Call for Papers: Mary of Guelders – Her Life and Prayer Book (ca. 1400) – Nijmegen, 23-24/11/2018 (Deadline 30/03/2018)

Mary of Guelders’ richly illuminated prayer book, written by Helmich die Lewe and completed in 1415, is extraordinary for several reasons: it originally consisted of more than 600 folia, it is richly illuminated, it was written in the Lower Rhine vernacular, and it contains an unusual compilation of prayers, hours and components of a breviary. These past few years the book has been the focus of a research project spearheaded by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and Radboud University in Nijmegen. Their hard work has yielded enough noteworthy results to deserve its own exhibition which will open in Museum Het Valkhof on 13 October 2018 and will run until 6 January 2019. It will feature the research’s findings on the comprehensive and complex prayer book, the life of Mary, Duchess of Jülich and Guelders, and cultural developments in the duchies of Guelders, Jülich and Berg. To mark the occasion of the exhibition entitled ‘I, Mary of Guelders. The duchess and her extraordinary prayer book’ Radboud University is organising a two-day conference in Nijmegen together with Museum Het Valkhof and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.

On Friday 23 November researchers of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and Radboud University will present the results of the work they have been doing these past few years on Mary of Guelders’ prayer book. They will talk about the latest discoveries on the codicological structure of the book, its textual and art-historical content and the latest findings regarding the material-technical aspects of the book. The lectures form an introduction to the elaborate scholarly publication that will appear on these topics in 2019/2020.

The plenary lectures will be spread over two days and will include contributions by the following keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Dr Kathryn Rudy (University of St Andrews, UK)
  • Prof. Dr Frank Willaert (University of Antwerp, Belgium)

Call for papers

We invite researchers from various disciplines to submit lecture proposals on topics related to the Lower Rhine region and surrounding areas around the year 1400. Of special interest are research projects that focus on specific characteristics of the Niederrhein region in relation to the surrounding areas. The Lower Rhine region was a melting pot of different cultural influences and served as a transit point for international trends related to, among others, language, literature, art and book production, religion, devotion and court culture.

Contributions should present new or ongoing research and must be in English. Each lecturer will be allotted 30 minutes speaking time, 20 of which are reserved for presenting and 10 for questions and discussion.

This call is directed at senior researchers and PhD students, but MA students are also cordially invited to submit a paper for separate sessions.

Organisers. Radboud University and Museum Het Valkhof

Organising committee. Yvette Driever MA, Dr Barbara Kruijsen, Prof. Dr Eef Overgaauw, Dr Julia Bispinck-Roßbacher, Dr Miranda Bloem, Prof. Dr Johan Oosterman

Venue. Radboud Universiteit; Museum Het Valkhof

Time. 23–24 November 2018. The conference will begin around 10.30 AM on Friday and end around 5 PM on Saturday. On the evening of 23 November the pages of Mary of Guelders’ prayer book that are on display will be turned, to reveal a new set of miniatures for the final six weeks of the exhibition. Participants in the congress will have the opportunity to visit the exhibition on both days to be able to view both sets to be put on display. Registration also includes lunch on Friday and Saturday and coffee/tea breaks, as well as a standing buffet on Friday 23 November.

Deadline. Please submit a paper title and an abstract of no more than 500 words before 30 March 2018. Abstracts and papers should be mailed to Professor Dr Johan Oosterman:
The body of the email should include name, position, affiliation, contact details of the author of the abstract and a short resume of max. 150 words. Those whose proposals are accepted are reminded that registration fees and travel and accommodation expenses for the conference are the responsibility of speakers and/or their institutions. You will be notified before 24 April if your proposal has been selected.

Registration. Registration costs are €135,- for senior researchers, €90,- for junior researchers. A discount is available for students. Registration includes coffee/tea breaks, the buffet on Friday evening, a lunch on Friday and Saturday and access to the museum from 22 – 25 November.

Pre-registration for the conference is possible through

Accommodation can be found in various categories. Further information will be available soon via a conference page on


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: