Tag Archives: medieval

CFP: The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium: Collecting (in) the Middle Ages, 16 February 2018

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Call for papers: The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium: Collecting (in) the Middle Ages, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 16 February 2017
Deadline: 30 October 2017

The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium invites speakers to consider the nature of medieval collections, the context of their creation and fruition, and their legacy — or disappearance — in the present.

Inspired by objects such as a cedar box chest once kept in the Holy of Holies of the Lateran, this colloquium seeks to explore a diverse set of topics surrounding medieval practices of collecting. This wooden box may seem simple, but once opened it reveals a priceless collection: fragments of rock and wood from the Holy Land, each labelled with its precise place of origin by a sixth-century hand. Here and there, stones have fallen out, leaving imprints in the soil. The wooden relic chest is an object of small size and almost no material value, but has nevertheless been treasured for centuries by one of the largest and most powerful institutions of the medieval world.

The study of medieval collecting raises a variety of questions. How and why were objects collected, practically and conceptually? What was their expected time-span and what enabled their survival? How have medieval collections impacted modern scholarship, and how do modern collecting and display practices influence our interpretation of the past?

Applicants to the colloquium are encouraged to explore these issues from a diverse range of methodologies, analysing objects from the 6th to the 16th century and from a wide-ranging geographical span. Possible areas of discussion might include:

  • Collecting through time: How do we define the medieval collection/collector? How did medieval objects take on new meanings in medieval collections, ie. in the case of spolia? How has scholarship on medieval art been influenced by varying collecting practices and curatorial strategies across time?
  • Collecting in space: can the idea of the ‘collection’ be expanded to include objects, places and spaces spread across different geographical locales? Could objects or spaces communicate their commonality across a distance? How did pilgrimage routes, travel narratives and travel guides conceptualize their surroundings and weave a thread through geographical and historical difference?
  • Collectors, intermediaries, and craftsmen: how did institutions and single collectors acquire and expand their collections? For example, did they rely on a merchant network to acquire foreign objects or new relics? Did they collect newly commissioned objects, and display them in purpose-built spaces?
  • Collections and Legacies: how did inheritance impact the notion of collecting, looking forwards as well backwards? How did the meaning of objects change as they were passed down through families and dynasties? What happened to collections when familial lines ended? How did individuals link themselves to courts or dynasties through collections?
  • Accessibility: When, how and why were collections visible? Were there different levels of accessibility and interaction and who was allowed to ‘access all areas’? How were restricted collections advertised and open collections protected? And did objects themselves interact with each other, for example in specific displays or assemblages?
  • Organising Collections: What were the systems for assembling a collection, and for how they were curated? How did purpose-built spaces impact the growth of collections, and vice-versa? What were the roles of documents in collections, and how have medieval recording practices influenced modern views of the medieval collection?

The Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium offers an opportunity for research students at all levels from universities across the UK and abroad to present, discuss and promote their research. To apply, please send a proposal of up to 250 words for a 20 minute paper, together with a CV, to costanza.beltrami@courtauld.ac.uk and maggie.crosland@courtauld.ac.uk no later than 30 October 2017.

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Islamic Art Circle @ SOAS: Lecture Programme, 2017/2018

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Islamic Art Circle @ SOAS, London: Lecture Programme, 2017/2018
All lectures begin at 7.00 p.m. in the Khalili Lecture Theatre (Main School Lecture Theatre) –  unless indicated otherwise – Philips Building, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG

 

