Previous Issue Article Abstracts


Fall 2021 Vol. 6.2

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History from the Margins: Literary Culture and Manuscript Production in Western India in the Vernacular Millennium
Jahnabi Barooah Chanchani

Scholars of South Asia have long known of praśastis, eulogistic verses often composed in the transregional Sanskrit language on copperplates, stone slabs, and temple walls, from the early centuries of the Common Era. They have traditionally sieved these documents to recover dynastic histories and have supposed that as a genre, it faded away in the second millennium CE when Islamic polities were established across the subcontinent and new genres of history writing were popularized. In making this supposition they have overlooked the fact that praśastis continued to be frequently composed and written. Yet, their appearance was neither in public spaces nor in public documents, but frequently at the ends of palm-leaf and paper manuscripts. In this paper, I carefully analyze a corpus of hitherto un-translated praśastis and other scribal remarks written at the end of oft illustrated sumptuous Jaina manuscripts prepared between c. 1000 – 1600 in western India. This was a period during which manuscript culture and literary production burgeoned in the region. Through my close reading of these genealogical micro histories, I shed new light on the emergence of new power elites, literati associations, centers of manuscript production, the rise of professional authors and scribes, and formation of kinship. I also consider the aesthetics and poetics of patronage in the region and ask why patrons in the early centuries of the second millennium CE sought to legitimize their family histories using an archaic genre.


Splendors of the Serenissima in a Digital Age: The Master of the Murano Gradual Reconsidered
Stephanie Azzarello, Bryan C. Keene

The Master of the Murano Gradual is one of the most enigmatic illuminators working in early fifteenth-century Venice. The eponymous choir books were commissioned by the Camaldolese monastery of San Mattia a Murano and today comprise a single intact volume in the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin (MS 78 F.1) and about fifty historiated initials dispersed in twenty-five public and private collections in Europe and the United States. The fragmentary nature of the overall corpus is a central challenge to studying the artist and to understanding the contours of the workshop. This article provides a reassessment of the corpus of work attributed to the Murano Master—including an appendix with provenances of the whereabouts of the series—and makes a case for future collaborations that can build upon digitization efforts that make the fragments available online and upon recent technical analysis into the pigments used by the illuminators. 

The methodological approach of the authors has been twofold. Firstly, to study each of the fragments and manuscripts in person, and to locate digital assets for as many works as possible with the aim of creating an eventual website or online repository for scholars to consult. Secondly, to investigate codicological features of the individual fragments that have been hitherto overlooked, including the measurement of musical stave heights or blind-ruled lines for song, and the possible relationship between decorated and filigree letters to over one-hundred cuttings with decorated letters that have also been associated with the San Mattia series. Finally, the study also clarifies the dating of the Murano choir books, which were most likely produced in the 1420s.


Robert Ashley and the Authorship of Newberry MS 5017, The Book of Magical Charms
Renae Satterley

This article examines Newberry MS 5017, the Book of Magical Charms, a manuscript miscellany dated no later than 1639. The manuscript formed part of the Newberry Library's crowd-sourcing project to transcribe and translate three of the manuscripts in their exhibition, Religious Change 1450-1700. This article establishes Robert Ashley (1565-1641) as the manuscript's author. Ashley was a lawyer, translator and bibliophile whose bequest of over 5,000 books established the library at Middle Temple, one of the four Inns of Court. The article analyses the manuscript's charms, ritual magic, medical recipes and Christian esotericism excerpts to show that they were mainly transcribed from identifiable manuscript sources, with some from printed books. The author draws conclusions, based on Ashley's Ashley’s life, translations and book collection, about the manuscript's purpose and use, situating it within Ashley's library and the information gathering networks centered around the Inns of Court in the early modern period.


Title Pages in Sixteenth-and Seventeenth-Century Icelandic Manuscripts: The Development and Functions of Print Features in Manuscript Form
Silvia Hufnagel

This article analyses the influence of the printing press on Icelandic handwritten manuscripts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Iceland has a particularly rich and long-lasting manuscript culture that did not cease until the early twentieth century. Many post-medieval manuscripts include paratextual features that are more commonly connected with printed books, such as title pages which were a true innovation of the printing press but which are found in manuscripts, too. The earliest Icelandic title pages are found in manuscripts that were written for or by highly educated men and that contain the same textual genres that were printed, too, although references to print are rare. Title pages appear frequently in hymn manuscripts and various scribal strategies can be detected, from strict copies of their printed exemplars to emulating title pages of learned works. Often the medium of reception, or more precisely, singing is mentioned. Title pages appear very seldom in saga manuscripts, a popular genre that was restricted to the handwritten medium at that time. These title pages show much more decoration than hymn title pages and are full of stylistic and rhetorical elements of Baroque literature, such as alliteration and accumulatio. Similar to hymn title pages, the medium of reception, of reading and listening to, is stated. This analysis proves that title pages in manuscripts derived from printed books but that they developed their own specific characteristics, depended on several factors: printed models, generic traditions, the medium of reception, and individual choices of scribes and patrons.





Data Sanctorum: The Corpus Kalendarium Database of Devotional Calendars
Aaron Macks

The Book of Hours was the popular personal religious manuscript of the medieval period, and the vast majority of the surviving examples begin with a devotional calendar of saints and feasts. The Corpus Kalendarium Database, or CoKL DB, is a database of these manuscripts and their calendars, recording the saints and feasts, and cross linking them to allow querying by metadata of the manuscript or calendar itself, or the presence and rank of a particular observance or group of observances. This paper presents an introduction to the underlying relational database, the user interface, and some of the ways that this data-driven system can present manuscripts which would be impossible with the physical objects.


How a Small Scribal Error Left a Medieval Document Unprinted for 500 Years: Report from a Cataloguing Project at Copenhagen City Archives
Svend Clausen

This annotation describes how a small scribal error in a late medieval Danish document led to that document being left out of the later printed source edition, because the scribe’s correction of his own mistake was not recognized by the man who registered the document later on in the city archives in Copenhagen. It talks about how this sealed the fate that the document remained unknown and unpublished until a registration project at Copenhagen City Archives rediscovered and redated it in 2017 finally resulting in the making of the first-ever printed source edition i 2019. It also discusses the implications this has had for the intellectual knowledge of the history of Copenhagen and even for the understanding of modern cultural heritage in the streets of Copenhagen.




Alberto Campagnolo, ed. Book Conservation and Digitization: The Challenges of Dialogue and Collaboration.
Nancy K. Turner


Frank T. Coulson and Robert G. Babcock, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Latin Palaeography.
Lisa Fagin Davis


Mauro Perani, ed. The Ancient Sefer Torah of Bologna: Features and History.
Fabrizio Lelli


Dan Terkla and Nick Millea, eds. A Critical Companion to English Mappae Mundi of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries.
Martin Foys


Eyal Poleg. A Material History of the Bible, England 1200–1553.
Matti Peikola


Federico Botana. Learning Through Images in the Italian Renaissance: Illustrated Manuscripts and Education in Quattrocento Florence.
Emanuele Lugli


List of Manuscripts Cited




Spring 2021 Vol. 6.1

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The Digital Compilation and Restoration of Herculaneum Fragment P.Herc.118
Christy Y. Chapman, C. Seth Parker, Ali Bertelsman,  Kristina Gessel, Hannah Hatch, Kyra Seevers, James H. Brusuelas, Stephen Parsons, W. Brent Seales 

Ancient documents pose many challenges for the scholars who painstakingly study and elucidate them. Natural deterioration occurs over time, erasing words and sentences that were once apparent. Water and fire damage can render text completely unreadable. Wrinkles and folds obscure content essential to meaning. Thankfully, old and new imaging methods can today be combined to rescue “lost” text and make it once again accessible to scholars. 
Using computer vision techniques like registration, historical images that often represent the most faithful record of the original content of a document can now be combined with those produced by newer technologies, like spectral imaging and 3D modeling. The result is a diachronic digital compilation that enables new scholarly discoveries. Using the collection of fragments from an opened ancient scroll from Herculaneum, PHerc.118, the work outlined in this paper prototypes a process that capitalizes on the best of old and new images to create a single, definitive digital model for scholarly study.


