Four-day course, Monday 5 to Thursday 8 June
- The Codicology of Medieval Manuscripts
How were medieval books made? What material evidence of these processes do manuscripts contain? And how can this knowledge enhance our understanding of medieval cultural and intellectual life?
This course will take you from cow to codex, from membrane to manuscript, equipping you with all the skills you need to begin independent research into medieval manuscripts. It will cover each stage of the book production process, exploring how component materials were made, how texts were copied and decoration planned and executed, and how books were bound, with illustrative examples drawn from a variety of manuscript libraries. You will learn about variations in practice in medieval Europe, as well as cutting-edge scientific techniques that are enabling scholars to shed new light on old books. You will also learn to identify and interpret evidence of production in surviving books, through hands-on exercises with medieval manuscripts from the collection at Senate House Library.
- The Cataloguing of Medieval Manuscripts
How – indeed, why – do we describe medieval manuscripts? How have these conventions evolved? And what functions might a catalogue entry fulfil?
This course will help you to establish good practice in identifying, gathering, interpreting and sorting physical and other evidence contained in manuscripts, enabling you to undertake medieval manuscripts research in a systematic and methodical manner. It will take you through the process of compiling a description step-by-step, using manuscripts from Senate House Library. You will study the various ways in which information about manuscripts has been presented, and learn how to read and comprehend published catalogues and the work of other manuscripts researchers. It will encourage you to develop a critical practice in thinking about the way in which information about medieval manuscripts is categorised and arranged, how cataloguing as a discipline has evolved, and what a description might tell you not only about a manuscript but about the methodology of its cataloguer.
- Codicology and Cataloguing of Medieval Manuscripts: A Hands-on Workshop
This course provides the opportunity to begin the process of independent manuscript study, analysis and description in a supported environment. You will put into practice the theoretical skills that you have learned, in the process of compiling a detailed description of medieval manuscripts. You will work on both digital facsimiles and manuscripts from the collection at Senate House Library.