Fall 2017

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
  • Publication
    Canons, Huguenots, Movie Stars, and Missionaries: A Breviary's Journey from Le Mans to Reno
    (2017-10-31) Davis, Lisa Fagin
    This essay traces the journey of a breviary from the cathedral of Le Mans to the University of Nevada at Reno (ND2895.R46 U65 1400z). Liturgical evidence situates the original provenance of the University of Nevada manuscript securely in Le Mans and argues it was intended for display in a niche in the cathedral wall until 1562 when Huguenots sacked Le Mans. Although no definitive evidence of the manuscript is provided in the inventory made by the canons for the purpose of restitution, the manuscript does provide evidence for subsequent ownership. A nineteenth-century document pastedown on the back cover suggests that the manuscript traveled to England some time in the 19th century, where it was likely purchased by Gareth Hughes, the early Hollywood film star turned missionary, who later donated his collection to the University of Nevada in 1964.
  • Publication
    Medieval Origins Revealed by Modern Provenance: The Case of the Bywater Missal
    (2017-10-31) Kidd, Peter
    This essay works backwards and forwards from a few known points in the history of an early 13th-century illuminated missal at the Bodleian Library (MS. Bywater adds. 2), eventually filling-in the gaps to establish an unbroken chain of provenance from the present day back to the creation of the manuscript at the Cistercian abbey of Pontigny within about five years of 1208.
  • Publication
    "The Butcher’s Bill”: Using the Schoenberg Database to Reverse-Engineer Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Books from Constituent Fragments
    (2017-10-31) Johnson, Eric; Gwara, Scott J
    Medieval manuscripts are perishable objects. Whether they have degraded over time through constant use and exposure to the elements or been deliberately cut up to be reused in other fashions or sold on the collectors’ market, the fragments produced by these destructive circumstances still have much to tell modern scholars about the medieval codices of which they were once a part. Through a series of six case studies focusing on a disparate array of fragments, this essay demonstrates how scholars can use the University of Pennsylvania’s Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts to help recover the hidden histories of fragmentary manuscripts.
  • Publication
    Broken Books
    (2017-10-31) Cashion, Debra Taylor
    Broken Books is a digital humanities project built collaboratively between Pius XII Memorial Library and the Center for Digital Humanities of Saint Louis University. The goal of the Broken Books is to offer a digital solution to the problem of studying detached leaves from premodern manuscripts. Using online images, descriptive metadata, and nimble digital tools for relating these, Broken Books provides allows any researcher to manage a reconstruction project that also permits outside users to add images and information to it. Although still under development, Broken Books will encourage new contributions to manuscripts studies by facilitating the reconstruction of manuscripts that some time in their history were broken apart and scattered among various locations.
  • Publication
    The Bibale Database at the IRHT: A Digital Tool for Researching Manuscript Provenance
    (2017-10-31) Wijsman, Hanno
    The Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT) in Paris makes available a series of specialized electronic tools on medieval manuscripts, among which is Bibale, a database that aims to trace the provenance of medieval manuscripts and to reconstruct historic book collections from the medieval and early modern periods. This article explains the history, scope, and present state of this database and its links with several other tools, among which are the image repository Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits médiévaux (BVMM) and the Biblissima project that is working on interoperability of a series of French digital humanities projects concerning manuscripts and early printed books.
  • Publication
    “Safe from destruction by fire”: Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Venetian Manuscripts
    (2017-10-31) Eze, Anne-Marie
    The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston houses over thirty Venetian manuscripts dating from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries. They comprise official documents issued by the Doges; histories of the Republic of Venice, its government, and the patriciate; diplomas; and a statute book of a lay confraternity. Most volumes contain complete and dated texts, are illuminated, and survive in their original bindings. The collection, therefore, charts the evolution over three centuries of Venetian book production, and provides a wealth of sources for the study of Venetian history, portraiture, iconography, genealogy, and heraldry. Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840–1924) purchased many of her Venetian manuscripts en bloc in 1903 from the Harvard University professor Charles Eliot Norton (1827–1907). Norton placed his collection formed in Venice in Gardner’s newly-opened museum to safeguard it from dispersal and mutilation for its miniatures and bindings. Drawing on Gardner and Norton’s unpublished correspondence and acquisition documents in the archives of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Harvard University, this article reconstructs the formation of one of the most important collections of Venetian manuscripts outside of Venice and presents a hitherto unknown episode of the preservation of illuminated manuscripts by two prominent Gilded Age American collectors.
  • Publication
    Manuscripts of Sir Thomas Phillipps in North American Institutions
    (2017-10-31) Burrows, Toby
    The manuscript collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps was almost certainly the largest private collection ever assembled. Its dispersal during the century after his death in 1872 scattered his manuscripts into public and private collections around the world. These included many collections in North America, several of which now count former Phillipps manuscripts among their greatest treasures. This paper examines the extent to which Phillipps manuscripts are now held in institutional collections in North America and traces the history of their acquisition.
  • Publication
    The Linked Collections of William Bragge (1823-1884) of Birmingham and Dr. Thomas Shadford Walker (1834-1885) of Liverpool
    (2017-10-31) Stoneman, William P.
    The Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts can be used not only to track the provenance of individual manuscripts, but also to uncover larger patterns in multiple provenance strings of manuscripts. For example, does an individual auction sale or bookseller’s catalogue have any discernable influence on the acquisitions made by a collector or institution? Or is the publication of a collection or exhibition catalogue preceded or followed by any discernable pattern of acquisition activity? This paper explores patterns of acquisition, exhibition and sale associated with the collections of William Bragge (1823-1884) of Sheffield and Dr. T. Shadford Walker (1834-1885) of Liverpool. Bragge was the largest single exhibitor in the Burlington Fine Arts Club exhibition in 1874. The sale of his library less than two years later at Sotheby’s in June 1876 was only identified as the property of “a gentleman of consummate taste and judgment,” but full reports in The Times revealed his identity to those not already in the know. Not surprisingly the London antiquarian booksellers, Bernard Quaritch, were a major buyer at the sale; its Catalogue 31 published in the fall of 1876 after the sale contains numerous items acquired there. Quaritch was also apparently bidding on behalf of the British Museum and of Dr. Walker of Liverpool. In October of the same year Walker was a major contributor to the Liverpool Fine Arts Club exhibition of illuminated manuscripts and every one of the 18 manuscripts exhibited by Walker had been purchased at the Bragge sale earlier that year.
  • Publication
    Joseph Holland and the Idea of the Chaucerian Book
    (2017-10-31) Cook, Megan L
    The antiquarian Joseph Holland (d. 1605) owned a large, but damaged, Chaucerian manuscript from the early fifteenth century (now Cambridge University Library Gg.4.27). Holland recognized in the manuscript an effort to construct a collection based on Chaucerian authorship, and he repaired and added to it using a copy of the 1598 printed edition of Chaucer's collected Works. From this edition, he took not only the text of Chaucer's poems, but paratextual materials as well, including a glossary, biographical information, and a frontispiece. His activities reveal how a distinctly post-medieval understanding of what the collected works of Chaucer should look like shaped the history of this fifteenth-century manuscript, and underscore impact of later stages of transmission can have on the way medieval books are read and preserved.
  • Publication
    Collecting Histories
    (2017-10-31) Ransom, Lynn