Square Minuscule in the Age of Cnut the Great
Kevin Kiernan 

Beowulf scholars wishing to eliminate a late date for the poem have embraced David Dumville’s stringent position that, although the scribes almost certainly copied the manuscript in the early eleventh century, it is “in the highest degree unlikely” they copied it after 1016. There is no obvious nor expressed justification for limiting a scribe’s life or career to the year Æthelred died and Cnut the Great became king. Dumville’s argument was that he could find no examples of Square minuscule that anyone could prove was written after 1013. In his exhaustive Catalogue of Manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon, Neil Ker cautiously avoids such narrow dating ranges for undated manuscripts, relying instead on thirty-year or (more often) fifty-year dating ranges. By his system, Ker classified more than two dozen scribal hands as late types of “square Anglo-Saxon minuscule.” Analyses of Ker’s examples of early eleventh-century Square minuscule prove that scribes maintained the script type throughout the reign of Cnut. Some examples suggest that the scribes most likely copied Beowulf in the first half of his reign.


Perspectives on Digital Catalogs and Textual Networks of Old Norse Literature
Katarzyna Anna Kapitan

Taking its point of departure in the network analysis of manuscript contexts of Old Norse texts, based on data collected from digital catalogs of Nordic manuscripts, this article examines the possibilities and challenges of the digital manuscript studies. Through a close examination of a single Old Norse text and its genre affiliation in the extant manuscripts, the present study reveals the limitations of the application of network analysis to similar cases and identifies the contemporary digital cataloging practice as the main limitation. From the point of view of automated data extraction and from the perspective of new research questions that could be answered through digital data analysis, this article emphasizes the importance of systematic and comprehensive digital manuscript cataloging for further developments in the field of manuscript studies. It discusses some of the key features of manuscript description and suggests crowd-sourcing cataloging as a potential solution to some of the challenges the digital cataloging projects face today. 


Visual Arguments and Entangled Ethnographies in the Boxer Codex
Miguel Ibáñez Aristondo 

This article examines the Boxer Codex (BC, ca. 1590), which is a manuscript that contains illustrations and narratives describing ethnic groups of the western Pacific islands and continental Southeast and East Asia. The article examines the codex in relation to early modern costume books by examining the role that images played in the creation of ethnographical knowledge. Divided into four parts, the first and second sections examine the opening foldout drawing and the first account of the codex, which both deal with the native people of the Ladrones Islands. The third part put the codex in dialogue with other Iberian manuscripts and it focuses on cases that incorporate images made by native artists. The last section analyses how the codex depicts costumes and body ornaments to fabricate ethnic and gender distinctions. After analyzing the relationship established between images and words, I argue that visual depictions in the Boxer codex played the role of visual arguments that enabled the author to fabricate and make visible ethnic differences.


A New Model for Manuscript Provenance Research: The Mapping Manuscript Migrations Project 
Toby Burrows, Doug Emery, Arthur Mitchell Fraas,  Eero Hyvönen, Esko Ikkala, Mikko Koho, David Lewis,  Andrew Morrison, Kevin Page, Lynn Ransom, Emma Cawlfield Thomson, Jouni Tuominen,  Athanasios Velios, Hanno Wijsman 

Since it was awarded a Round 4 Trans-Atlantic Platform Digging into Data Challenge grant in 2017, the Mapping Manuscript Migrations project has been working to develop and test a methodology to link disparate datasets from Europe and North America with the aim of providing large-scale analysis and visualizations of the history and provenance of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. 
 Guided by a set of research questions identified at the outset of the project, MMM developed an innovative Linked Open Data model and dataset which unifies three separate manuscript-related databases in a semantically consistent way, together with the workflows for transforming the institutional data contributions into the common structure. The dataset has been made available through a Linked Open Data service hosted by the Linked Data Finland platform and the MMM semantic portal. 
 The aggregated data can be queried and visualized at scales ranging from a single manuscript to a total of more than 216,000 manuscripts as a group. Visualization tools developed in the portal show how the manuscripts have traveled across time and space from their place of production to their current locations, where they continue to find new audiences. 


The following report summarizes our methodology and results, and lays the groundwork for further research using our processes.

Carolingian Structures of Logic and Learning: The Evidence of University of Pennsylvania Libraries LJS 101
Christine E. Bachman 

This paper presents preliminary research into how manuscript LJS 101, held in the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, represents a collective enterprise in its making and in its contents. The evidence of the texts, script, and decoration show that the manuscript was not only made, but also used within a larger community over an extended period of time. The inclusion of Boethius’s early sixth century translation of and commentary on Aristotle’s De Interpretatione alongside shorter texts, such as a sample letter and definitions of words, transforms the manuscript into a useful handbook for studying the first three subjects of the medieval liberal arts – grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic – within an instructional environment of teachers and students. The making of the manuscript also reflects the work of several individuals. At least two distinct phases of work can be identified, the hands of several scribes can be distinguished in the text and annotations, and the diagrams and decoration reflect diverse sources that may relate to the varied visual vocabulary of different artists. In these ways, the texts, script, and decoration of LJS 101 exemplify the community and combined efforts involved in Carolingian systems of education and manuscript production.


The Aachen Inscription: A Draft Dedication Written in Hebrew on an Early Modern Ream Wrapper
Louis Meiselman 

Annotation about a newly cataloged manuscript at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries with an inscription about leaders and institutions in Aachen, Germany during the first decades of the 18th century. Some historical background and manuscript material cited. Includes photos and script analysis.



L. W. C. van Lit. Among Digitized Manuscripts: Philology, Codicology, Paleography in a Digital World
Kelly Tuttle 

Beatrice Alai. Le miniature italiane del Kupferstichkabinett di Berlino
Bryan C. Keene 

Tamara Atkin and Laura Estill, eds. Early British Drama in Manuscript
Jonathan Walker 

Eric Kwakkel and Francis Newton. Medicine at Monte Cassino: Constantine the African and the Oldest Manuscript of His Pantegni
Andrew J. M. Irving



Fall 2020 Vol. 5.2

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Early Antiquarian Methodologies: Conflict in the Margins of a Sixteenth-Century Copy of Itinerarium Kambriae and Descriptio Kambriae
Sarah J. Sprouse

The Tudor period saw a revolution in antiquarian histories of Britain. Their networks of transmission largely circle around major collectors such as Matthew Parker and William Cecil. One prominent figure in Cecil’s orbit was Laurence Nowell, the antiquarian whose name is famously associated with the Beowulf manuscript (the “Nowell Codex”). Nowell made copies of the Itinerarium Kambriae and Descriptio Kambriae, both texts by Giraldus Cambrensis, from differing sources, resulting in the defective manuscript London, British Library Additional MS 43706. His colleague William Lambarde used the Add. MS 43706 as the basis for his copy of Descriptio Kambriae. However, before Lambarde finished his transcription, he made annotations in Nowell’s copy. This paper will examine the marginal annotations in Add. MS 43706, which include several annotations in Nowell’s hand too. Nowell and Lambarde must have exchanged the manuscript back and forth, as demonstrated by their crossing out and correcting of each other’s annotations. This correspondence on the physical pages of the manuscript speaks to their differing attitudes towards prominent aspects of Giraldus’s text, including how to read and interpret marvels, natural history, and the twelfth-century discord between Wales and Anglo-Norman England. Nowell’s more conservative attitude led him to derisively identify many of the anecdotes as “superstitio”, “ridiculum”, and “fabula”, whereas Lambarde resists such disparaging comments by crossing them out and then justifying them with notes such as “mais miraculu[m]”. This article ultimately argues that reading conflict in the margins highlights the value of studying marginalia in order to better understand the transmission practices of the antiquarians, including how they read medieval texts and how they interpret, translate, excerpt, and summarize them.


An Illuminated Manuscript from Late Fourteenth-Century Shiraz in the Bodleian Library
Cailah Jackson

Islamic manuscript illumination production in the eastern Iranian city of Shiraz in the late fourteenth century marked an aesthetic sea-change from mid-fourteenth-century styles that were characterized by polychrome palettes and thick, gold strapwork. The new style of illumination, which was produced under the Muzaffarid dynasty (1314– 93), was distinguished by the dominance of deep blue pigments as well as black and gold and the use of minute floral sprays and ‘baroque- edged’ inscribed cartouches. This profound visual shift eventually developed into the elaborate styles of Timurid, Turcoman and Safavid illumination of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries onwards and is thus of central importance to the history of the Islamic arts of the book. This article builds upon existing scholarship by bringing to light an illuminated manuscript from late fourteenth-century Shiraz that is currently unknown to scholarship. This manuscript – an undated copy of the Kulliyat (Collection) of the Shirazi author Saʿdi (d. 1291) – is richly illuminated and is thus a significant addition to the body of known material from the region. The article gives an account of the political and artistic contexts in which the manuscript was produced before providing a brief overview of known contemporary manuscript material. After an examination of the manuscript itself, the article highlights its visual links to other Muzaffarid and early Timurid material, in an effort to narrow the possible date range of production. Finally, in an effort to advance the general study of Muzaffarid manuscripts and the late medieval Islamic arts of the book, all but one of the article’s reproductions have never before been published.


The Roaring Lion and the Horse of God: The Enigma of the Evangelist Portraits in the Harkness Gospels (New York Public Library MA 115)
Violetta Barbashina

This paper addresses the question of sources for the idiosyncratic representations of the Evangelists created by ninth-century Breton monks and explores what might have prompted the occasional substitution of the horse for the traditional symbol of Saint Mark, the lion. Challenging the assumption of a “Celtic” connotation of equine imagery, this study suggests that the monks were directly influenced by Gregory the Great’s allegorical interpretation of the horse given in the Moral Reflections on Job 39. Echoing Gregory as he draws a parallel between the emblematic qualities of the horse (strength, perseverance, courage) and those required of a servant of God, the innovative iconography of Saint Mark unites the lion and the horse in celebratory remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection and glorifies in the image of the Evangelist the tireless preacher, the devoted and fearless Horse of God.



Scribes, Scholars, & Scripts: Reviewing Data from Scribes of the Cairo Geniza
Emily Esten

In spring 2019, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries launched the transcription phase of “Scribes of the Cairo Geniza,” a crowdsourcing project to sort and transcribe Cairo Geniza fragments. This article describes the results of the sorting phase of the project, and initial progress results for the transcription phase of the project.


A New Look at “Didacus” in a Late Twelfth-Century Manuscript from Santa María de Benevívere (Free Library of Philadelphia, Lewis E 22)
Matthew J. Westerby

The manuscript Lewis E 22 at the Free Library of Philadelphia has an uncommonly complete provenance. Written in the late twelfth century at Santa María de Benevívere in the Tierra de Campos of Palencia, Spain, an ex libris inscription on the last lines of the final folio records its origin, with an enigmatic addition by a later hand with the name “Didacus.” Following the exclaustration of Benevívere in the nineteenth century, the manuscript passed through a series of collections in England and Canada before it arrived in the United States with John Frederick Lewis, including those of William Bragge and George Dunn. Furnishing new evidence for its provenance and contextualizing its creation at Benevívere, this paper offers a new interpretation of the Didacus inscription as a memorial to the monastery’s founder, Diego Martínez de Villamayor (d. 5 November 1176).




Bryan C. Keene, ed. Toward a Global Middle Ages: Encountering the World Through Illuminated Manuscripts.
Valerie Hansen


Bill Endres. Digitizing Medieval Manuscripts: The St. Chad Gospels, Materiality, Recoveries, and Representation in 2D & 3D.
Andrew Prescott


Thomas Forrest Kelly. The Role of the Scroll: An Illustrated Introduction to Scrolls in the Middle Ages.
Katherine Hindley


Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh. The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript, from Genocide to Justice.
Lisa Mahoney


David Rundle. The Renaissance Reform of the Book and Britain: The English Quattrocento.
Mimi Ensley


Frank Klaassen, ed. Making Magic in Elizabethan England: Two Early Modern Vernacular Books of Magic.
Barbara H. Traister





Spring 2020 Vol. 5.1

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Yemeni Manuscripts Online: Digitization in an Age of War and Loss
Nancy Um

In 2013, a corpus of manuscripts from Yemen became openly accessible to the public through the Princeton University Digital Library portal. Numbering around 250 codices, most were digitized and cataloged from three private collections held in Yemen, under the auspices of the Yemeni Manuscript Digitization Initiative (YMDI), a scholarly network that was underpinned by institutional support from the Princeton University Library and Freie Universität Berlin. This article delves into the YMDI project, as a significant case study, with the goal of considering how this group of digital surrogates functions as an online collection, rather than viewing the Princeton portal as a transparent access point for these manuscripts or examining any of the YMDI volumes or their contents individually. Mass digitization projects are often sketched as efforts of “salvage,” focusing on issues of both preservation and accessibility. By contrast, here, it is asserted that the meaning and significance of these manuscripts have not been sustained through the act of digitization, but rather transformed, particularly amidst Yemen’s current unstable political situation. It is hoped that this article will provide a critical backdrop to the YMDI collection, by situating the cultural act of digitization historically, thereby helping users to understand these collections more substantively and inspiring us to think critically about how and why we digitize historic manuscripts in a precarious contemporary world.

Opening the Text in the Floreffe Bible (London, BL Add. MS 17738): From Ways of Seeing to Ways of Touching
Dominic Marner

The Floreffe Bible is a two-volume bible now housed in the British Library (Add MSS 17737 and 17738). It is a wonderful example of the complex relationship between text and image and between the sophisticated interplay of exegesis and imagination. This study explores the interspatial, intertextual and interactive aspects of a hole in the parchment on folio 180r/v. The hole both illustrates the text which surrounds it and to provides a portal or aperture into the text below possibly providing the viewer/reader with an opportunity to recreate a miracle of Christ by quite literally touching his garment. Likewise, once the folio is turned another intertextual and interspatial opportunity is provided by the aperture. This unusual situation demands considerable understanding of both the process of making the book and the possibilities of interacting and reading the text and contributes to our understanding of the truly sophisticated handling of text and image in the makers of the Floreffe Bible. This manuscript is infused with typological and exegetical richness, inviting the reader the explore the opening in the text, not only through sight but touch.

Litterae florissae in English Manuscripts in the Late Twelfth/Early Thirteenth Century
Sara Charles

This article examines a group of manuscripts produced in England in the late twelfth/early thirteenth century and compares their artistic penwork, particularly looking at litterae florissae and linefillers. Some of these manuscripts have already been linked by their decorated initials, and were thought to be produced in a workshop in Oxford. By looking closely at the style of flourished letters, it was possible to identify a precise standard of creating letterforms, further linking these manuscripts to one production centre in Oxford. English litterae florissae and linefiller styles have not received much academic analysis to date, but finding similarities between letter styles has the potential to provide further identification for manuscript production and workshop standards.