  • 11 October 2017: The Palace of Pedro I in Seville, ‘very much like the residence of the Muslim kings,’ Dr Tom Nickson, Lecturer in Medieval Art and Architecture, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
  • 15 November 2017: Reviving Islamic Architecture in Khedivial Cairo, and Beyond: a Collector’s Passion, Dr Mercedes Volait, CRNS Research Professor at INHA, Paris
  • 6 December 2017: Takht-e Soleyman/Iran – From Sasanian Fire Temple to Ilkhanid Summer Palace. New Evidence from Old Excavations, Dr Ute Franke,                                       Deputy Director, Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin
  • 10 January 2018: The Hadassah and Daniel Khalili Memorial Lecture in Islamic Art and Culture: The Calligrapher, the Painter, and the Patron: A New Perspective on the Freer Khusraw u Shirin, Dr Simon Rettig, Assistant Curator of Islamic Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • 21 February 2018: In the service of religion? The display of ‘science from the Islamic world’ in the museum, Dr Silke Ackermann, Director, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
  • 14 March 2018: The Seventh Bahari Foundation Lecture in Iranian Art and Culture: Decagonal and Quasicrystalline Geometry in the Architecture of Medieval Persia and Its Influence in the Greater Islamic World, Dr Peter J. Lu, Department of Physics and SEAS, Harvard University, USA
  • 25 April 2018: Islamic Textiles from Iberia: Re-evaluating Their Role in the Mediterranean Context, Dr Ana Cabrera-Lafuente, Marie S.-Curie Fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • 9 May 2018: Ilse Sturkenboom
  • 13 June 2018: Ahmet Ersoy

For further information please contact Rosalind Wade Haddon: 07714087480 or                 rosalindhaddon@gmail.com

 

 

 

CFP: ‘Medieval Liturgy: Text and Performance,’ 53nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2018) in Kalamazoo, Michigan

bean20ms120-20folio2080l20-20liturgy20of20the20deadCall for Papers: ‘Medieval Liturgy: Text and Performance,’ 53nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2018) in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Deadline: 15 September 2017
The Interdisciplinary Graduate Medieval Colloquium at the University of Virginia invites graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars to submit papers for a session entitled “Medieval Liturgy: Text and Performance” at the 53nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2018) in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Abstracts of up to 250 words for a 15-20-minute paper should be submitted on or before September 15, 2017 via Google Forms (visit http://bit.ly/liturgyform). All entries will undergo blinded peer review. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decisions via email by Friday, September 22.

Medieval Liturgy: Text and Performance

This panel turns on a rather simple (or simplistic) question: is liturgy a text or a performance? The howls of dissent rise up – Who would ask such a thing? The answer is both, of course! In response, this panel invites graduate students, affiliated faculty, and independent scholars to respond to the dichotomy of text/performance even as they replace it with their own set of questions to guide the future study of liturgy as text, music, and/or drama. Among other concerns, how are the textual and bodily experiences of liturgy coeval, or even co-constitutive, in the Middle Ages? In what ways do liturgical texts both organize and find their roots in ritual reenactments that involve procession, genuflection, and acts of proskynesis? What episodes and anecdotes from the Middle Ages reveal how liturgical text is entangled with the environment in which it is read, sung, translated, or performed?

The panel aims to create a conversation that goes beyond the traditional practice of liturgical exegesis to a more active, embodied study of the liturgy in Catholic, Orthodox, and Jewish traditions. Since unpacking the meaning of a somatic study of liturgy is the prime goal of the session, participants may use movement, travel, and the kineticism of objects as organizing principles for their work or ask how scholars actually perform or participate in the liturgies they study. Interesting avenues include discussions of the materiality of liturgy, from enduring forms to ephemera, via a close look at manuscripts, printed books, sacred instruments, vestments, relics, urban layouts, decorations for processions, and the architecture of churches, chapels, and tombs. We particularly invite work that pushes the boundary of what is currently considered the purview of “liturgy and ritual studies,” explores some aspect of space and sound, and pertains to the smell, touch, and taste of the liturgy in North Africa, Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Russia, and the Byzantine world.

Session co-chairs:
Justin Greenlee (jgg3mb@virginia.edu) and DeVan Ard (dda8xx@virginia.edu)

Exclusively Medieval, Online & Open Access: 2017 special issue of British Art Studies

The latest issue of British Art Studies (an open access, online Art History journal published by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art), is entirely devoted to Medieval Britain. The content is derived from a conference held at the British Museum in 2014: Invention and Imagination in British Art & Architecture, 600-1500.

