore a number of questions: what would we like to do beyond browsing with the “Turning the Pages”-style and IIIF viewers provided by repositories? How might letter-forms or iconographic motifs be catalogued, curated and compared to support evidence-based scholarship? How fine-grained should our descriptions be? And do Digital Humanities projects and Machine Learning change the scope or even the nature of our research questions?
Tuesday, 2nd March 2021
Ainoa Castro Correa, University of Salamanca
The Secret Life of Writing: A Holistic Palaeography Project
Dr Castro has been recently awarded an ERC-funded project entitled "The Secret Life of Writing: People, Script and Ideas in the Iberian Peninsula (c. 900-1200)". In this seminar she will tell us about how this project came up to being, discussing the new and somehow strikingly holistic method upon which it builds, its aims and first results.
Tuesday, 30th March 2021
Early Career Researcher double bill
Stephanie Azzarello, History of Art, University of Cambridge
Divine Riddles & Monastic Puzzles: Palaeography and the Dismembered Manuscript
During my PhD, I focused on reconstructing a now-dismembered series of illuminated choir books, produced in Venice in the early fifteenth-century. This series of manuscripts—made for the Camaldolese monastery of San Mattia di Murano—was lavishly illuminated and contained script and music notation. In this talk, I will present some of the intellectual tools that I used to ‘recreate’ the original liturgical order in which the excised images once existed. I will discuss how palaeography played an important role in this process.
The pecia system of the Paris university book trade and its users, 1250-1330
Paris was the leading centre of the university book trade in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, and the study of wide-ranging written and visual evidence available in surviving pecia manuscripts demonstrates the major influence of Paris intellectual life on English scholars, preachers and illuminators. The textual content, decoration and user-added marginalia of university-produced manuscripts provides a unique insight into the workings of the English cultural community at Paris during this period.