The Durham Latin Prose “Brut” to 1347 with a Continuation to 1348: A Nationalistic Chronicle of England and Its Manuscripts
Trevor Russell Smith

This article re-examines the unedited Durham Latin Prose “Brut” chronicle and its manuscript tradition in light of the discovery of a previously unknown manuscript. The Durham “Brut” covers the history of England from its legendary origins through the English victories over Scotland and France in 1346–47. The chronicle’s later years are related to those in two other important late-medieval chronicles, the Anonimalle Chronicle and the Lanercost Chronicle, and for a short section of John of Washington's later chronicle. Only one witness of the Durham “Brut” was known until 2011, when another was identified with a 1347–48 continuation in a seventeenth-century hand. This article identifies an additional medieval witness that also includes the continuation. This article examines all three manuscripts together to track their development through both layout and a word by word comparison of a section of the text (Edward III’s 1346 invasion of Normandy). This article will serve as a starting point for future editors of this neglected but important chronicle, written during a time of great change in English culture and national identity. 

A Brief Introduction to Seventeenth- Century Military Manuscripts and Military Literacy
Lucian Staiano-Daniels

The history of early-modern European manuscripts has rarely focused on the use of manuscripts in armies. Some historians have even presented early-modern armies as unconcerned with daily records of the common soldiers under their command. Others have used early-modern handwritten documents as sources of information, without examining them as artifacts. But these documents are interesting works of vernacular art, created under difficult circumstances. They also provide clues to things like the literacy rate of some common soldiers. This article introduces early-modern military manuscripts. The focus is on the army of Electoral Saxony during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648).



How Many Glyphs and How Many Scribes? Digital Paleography and the Voynich Manuscript
Lisa Fagin Davis

It can be safely claimed that there is no medieval script that has been seen, analyzed, and debated more than that of the mysterious and as-yet-unread Voynich Manuscript (Beinecke MS 408). For centuries, bibliophiles, linguists, codicologists, art historians, and amateur cryptologists have pored over the manuscript, examining it from every angle, debating every wormhole, arguing over every stain and crease. Some things we know: the invented script is comprised of carefully- written glyphs without precedent or obvious model; forensic material evidence has determined that the parchment, ink, and pigments date from the early 15th century; the provenance trail is nearly unbroken from the seventeenth century to today. But we still don’t know how to read it, in spite of new theories flying across the internet on a near- weekly basis. “Voynichologists” disagree as to some of the most important and basic questions about the manuscript. How many letterforms are there? How many scribes can be identified? Are there ligatures, majuscules, abbreviations, and other scribal conventions? These questions have never been satisfactorily answered. Using digital paleographic methodologies including the Archetype (DigiPal) application and other annotation tools, this project will revisit the paleographic analyses of the Voynich glyphs to propose answers to some of these questions and discuss how these answers open avenues for further research. 

In the Orbit of the Sphere: Sacrobosco’s De sphaera mundi in UPenn MS Codex 1881
Aylin Malcolm

Johannes de Sacrobosco’s De sphaera mundi was the most popular astronomical text in Europe from the late thirteenth century to the late seventeenth, and a core component of the late medieval university curriculum. This essay is the first published study of a remarkable copy of De sphaera in a manuscript recently acquired by the University of Pennsylvania (MS Codex 1881), which includes an unedited commentary on De sphaera and a variety of diagrams. I begin by addressing the textual relationships between this codex and other fifteenth-century copies of the main text and commentary, including both manuscripts and incunables. I then evaluate its diagrams, which would have assisted readers in visualizing and memorizing topics introduced in the main text, and which range from simple geometrical volvelles to a compendious climata diagram. To conclude, I consider what MS Codex 1881 might offer twenty-first-century audiences, including my initial work on digital editions of its diagrams. As a useful case study for both research and teaching, this manuscript will likely benefit several areas of inquiry in medieval and early modern studies, including the history of science and the history of education.



Erik Kwakkel and Rodney Thompson, eds. The European Book in the Twelfth Century.
Joanna Fronska

Paul M. Love, Jr. Ibadi Muslims of North Africa: Manuscripts, Mobilization, and the Making of a Written Tradition.
Amanda Propst

Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Robert Suckale, and Gude Suckale-Redlefsen, eds. Painting the Page in the Age of Print: Central European Manuscript Illumination of the Fifteenth Century.
Gregory Clark

Erik Kwakkel, ed. Vernacular Manuscript Culture, 1000–1500.
Hannah Morcos

Gaudenz Freuler. The McCarthy Collection, Volume I: Italian and Byzantine Miniatures.
Bryan C. Keene


List of Manuscripts Cited


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Fall 2019 Vol. 4.2

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Moralizing the Mass in the Butler Hours
Kathryn A. Smith

THE ENGLISH BUTLER HOURS (ca. 1340–45) is best known for an imposing full-page miniature depicting the Butler family attending Mass in a setting suggestive of a private chapel kneeling, elegantly attired Baron William le Boteler or Botiller of Wem (or Wemme, in Shropshire) and two women, one only partly visible at the picture's left edge, clasp their hands in prayer and train their gazes on the consecrated Host held aloft by the celebrant at a draped altar. In this idealized depiction of the Elevation of the Eucharist and privileged lay participation in the liturgical rite, the Butlers' ability to see the Host is ensured by a kneeling deacon, who holds a tall green taper in one hand while lifting the hem of the priest's chasuble with the other.


Clockwise–Counterclockwise: Calligraphic Frames in Sephardic Hebrew Bibles and Their Roots in Mediterranean Culture
Dalia-Ruth Halperin

Most Near Eastern and Sefardi Bible manuscripts feature calligraphic frames around many of their carpet pages, and in Sefardi Iberian manuscripts they are frequently found surrounding the Temple Implement pages, which are unique to the region. The present essay traces the development of this scribal art in the Iberian Peninsula and the way that it evolved into a regional phenomenon that mirrors cultural interests and influences. I also discuss its origins in Hebrew Near Eastern manuscripts and further demonstrate the cultural roots and origins of this scribal phenomenon in the surrounding Byzantine and Islamic cultures.

Breaking and Remaking Scripture: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Hornby-Cockerell Bible
Eric J. Johnson


This article examines the now fragmented early-13th century Hornby-Cockerell Bible from a variety of perspectives, including an overview of its known provenance history as a complete codex between 1880 and 1981, it's subsequent breaking for profit and dispersal of its leaves around the world, and the specific--and peculiar--motivations behind the codex's destruction. The essay also includes an analysis of the manuscript within the larger context of Bible production and use in the early-13th century, including an examination of its textual content and organization, its illuminated contents, and direct evidence of medieval reader activity preserved in marginal notes, nota bene marks, and doodles. Altogether, the article explores how Scripture, as presented and expressed in this particular manuscript, has been repackaged and revalued throughout history, from its creation as a usable medieval text, to its conversion into individual, single-folio units for sale, and its gradual reaggregation and recognition as a rare and dynamic witness to the complex evolution of the Bible in the Middle Ages. Also included is an appendix recording the textual and illuminated content, current location, and individual provenance histories of the 235 (of 440) surviving leaves the author has located or traced.


Visualizing Codicologically and Textually Complex Manuscripts
Anna Dorofeeva

This article presents the collation map, a new diagrammatic method for visually mapping the texts of complex medieval Western manuscripts against their material structures. It argues that the collation map is a more useful tool for understanding the collation of codicologically and textually complex manuscripts than collation formulae – currently the most frequently used method of representing collation. Four reasons for this are explored: one, the map provides a visual representation of the manuscript's overall structure at a glance by showing the whole manuscript on a single page; two, it provides an instant overview of the size and spread of texts between quires, recognizing the importance of manuscript contents both for collation and for the growing movement to view manuscript books as whole objects; three, it is a useful working aid when examining digital manuscripts, and an essential aid to scholarship in an increasingly digital and international environment; and four, unlike formulae, the collation map avoids prescribing a set of theoretical standards or a national system. The article couches these discussions within the context of the full range of published work in theoretical codicology.