It opens with an editorial by guest editors Sandy Heslop and Jessica Berenbeim, followed by twelve articles in traditional format: 

Thanks to the digital platform, it is possible to reference the articles to the nearest paragraph using the DOI link. The platform’s scope is further tested through the Conversation Piece and Handling Digital Objects portions of this special issue: 

Another innovative feature is a virtual simulation of the object sessions held at the 2014 conference. In actuality, these took the form of guided sessions with objects in the seminar rooms at the conference venue. In the journal, they are recreated via four interactive 3D models of objects, each accompanied by a short essay: 

6 CfP for ICMS Kalamazoo 2018

[1] Venice, Materiality, and the Byzantine World

[2] De-Centering the Romanesque

[3] Creative Modes of Activating the Early Medieval Manuscript

[4] Creative Strategies of Intellectual Engagement with Tradition and the Auctores

[5] “Manuscripts in the Curriculum”: New Perspectives on Using Medieval Manuscripts in the Undergraduate Classroom from Special Collection Librarians, Faculty, and Booksellers (A Roundtable)

[6] Moving People, Shifting Frontiers: Re-contextualising the Thirteenth Century in the Wider Mediterranean

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[1]

Venice, Materiality, and the Byzantine World

Sponsored by the Italian Art Society, 

Deadline: Sep 15, 2017

The Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Symposium leading to the 2010 publication of San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice introduced new perspectives on Byzantine and Venetian visual and material culture that extended Otto Demus’s survey of Saint Mark’s basilica. The authors’ application of more recent approaches—such as the social function of spolia, the act of display, the construction of identity, and cultural hybridity—brought fresh analyses to a complex and richly decorated monument. This panel seeks to expand this methodological discourse by taking into account questions related to materials, materiality, and intermediality between Venice and Byzantium. The arrival of material culture from the Byzantine world to Venice as gifts, spoils, or ephemera during the centuries surrounding the Fourth Crusade allowed for both appropriation and conceptual transformation of material culture. In light of the renewal in interest of Venice’s Byzantine heritage, this panel seeks to reflect on the interaction of material culture between la Serenissima and the Byzantine world, especially during the eleventh through fifteenth centuries. Topics may be wide-ranging, including, but not limited to: issues of reception and cultural translation; changing concepts of preciousness; different valuation of materials between Venice and Byzantium; the fluctuating simulation of material visual effects; the transformation of Byzantine objects incorporated into Venetian frames; intermedial dialogue between Byzantine and Venetian art; and the process and technique of manufacture of works between Byzantium and Venice. Some points of departure may include: the building of San Marco itself; Byzantine objects in the Treasury; Byzantine manuscripts included as part of the Cardinal Bessarion gift to the Republic; the monuments on Torcello; or issues raised as a result of recent conservation projects. New cross-cultural methodologies from art historical, anthropological, or sociological fields are welcome.
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a completed Participant 
Information Form (http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) by 

September 15 to the session organizers:

Brad Hostetler, Kenyon College, hostetler1@kenyon.edu, Joseph Kopta, Pratt Institute, jkopta@pratt.edu
In addition to the travel awards available to all Congress participants (http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/awards), the Italian Art Society offers competitive travel grants: http://italianartsociety.org/grants-opportunities/travel-grant-information/

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[2]

De-Centering the Romanesque

Dommuseum Hildesheim & The J. Paul Getty Museum

The canonical emphasis of Romanesque studies on regional centers and monuments has overshadowed aspects of transregional exchange that defined the art and culture of medieval western Europe circa 1000-1250. One of the key characteristics of this period is movement — of peoples, ideas, and materials. This session will explore the themes of portability and exchange, with possible topics addressing Mediterranean and Baltic trade networks, transcultural objects in the western treasuries, pseudo-scripts and their varied meanings, and hoards versus monuments. Participants are encouraged to address the concept of nexus versus center and the pedagogical implications for presenting a de-centered and global Romanesque, with papers that either challenge or affirm the Romanesque frame for teaching medieval art, both in the classroom and in the museum.

Please send your proposal of up to one page with your Participant Information Form (PIF) http://wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF to the organizers: Kristen Collins, J. Paul Getty Museum, KCollins@getty.edu or Gerhard Lutz, Dommuseum Hildesheim, gerhard.lutz@dommuseum-hildesheim.de

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[3] and [4]

Deadline: Sep 1, 2017

Two sessions for, “Identifying Creative Impulses in Early Medieval Art and Culture,” will convene at the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2018) in Kalamazoo, MI.

Papers are solicited that encourage novel—even experimental—approaches, to the exploration and identification of various conceptions of early medieval, creative cultural activity. 