Multispectral Recovery of a Fragment of Richard FitzRalph's Summa de Questionibus Armenorum from University of Rochester, D.460 1000-03
Kyle Ann Huskin, Alexander J. Zawacki, Gregory Heyworth

Multispectral imaging—the process of obtaining image data from a range of both visible and invisible wavelengths—is a new frontier in medieval studies, raising the possibility of recovering damaged or palimpsested texts that have been illegible for centuries. In this paper we show the remarkable results of applying this technology to University of X, MS D.460 1000-003, a previously unidentified single-folio fragment that was gifted to the university in 1968. Formerly used as a limp vellum binding for a seventeenth-century volume, the text has become so worn that it is all but completely unreadable to the naked eye. The fragment has consequently received little scholarly attention prior to our investigation. Our team recovered nearly all of the lost text and identified the fragment as an excerpt from Richard FitzRalph's Summa de Questionibus Armenorum. Although this text survives in 45 other manuscripts and fragments, our discovery is highly significant because the Rochester fragment is the only copy of any of FitzRalph's works in a non-European collection. Moreover, the fragment, whose handwriting dates to no later than 1370, may be the oldest extant copy of the Summa by at least half a decade. We present the process of this discovery, our conclusions about the text, and the potential for multispectral imaging to unlock new information hidden in known but understudied fragments held in archival collections around the world.



Two Unusual Mind Diagrams in a Late Fifteenth-Century Manuscript (UPenn Schoenberg Collection, LJS 429)
Mary J. Carruthers

University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection, MS LJS 429, is a small booklet containing materials of natural philosophy, chiefly related to the effects of cosmic forces on human biology. Two of its diagrams illustrate the mentalizing process of the Aristotelian-Thomist psychology anima sensitiva, or the process through which sensory experience is formed as a mental perception. This essay points out the ways in which these diagrams differ from a standard (Thomist) medieval model of Mind. During the very late Middle Ages, the analysis of Mind as anima sensitiva and mens appears to shift from being action-based (analysed in terms of abilities and powers) to being substantive-based (analysed in terms of substantial agents using material tools). I will suggest that these two diagrams unusually model "faculty psychology" in a way that seems to foreshadow one we associate more with the time of Descartes, and even of Locke and Hume.

Labeculæ Vivæ: Building a Reference Library of Stains for Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts
Alberto Campagnolo, Erin Connelly, Heather Wacha

Stains on manuscripts are signs indicative of their past lives left by time and usage. Reading these signals in concert with conventional information gathered from manuscripts can add to our understanding of the history and use of an object. This project, supported by a microgrant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, and run as a preliminary pilot study, provides an identified, open-access database of a number of commonly found stains in order to help researchers answer questions such as manuscript provenance, transmission, material culture, as well as scientific applications for arts questions and the innovative uses of multispectral imaging to acquire new knowledge. This paper presents the methodology and the results of the investigation and demonstrates best practices using the database for a diverse audience of scholars.



The Arts and Crafts of Literacy: Islamic Manuscript Cultures in Sub-Saharan Africa ed. by Mauro Nobili and Andrea Brigaglia (review)
Evyn Kropf

The Montpellier Codex: The Final Fascicle. Contents, Contexts, Chronologies ed. by Catherine A. Bradley and Karen Desmond (review)
Flannery Cunningham

 Writing History in the Anglo-Norman World: Manuscripts, Makers, and Readers, c. 1066–c. 1250 ed. by Laura Cleaver and Andrea Worm (review)
Jacqueline M. Burek

The Annotated Book in the Early Middle Ages: Practices of Reading and Writing ed. by Mariken Teeuwen and Irene van Renswoude (review)
Christine E. Bachman


List of Manuscripts Cited



Spring 2019 Vol. 4.1

• • • • • • • •


In the Age of Non-Mechanical Reproduction: Manuscript Variation in Early-Modern South Asia

Arthur Dudney and Neer aja Poddar

HUMANISTIC SCHOLARSHIP ON SOUTH Asia has become increasingly interested in examining culture not as a monolith but as a field where the actors, objects, and ideas are mobile and frequently altered by interactions with each other.1Recent publications in art history, literary studies, history, and religious studies have taken notice of this dynamism and concern themselves with the "circulation of culture—its producers, products, and practices."2 As opposed to privileging an "original" avatar with a fixed meaning, which has been the fate of many itinerant objects and texts that have previously been studied, scholars have begun to probe the layers of meaning acquired by texts and objects that move across time, place, and contexts, their mobility forming them into hybrid products shaped from myriad points of contact.3 These objects and texts are frequently treated as sites where the interface between cultures can be traced; a large proportion of new scholarship on such questions is focused on the encounter of Indic artistic and literary idioms and practices with Islam.


Manuscript Variations of Dabistān-i Maẕāhib and Writing Histories of Religion in Mughal India

Sudev Sheth

A text that has found renewed interest among scholars of early modern India is the Persian compendium of religion called Dabistān-i Maẕāhib. Written between 1645 and 1658, the Dabistān presents a lively ethnographic and historical account of customs and habits of various major and minor religious communities in northern India during the heyday of the Mughal Empire (1526-1707). Written like a travelogue, it moves between various modes of description including mythical revelations, storytelling, ethnographic notes, and authorial commentary. The Dabistān-i Maẕāhib is also valuable because it is the earliest work outside of the Sikh literary tradition that contains first-hand accounts of the growing Sikh socio-religious movement established in Punjab during the sixteenth century. Focusing on this section titled "The Nanak Panthis", this article explores what translators, commentators, and historians have variously understood as comprising the original text. Since the early twentieth century, scholars have relied on later manuscript and print editions in their English translations and use of this work without necessarily reflecting on how these choices have preconditioned interpretive possibilities. My analysis of a recently discovered and earliest known manuscript copy of the Dabistān-i Maẕāhib from 1650 suggests that all of the later hand written and print editions, which have now become standardized through scholarly convention, omit certain details and even entire passages. This has major implications for how we have understood the genesis and transmission of the text, and perhaps more significantly, the social groups and historical moments depicted in this one-of-a-kind work.



Power Permutations in Early Hindi Manuscripts: Who Asks the Questions and Who Gives the Answers, Rāmānand or Kabīr? 

Heidi Pauwels

What work do manuscripts perform? How are we to understand their socio-political impact? What happens when we find drastically different permutations of the same dialogical text in multiple manuscripts, where the interlocutors take different positions in different versions? How do we deal with that in the light of existing printed editions that intervene and "freeze" one version and marginalize others? This paper focuses on how old Hindi dialogical texts fare in manuscript and print, with the case study of the dialogue between the famous iconoclastic Kabīr and his purported guru the Rāma-worshiper Rāmānand, as preserved in a fascinating illustrated manuscript from the beginning of the eighteenth century that combines yogic and devotional texts.


The Strange Afterlife of Vidyāpati Ṭhākura (ca. 1350–1450 CE): Anthological Manuscripts, Linguistic Confusion, and Religious Appropriation

Christopher L. Diamond

This article examines the difficult aspects of working with anthological manuscripts and printed editions of lyrical vernacular poetry in South Asia by focusing on the textual reception of Vidyāpati Ṭhākura. In his own life, Vidyāpati wrote technical treatises in Sanskrit, historical narratives in Apabhraṃśa, and a corpus of lyrical poems (padas) and two dramas in the vernacular Maithili language. While his technical works remained relatively static and limited in their circulation, Vidyāpati's lyrical poems had a more enduring and geographically widespread effect on the languages, literatures, and religions of Mithilā and Eastern India (Bengal, Orissa, and Assam). The anthologies of padas, usually called "padāvalī's", whatever their historical manifestation or locality, were usually collections of disconnected padas without contextual narratives or explanations.

This analysis focuses on the difficulty of working with free-standing small lyrical poems, which were never conceived of as unified textual entities, in both organized padāvalīs and small disposable manuscript handbooks (pothīs). The padas were used pragmatically by elite poets, devotional saints, and musicians from the 15 th century CE onwards. This creates problems when one tries to trace physical remains and textual sources from this period. There exists a gap between the Maithili padāvalīs of the 16 th and 17 th centuries and the Bengali Vaiṣṇava padāvalīs writing in a hybrid Bengali-Maithili kuntsprache of the 18 th and 19 th centuries. Since the linguistic and poetic variations and total number of attestations are so extensive, what relationship can be inferred between the Maithili padāvalī tradition and later anthologies based on manuscript and other textual evidence? I argue for a strategy of closely reading the variances and additions to the bhaṇitā (poetic signature) that reveal an appeal to the courtly prestige of Mithilā, even in the devotional communities of Bengal.


Prefatory Notes on Persian Idioms of Islamic Jurisprudence:Reasoning and Procedures of Law-Making in Premodern Islamicate India

Naveen Kanalu

The essay elaborates on the manuscript tradition of transmission, commentary, and glossing of fiqh or "Islamic jurisprudence" texts in medieval and early-modern juridical culture from the Indian sub-continent. Premodern Muslim jurists composed doctrinal treatises primarily in Arabic, the shared theological language of the 'ulamā' or "learned scholars". However, in the Indian context, Persian too had acquired the status of a language of Islamic law. From the fourteenth century, fatāwā compilations were made in Persian. By seventeenth-century Mughal rule in northern India, sharḥ or "commentary" and ḥāshiya or "super-commentary" in Persian were deployed as a mechanism for pedagogical transmission. Analyzing two extant Persian manuscripts pertaining to the Ḥanafī madhhab or "school" of juridical thought, Fatāwā-i fīrūzshāhī (fourteenth century) and 'Abd al-Ḥaqq Sajādil Sirhindī's Sharḥ-i hidāya (seventeenth century), the essay appraises the nature of textual and manuscript practices involved in generating Islamic juridical norms and practices. Examining philological and textual features exhibited internal to these two texts, I argue that fiqh doctrinal writing in the age of post-classical Islamic sciences (twelfth to eighteenth Centuries) had become "hybrid" in style. Rather than indicating tendencies towards a phase of "decline" due to "orthodox" adherence to tradition, such texts of legal genre portray a complex culture of Islamic law-making in the premodern period.

Replication and Innovation in the Folk Narratives of Telangana:Scroll Paintings of the Padmasali Purana, 1625–2000

Anais Da Fonseca

In the Southern Indian state of Telangana, itinerant storytellers narrate genealogies of the local castes using a scroll painting on cloth as a visual aid to their performance. These scrolls are the only archive of these otherwise oral narratives; hence key markers of their evolution. Once a scroll commission has been decided, performers bring an old scroll to the painters and request for a 'copy.' Considered as such by both performers and painters, a closer look at several scrolls of the same narrative highlights a certain degree of alteration. This paper focuses on the Padmasali Purana that narrate the origin of the weavers' caste of Telangana. On the basis of five painted scrolls of this same narrative, ranging from 1625 to 2000, this article explores the nature and degree of modification undergone by the narrative. In so doing, it questions the extant of the concept of replication within the narrative and painting traditions. While performers decide for changes in the overall organisation and iconography of the narrative, painters are responsible for the materiality, technique and style of the scroll. In illustrating each of these aspects, this article argues that changes reflect the social and cultural environment of the communities involved in the production, presentation and reception of these scrolls, i.e. painters, performers and patrons, and that variations but also fixity to be speaking for the necessities of the communities. Finally, it argues that through reproductions over the course of time, aspects of the visual narrative have become conventions while others are repeatedly revised.


Nectar or Arrow:Cases of Missense Textual Mutations in Early Kabīrian Padas

Zhang Minyu

Widespread textual variations feature in the poems transmitted across north India in the name of Kabir, the popular Hindi saint and poet. Kabirian poems, even the early ones, incorporate a variety of traditions due to their appropriation and adaption by different communities, which have generated anthologies that favor works of particular themes or styles. This ever-expanding and transforming corpus serves as a reproducible and mutable coding system that indicates how Kabir was remembered, interpreted and transmitted. Certain types of textual mutations, although posing challenges to philologists, whose aim is to restore the original text, can help us map out how the diversified Kabirian tradition took shape. This paper is a case study on a particular type of textual mutation, known as "missense" mutation, found in the early Kabirian padas reproduced in Winand Callewaert's The Millennium Kabīr Vānī. The cases under study include word variations like rasa/sara, satari/satagura, raghurāī/ṣudāi and phrase-sentence substitution, which yield different but reasonable readings. Though possibilities of casual factors like a slip of the pen cannot be ruled out totally, the fact that these variations were appreciated, remembered and transmitted urges us to think about the motivations behind them. These could include technical reasons, like concern for prosody, and intellectual influences like bhaktification or mystification. How these external factors were responded to textually with a spectrum of variations has contributed to the multifacetedness and popularity of the Kabirian tradition from an early stage.


"Publishing" and Publics in a World Without Print:Vernacular Manuscripts in Early Modern India

Tyler Williams

How did one make a work 'public' in the world of pre-print South Asia? What are the textual and material aspects of manuscripts that alert us to their character as 'published' works intended to be circulated among members of an imagined readership removed from the author or scribe in space and time? Can such textual artifacts be systematically distinguished from copies intended primarily for the use of a single individual? This essay explores these questions in the context of literary and religious works and their copies produced in South Asia during the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries in the vernacular language known variously as Hindi, Urdu, Hindavi, or Hindustani. Comparing paratextual material like colophons, opening formulae, rubrics, and marginal inscriptions across different literary genres and across different reader communities as well as comparing material aspects of different types of manuscripts—e.g. bound and unbound, illustrated and unillustrated, notebooks and liturgical manuals, etc.—reveals patterns in the way that authors and scribes signaled the public character of a finished textual artifact. Making such comparisons among large corpora of manuscripts and reading certain paratexts "against the grain" reveals the contours of various emergent reading 'publics' before the rapid expansion of print technology in the eighteenth century.


Kay Davenport. The Bar Books: Manuscripts Illuminated for Renaud de Bar, Bishop of Metz (1303–1316). Manuscripta Illuminata 2.  (review by Richard A. Leson) 

Matti Peikola, Aleksi Mäkilähde, Hanna Salmi, Mari-Liisa Varila, and Janne Skaffari, eds. Verbal and Visual Communication in Early English Texts. Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy 37.  (review by Lydia Yaitsky Kertz) 

Alpo Honkapohja. Alchemy, Medicine, and Commercial Book Production: A Codicological and Linguistic Study of the Voigts-Sloane Manuscript Group.  (review by Winston Black) 

List of manuscripts cited 





Fall 2018 Vol. 3.2

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Notes of Exchange: Scribal Practices and Vernacular Religious Scholarship in Early Modern North India 
pp. 265 - 301

What happens when a vernacular language like Hindi begins to be committed to writing, entering the realm of a manuscript culture that was formerly monopolized by 'cosmopolitan' languages like Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian? How did the pioneering vernacular intellectuals of Hindi adopt, adapt, combine, or challenge conventions and practices from existing Indic and Islamicate manuscript traditions? This paper examines manuscripts containing works of religious scholarship produced by two Hindu sects in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century North India in order to map intellectual networks, glean information about the training of religious scholars, reconstruct performative contexts, and refine our understanding of what distinguished "religious" scholarship in this time from other areas of enquiry, such as literary theory or philosophy. Using techniques of both 'close' and 'distant' reading on a corpus of approximately three hundred manuscripts, I outline the major features that distinguished manuscripts of vernacular scholarly works during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries from manuscripts containing other types of text, highlighting those elements that reveal the shape of intellectual networks, the dynamics of performance contexts, and the role of paper manuscripts as notes or 'currency' of intellectual, social, and political exchanges. In the process, I offer reasons to re-examine commonly held scholarly assumptions about the religious literature and culture of this period.