The first panel seeks to engage with the actual haptic and experiential practice of manufacturing, reading and studying the early medieval book.

The second panel focuses upon culturally apposite forms of interpretative and compositional fashioning that can be discerned in manuscripts belonging to the liberal arts traditions of the Early Middle Ages.

Abstracts and paper proposals of not more than 250 words can be submitted via email on or before September 1, 2017 to the session organizers: Eric Ramírez-Weaver (emr6m@virginia.edu) and Lynley Anne Herbert (lherbert@thewalters.org). Please copy both co-organizers when submitting a proposal, posing a question, or requesting additional information via email.

Complete panel descriptions follow. We particularly encourage inventive strategies promising new approaches to the investigation of early medieval creativity.

Identifying Creative Impulses in Early Medieval Art and Culture
Special Sessions organized by Eric Ramírez-Weaver (emr6m@virginia.edu) and Lynley Anne Herbert (lherbert@thewalters.org)

I. Creative Modes of Activating the Early Medieval Manuscript

The way a manuscript behaves when used “in the flesh,” so to speak, can at times reveal layers of creativity built into them, which must be actively experienced rather than passively seen. Often as modern scholars we work from digitized images of individual folios, or at best openings, and “page flipping” technologies (such as the Walters’s “Ex Libris” platform or the British Library’s “Turning the Pages” program) provide a false sense that we are experiencing the physical book. Evidence of the performative qualities of a manuscript can at times be rediscovered, not just in the sense of how a reader might perform the text written in the book, but how the user activated the book as an object during use. Does an image show through a page and become part of the visual experience on the other side, and was there intentionality there? Do images interact across an opening? Does imagery function together from recto to verso? How is the artist creating an experience for the user, or conversely, how did the user alter the book to create a personal experience? This session seeks papers that explore creative approaches that open up new possibilities regarding how early medieval manuscripts functioned as objects.
II. Creative Strategies of Intellectual Engagement with Tradition and the Auctores

Recent scholarship (consider Benjamin Anderson, Lynda Coon, Paul Edward Dutton, Rosamond McKitterick, Lawrence Nees, Eric Ramírez-Weaver, and Immo Warntjes), has increasingly emphasized the creative strategies for intervention and manufacture of meaning that were acutely linked to early medieval eastern and western engagements with various aspects of the liberal art traditions. From star pictures to poetic acrostics, devotion to erudition and pious personal reform transformed the possibilities for innovation that proliferated during the Carolingian period. Interlocking networks of artists, chroniclers, historians, and poets communicated their translations, textual redactions, and visual records of classical tradition and contemporary study with one another, engaged in debate or collaboration, but advancing science. This session seeks papers willing to reconsider methodologically apposite ways to reinterpret the various brands of early medieval creativity manifest in texts pertaining (as broadly as possible) to the seven liberal arts, including texts of astronomical, computistical, rhetorical, geometric, arithmetic, musical, lyrical, philosophical, diagrammatic, or historical significance.

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[5]

“Manuscripts in the Curriculum”: New Perspectives on Using Medieval Manuscripts in the Undergraduate Classroom from Special Collection Librarians, Faculty, and Booksellers (A Roundtable)

Deadline: Sep 10, 2017

Integrating medieval manuscripts into an undergraduate curriculum changes the game. Students are transformed from passive learners to active scholars; observing objects and seeking to understand and interpret their context teaches critical thinking. Implementing programs to give students this opportunity requires the cooperation of special collection librarians and faculty, two disciplines that speak slightly different languages. Inspired by Les Enluminures’s new program Manuscripts in the Curriculum<http://www.textmanuscripts.com/curatorial-services/manuscripts&gt;, this session will also introduce a third perspective and explore the practical issues of how to build collections for teaching.

The session organizers wish to bring people together from these communities to share their experiences, to discuss successful results, to analyze problems, and to envision future directions. We invite papers that explore efforts to bring manuscripts into the classroom, and the challenges of implementing these programs at specific institutions from the perspectives of librarians, faculty, and booksellers. The session will be structured as a roundtable with a series of short ten- and fifteen-minute papers (the number and duration to be determined depending on response), with ample time for discussion.