Translating Machiavelli's Prince in Early Modern England: New Manuscript Evidence 
pp. 302 - 333

'All Estates and signiories wich haue had and doe beare rule ouer men, haue either byn and are Comon weales or Monarchies': thus begins Sion MS L40.2/E24, preserved in Lambeth Palace Library, London. Written in clear anglicana, it offers a translation of Machiavelli's Prince. It is a welcome addition to the already known English manuscript translations preceding Dacres's printed version. The codex shows how the scribe paid attention to historical allusions in the text. It offers a faithful and elegant translation; the layout may offer interesting suggestions as to the modalities of reading in early modern England. This article presents hypotheses on the manuscript's provenance, compares this translation with four contemporary versions, and discusses its possible use.

Provenance in the Aggregate: The Social Life of an Arabic Manuscript Collection in Naples 
pp. 334 - 356

This is a biography of a collection of eleven Arabic manuscripts at the library of the Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale (UNO). These manuscripts do not contain otherwise unknown or even rare texts, since the titles in the collection exist in dozens of manuscript copies in northern African libraries in addition to printed editions. While the bulk of their content may be known to historians, the objects themselves have led rich social lives that merit attention. Like many biographies, however, the story of these objects suffers from a lack of detail. In this article, I suggest that if approached in the aggregate, the long-term provenance of Arabic manuscript collections like this one have a fascinating story to tell about their social histories. Even in the absence of every detail, these objects have much to say about the multiple and overlapping historical contexts through which they have moved.

I begin by showing how these manuscripts at the UNO started their lives as Italian papers, situating them in the world of maritime and terrestrial trade that linked the northern and southern coasts of the Mediterranean from the 17th-20th centuries. I then demonstrate how the production and circulation of these texts speaks to widespread intellectual networks of a Muslim minority community and its manuscript culture in the Maghrib during the 18th and 19th centuries when the Ottoman empire attempted to exercise influence over the region. Finally, I show the ways in which these manuscripts were participants in the process of European (specifically, Italian) colonization and colonial knowledge production in northern Africa at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. By placing the aggregated biographies of the manuscripts in dialogue with the history of the broader Mediterranean world, I show how Arabic manuscript collections like this one have much to offer historians.

Illuminated Leaves from an Ethiopic Gospel Book in the Newark Museum and in the Walters Art Museum 
pp. 357 - 382

This article shows that a group of loose folios kept in two different institutions, the Newark Museum and The Walters Art Museum, originally belonged to an Ethiopic Gospel book dating to the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century. The study examines and analyses the Canon Tables and miniatures that once belonged to this Gospel book to draw conclusions concerning both their features and the broader history of Gospel illumination in medieval Ethiopia.

Re-Conceptualizing the Poems of the Pearl-Gawain Manuscript in Line and Color 
pp. 383 - 420

This paper furthers my argument that the scribe was also the artist of the underdrawings of the miniatures in the Pearl-Gawain manuscript and includes a re-assessment of the role of the colorist/s. Previously the 12 miniatures framing Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in London, MS Cotton Nero A.x (art. 3), the only version of these poems extant, were largely dismissed. The miniatures do not convert the texts pictorially; rather, they place the poems within a larger icongraphic framework individually and as a whole. It is true that the painted layers, often unevenly applied, obscure many important details that are thematically significant, as shown in scientifically enhanced images that help to recover some of the outlines of the underdrawings. Taking into account the analysis of the pigments used, a closer look at the role of the colorists (likely more than one, judging from the overlays and differing levels of skills) it appears that the painted layers sometimes support the interpretations of the scribe-artist: at other times they appear to offer competing readings. The result is that the miniatures provide multilayered visual readings that interconnect and link motifs by repetition and contrast to unify the poems at various levels for engaged audiences. This is exemplified by a close look at the seascapes, landscapes, and courtly settings, as well as at preaching scenes and related sacramental issues, along with the presentation and role of women, all reconceptualized in line and color.


A Codicological Assessment of Three Gospel Books with Sideways-Oriented Illustrations Displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Armenia Exhibition 
pp. 421 - 430

This study focuses on three Armenian gospel books with sideways-oriented illustrations dating from between the 11th and 14th centuries that are part of the ARMENIA exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art between September 21, 2018 and January 13, 2019, and briefly discussed in the printed catalogue of that exhibition. With the aim to supplement that publication, it provides codicological descriptions and digital diagrams of the illustrated prefatory matter of the manuscripts in question. The three diagrams give visual overviews summarizing the layout and sequence of the sideways-oriented illustrations, and thus supply a critical tool for comprehending these books themselves as medieval works of art.

A Psalter from Maillezais at Maynooth 
pp. 431 - 438

A Psalter from the third quarter of the fifteenth century is preserved in the collections of St Patrick's College now housed in the Russell Library at Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland. The psalter was evidently made in a Benedictine monastery in south-west France, probably Poitou. One particular saint occurs in both the calendar and the litany. St Rigomer, though little known elsewhere, was specially venerated at Maillezais in the marshes of bas-Poitou, where the abbey, founded c.1000, was provided with incoming funds from pilgrims by the transfer there of the saint's relics c.1020, and they were given a place of special importance in the chapel to the south of the main altar. The monks at Maillezais had a good library of which there is a catalogue from the end of the twelfth century. Of the small number of these books that still survive one is identified as a Maillezais book because it includes a mention of St Rigomer. It is extremely likely that the psalter now at Maynooth came from Maillezais. This journey cannot have been direct. Maillezais suffered heavily in the Hundred Years War and the French Wars of Religion and the books from the monks' library were probably dispersed in the 1560s. What happened to the psalter between this time and when it arrived in Maynooth probably in the first half of the eighteenth century is moot, but we can now be reasonably certain of its place of origin as well as knowing where it is housed now.

A Dossier of Texts for the Augustinian Hermits of Lucca 
pp. 439 - 469

In 1506, the vicar general of the diocese of Lucca authorized a notarized dossier of texts, most of them papal, favoring the observant house of the Augustinian Hermits in that city. Some of these texts had themselves been notarized to make them useful in litigation. Along with the papal letters, there are previously unknown letters of Enrico del Carretto, bishop of Lucca (d. 1323), and Alexander de S, Elpidio, a prior general of the Hermits. The probable moving force in this compilation was Antonius de Meliis, a leading figure among the observants. This dossier was later copied into a manuscript which was located at the Augustinian convent in Crema. The manuscript is now found at the Van Pelt Library of the University of Pennsylvania.

Digitizing the University of Pennsylvania's Indic Manuscripts 
pp. 470 - 486

The University of Pennsylvania possesses the largest collection of Sanskrit and vernacular Indian languages in the Western hemisphere. In 2014, UPenn was awarded a three-year Preservation and Access Grant (PW-51547-15) from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), entitled "Providing Global Access to Penn's Indic Manuscripts." The project was completed in 2017, within the scheduled three-year period for the award. The original terms of the grant stipulated that staff at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (now absorbed by the Kislak Center) at Penn Libraries was to catalog, rehouse and digitize its Indic manuscript collection, building on efforts from previous years. The collection highlights Penn's historical commitment to traditional Sanskrit studies and also includes a broad range of vernacular sources including Pali, Prakrit, Hindi, Awadhi, Bengali Marathi, Gujarati, Marwari, Persian, Tamil, and Telugu. In this article I outline some of the recent history leading up to the NEH project, including my own involvement as project cataloger and collection consultant. I will then give an overview of the project and highlight some of its scope, content, and significance. Finally, I will consider some possibilities for promoting the collection in the future.