Please send abstracts of no more than a page, along with a current CV and the Participation Information Form (available on the Medieval Congress Submissions page: http://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to lauralight@lesenluminures.com<mailto:lauralight@lesenluminures.com> by September 10, and sooner if possible.
Emily Runde, Text Manuscripts Specialist

Les Enluminures

http://www.lesenluminures.com&lt;http://www.lesenluminures.com&gt;

http://www.textmanuscripts.com&lt;http://www.textmanuscripts.com&gt;
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[6]

Moving People, Shifting Frontiers: Re-contextualising the Thirteenth Century in the Wider Mediterranean

Deadline: Sep 10, 2017

(Courtauld Institute of Art) and Katerina Ragkou (University of Cologne). Deadline: 10 September 2017

Every day we witness people moving, with them objects and skills, knowledge and experience; either forcibly or willingly; for work or for pleasure. The communities living along the shores of the Mediterranean and the hinterlands of the Balkans during the thirteenth century share many of the characteristics of our contemporary world: military campaigns and religious wars; the intensification of pilgrimage and the relocation of refugees; the shifting of frontiers and the transformation of socio-political orders.

The transformations of the thirteenth century span from east to west, from northern Europe to the Byzantine Empire and from the Balkans to the Levant. The geographic breadth is paralleled by crucial events including the fourth crusade, the fall of Acre, the empowerment of the Serbian Kingdom and the Republic of Venice, the loss and following restoration of the Byzantine Empire, and the creation of new political entities, such as the Kingdom of Naples and that of Cyprus, the Empire of Trebizond, and the Principality of Achaia. Eclectic scholarly tradition has either focused geographically or thematically, losing sight of the pan-Mediterranean perspective. These societies had multifaceted interactions, and comprised a variety of scales, from the small world of regional and inter-regional communities to the broader Mediterranean dynamics.

This session aims to address questions such as which are the various processes through which military campaigns and religious wars affected the urban landscape of these regions and their material production? Is there a difference in economic and artistic trends between “town” and “countryside” in the thirteenth-century wider Mediterranean? What observations can we make in regards to trade, diplomatic missions, artistic interaction and exchange of the regional, interregional and international contacts? How did these shape and transform cultural identities? How did different social, political and religious groups interact with each other?

This session welcomes papers focused on, but not limited to: the role played by economic activity and political power in thirteenth-century artistic production and the shaping of local and interregional identities; the production and consumption of artefacts and their meaning; the transformation of urban and rural landscapes; religious and domestic architecture and the relationship between the private and public use of space.

Proposals for 20 min papers should include an abstract (max.250 words) and brief CV. Proposals should be submitted by 10 September 2017 to the session organizers: Katerina Ragkou (katerina.ragkou@gmail.com) and Maria Alessia Rossi (m.alessiarossi@icloud.com).

Thanks to a generous grant from the Kress Foundation, funds may be available to defray travel costs of speakers in ICMA-sponsored sessions up to a maximum of $600 ($1200 for transatlantic travel). If available, the Kress funds are allocated for travel and hotel only. Speakers in ICMA sponsored sessions will be refunded only after the conference, against travel receipts. For more information visit: http://www.medievalart.org/kress-travel-grant/

CfP: Memory and Lineage in Medieval Romance, Leeds IMC 2018

The 25th Leeds International Medieval Congress has a special thematic strand of ‘memory’. Medieval romance lends itself to thinking about memory, in many ways, and not least because of its preoccupation with lineage. We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on any aspect of memory and/or lineage in medieval romance. The brief is deliberately broad, so please feel free to interpret according to your interest. Some thematic and theoretical approaches to consider may be: 

– inheritance / heritage / legacy

– remembering and recognition

– family histories and family politics

– textual lineage.

Please email proposals (250 words max.) to Kirsty Bolton (University of Southampton) and Grace Timperley (University of Manchester) at lineageinromance@gmail.com by 25 August 2017. 

New Illuminated Manuscript Digitisation Project with British Library & BnF: Polonsky Foundation

The Polonsky Foundation England and France Project: Manuscripts from the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, 700-1200

A new project is underway to open up further the unparalleled collections of illuminated manuscripts held by the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. In a ground-breaking new collaborative project the national libraries of Britain and France will work together to create two innovative new websites that will make 800 manuscripts decorated before the year 1200 available freely. The Bibliothèque nationale de France will create a new bilingual website that will allow side-by-side comparison of 400 manuscripts from each collection, selected for their beauty and interest. The British Library will create a bilingual website intended for a general audience that will feature highlights from the most important of these manuscripts and articles commissioned by leading experts in the field. Both websites will be online by November 2018.

Before the introduction of printing to Europe, all books were written by hand as manuscripts. The most luxurious of these were illuminated, literally ‘lit up’ by decorations and pictures in brightly coloured pigments and burnished gold leaf. All manuscripts — whether they are luxurious biblical or liturgical manuscripts, copies of classical literature or patristic, theological, historical or scientific texts — are valuable historical documents that can deepen and expand our understanding of the political, social and cultural life of the eras in which they were made. Their research value is inestimable.

The British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France have two of the largest collections of medieval manuscripts in the world. As a result of France and England being so closely entwined through periods of war, conquest and alliance and, in the medieval period, both nations claiming territory in France at times, both libraries have particularly strong holdings of French manuscripts produced in France or in Britain (but written in French or Latin).

tours

Decorated initial ‘I’(nitium) from western France, perhaps Brittany or Tours, 9th century (British Library Egerton MS 609, f. 46r).

 

This new project will add to the growing numbers of manuscript material available in full online as part of wider programmes to make these cultural treasures available to everyone around the world. At the British Library, over 8,000 items are currently available on our Digitised Manuscripts website. Similarly, thousands of items are available from the Bibliothèque nationale de France collections on its website, Gallica.

This exciting project is made possible by a generous grant from The Polonsky Foundation. Dr Leonard Polonsky remarks that ‘our Foundation is privileged to be supporting these two leading institutions in preserving the riches of the world’s cultural heritage and making them available in innovative and creative ways, both to scholars and to a wider public’.

The Polonsky Foundation is a UK-registered charity which primarily supports cultural heritage, scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, and innovation in higher education and the arts. Its principal activities include the digitisation of significant collections at leading libraries (the British Library; the Bibliothèque nationale de France; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; Cambridge University Library; the New York Public Library; the Library of Congress; the Vatican Apostolic Library); support for Theatre for a New Audience at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, New York; and post-doctoral fellowships at The Polonsky Academy for the Advanced Study of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Its founder and chairman, Dr Leonard S. Polonsky, was named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for charitable services in 2013.

The focus on the digitisation project will be on manuscripts produced on either side of the English Channel between 700 and 1200. The manuscripts from this period open up a window on a time of close cultural and political exchange during which scribes moved and worked in what is now France, Normandy and England. Decorated manuscripts containing literary, historical, biblical and theological texts will be included, representing the mutual strengths of the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Online access to these manuscripts will support new research into how manuscripts — and people — travelled around Europe in this period. New connections will be made possible by studying the two collections side by side.

For example, the manuscripts selected will include a number of illuminated Gospel-books, providing a witness to the changing tastes, influences and borrowings reflected in the books’ design and script. So a 9th-century, a 10th-century and a late 12th-century Gospel-book all have colourful illuminated initials with geometric patterns, floral decoration or animals heads, yet their execution is very different. The script, colours, style and subjects of the illumination all provide clues to the time and place of their composition. With the digitisation of manuscripts all these features may be studied and enjoyed in detail.

As well as making 800 manuscripts freely available online, the project will be part of a wider programme of activities aimed at researchers and the general public. A number of the manuscripts digitised will be displayed in a major international exhibition on Anglo-Saxon England to be held at the British Library from October 2018 to February 2019, which will highlight connections between Anglo-Saxon England and the Continent.

A conference at the British Library will coincide with the Anglo-Saxon exhibition (December 2018), and a project conference will be held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. An illustrated book showcasing beautiful and significant manuscripts from the collections will also be produced. Another output will be a film on the digitisation project that, together with the other aspects of the public programme, will open up new paths into collections for a variety of audiences.

The original version of this blog post in the British Library Medieval Manuscripts Blog can be found here.

Adapted for Medieval Art Research blog by Amy Jeffs

Original text by Tuija Ainonen

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