Piety in Pieces: How Medieval Readers Customized Their Manuscripts by Kathryn M. Rudy (review) 
pp. 487 - 491

Toward a History of Byzantine Psalters, ca. 850–1350 AD by Georgi R. Parpulov (review) 
pp. 492 - 494

Manuscripts Changing Hands ed. by Corine Schleif and Volker Schier (review) 
pp. 495 - 498

From Parchment to Cyberspace: Medieval Literature in the Digital Age by Stephen G. Nichols (review) 
pp. 499 - 503

List of manuscripts cited 
pp. 505 - 508


• • • • • • • •

Spring 2018 Vol. 3.1

• • • • • • • •

The Syriac Galen Palimpsest Project: An Introduction

William Noel and Ralph M. Rosen

This special issue of Manuscript Studies was born of a conference held by the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the Kislak Center of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries on April 29–30, 2016, entitled “Revealing Galen’s Simples.” The conference concerned a Syriac palimpsest first mentioned in a 1922 catalogue of the book dealer K. W. Hiersemann. It comprises an eleventh-century liturgical overtext and a ninth-century undertext. The undertext in the manuscript is illegible, but it was known to be medical in nature when it was bought by its current owner in 200⒉ Three years earlier this private collector had acquired the Archimedes Palimpsest, and had subsequently funded the effort to image and study that manuscript. The imaging techniques developed for the Archimedes program were applied to this codex in 2009, and immediately bore fruit.


Pulling It All Together: Managing the Syriac Galen Palimpsest Project

Michael B. Toth

During a two-year period, from 2009 to 2010, a multidisciplinary team conducted multispectral imaging, digital processing and data management of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest.  This contractor-led team applied the turnkey multispectral imaging techniques developed in earlier advanced imaging projects to this palimpsest. This required new management techniques and work processes to provide useful results efficiently and quickly, while minimizing risk. In the initial risk-mitigation study phase, the team first imaged several leaves of the bound SGP in 2009 to characterize the imaging and processing challenges. Building on the findings from this first phase, they then imaged all the disbound leaves in 2010. Management of the SGP imaging and processing focused on integration of the people, processes and technology into an efficient imaging system. This included planning and managing the data flow, data replication, image processing and production of the image product while avoiding bottlenecks. With over 300 GB of data hosted for open access, this project provided opportunity for further study and collaboration, and multispectral imaging work processes used on subsequent programs. This access to the online images allowed a global team of scholars to conduct independent research, during which they also discovered leaves missing from the bound manuscript.


The Codicology and Conservation of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest

Abigail B. Quandt and Renée C. Wolcott

Disbinding the Syriac Galen Palimpsest to allow for more successful imaging also permitted conservators to examine the codicology and binding of the palimpsest, the quality of its parchment, and the chemistry of its inks. Both the upper and lower texts were found to have iron gall black inks. The red ink in the Galen text was identified as red lead mixed with cinnabar or vermilion, while the red ink in the liturgical text was identified as cinnabar or vermilion alone. The leaves of the manuscript were coated with chalk according to Syriac tradition. The binding, which was probably applied at St. Catherine’s Monastery, retained evidence of both Syriac and Greek binding elements, including heavy endbands, reinforced headcaps, chain-stitch sewing, wide fabric spine linings, book markers, and interlaced fastening straps. During conservation treatment, conservators released leaves that were adhered in the gutter, mended edge tears and losses in the parchment, reduced adhesive residues, and consolidated flaking inks resulting from water damage. At the request of the palimpsest’s owner, the book was rebound after imaging. The repaired quires were sewn over a paper concertina to protect the parchment from adhesives and to make the binding readily reversible. The volume was provided with new fabric spine linings, plain endbands, and a new leather spine that maximized visibility of the earlier binding features.


Spectral Imaging Methods Applied to the Syriac Galen Palimpsest 

Roger L. Easton, Jr., Keith T. Knox, William A. Christens-Barry, and Ken Boydston

The spectral imaging techniques applied to the so-called “Syriac Galen palimpsest” in 2008-2010 are reported, including examples of results obtained. The imaging methods were adapted from those used on the Archimedes palimpsest during prior years, and are now comparatively elementary relative to methods that have been developed since. These recent advances will be outlined to demonstrate why improvements would be expected in newer imaging collections and processing.


The Galen Palimpsest and the Modest Ambitions of the Digital Data Set

Doug Emery

The digital Syriac Galen Palimpsest (SGP) data set is an archive built on the model of the digital Archimedes Palimpsest. As with Archimedes, the SGP data set is meant to promote the long-term preservation of and access to the digitized palimpsest. The SGP data set follows archiving best practices and uses the Archimedes Palimpsest Metadata Standard for spectral imaging metadata. The data is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (CC BY 3.0). The SGP project used custom software to manage its data and metadata from the time of capture to final data set publication. In the years since initial publication, newly discovered leaves of the manuscript have been discovered, imaged, and added to the on-line archive. Since the publication of the SGP data set, subsequent projects have built on and refined the methods established by the SGP team by moving away from content-based file naming, establishing formal quality assurance practices, increasing automation in the creation and management of data and metadata, and including full bit-depth capture images in the digital product.


The Syriac Galen Palimpsest: A Tale of Two Texts

Naima Afif, Siam Bhayro, Grigory Kessel, Peter E. Pormann, William I. Sellers, and Natalia Smelova

This article presents the Syriac Galen Palimpsest’s double history, of both the original manuscript and its subsequent reuse. The original medical manuscript contained Galen’s Book of Simple Drugs in Syriac translation, was probably produced in northern Mesopotamia or western Syria, and dates to the first half of the ninth century. After only two centuries, it was erased and reused to produce a liturgical text called Octṓēchos, probably at the monastery of Saint Elias on the Black Mountain. This palimpsest was later transferred to Saint Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai, where it remained for several centuries before being offered for sale in Leipzig in 1922 (perhaps due to the activities of Friedrich Grote). We pay close attention to the context, contents, codicology and palaeography of both the original manuscript and the palimpsest. We also contextualise both texts within the wider story of their transmission. Through the "skeleton" table we present the latest results of our almost complete identification of the undertext. We reconstruct the structure of the original codex through a collation diagram. We draw palaeographical parallels with a dated colophon of the well-known Sahdona-manuscript. This permits us to narrow done the time and place of production of the original manuscript.


Analyzing Images, Editing Texts: The Manchester Project

Naima Afif, Siam Bhayro, Peter E. Pormann, William I. Sellers, and Natalia Smelova

This article discusses the methodologies and tools employed in the study of the Syriac Galen Palimpsest. While it focusses on the efforts of the ongoing Manchester Project, attention is also paid to earlier and contemporary work, particularly the most recent phase of research (which can be said to have started in 2009). In this way, the Manchester Project is properly contextualised. We describe the image analysis techniques employed by the Manchester team. The challenge is to reduce the information contained in the set of multi-spectral images and enhance it where it can usefully distinguish between undertext and overtext. One can either use unsupervised or supervised dimensional reduction techniques. An unsupervised method such as principle component analysis (PCA) provides an automatic result, whereas a supervised method such as Canonical Variates Analysis (CVA) requires one to teach the system by identifying blank areas, areas with only overtext, areas with only undertext, and areas with both. Using the resulting improvements to the visibility of the undertext, the Manchester team has been able to make significant advances in identifying where its folios fit into Galen’s Book of Simple Drugs. The use of a program called SketchEngine is outlined, which permits an engagement with parallel Greek and Syriac texts and powerful searches - this is particularly useful for those folios that come from Books 6–8, for which a parallel Syriac manuscript exists. Having completed this initial stage, it became clear that around 100 folios that did not come from Books 6-8 remained to be identified. SketchEngine again has proved to be very useful in facilitating identifications of these folios. To illustrate the different challenges posed by these two distinct scenarios, examples are provided from Books 5 and 8.


The Textual Interest of the Syriac Versions of Galen’s Simples

Irene Calà, Jimmy Daccache, and Robert Hawley

This paper presents a software framework for the registration and visualization of layered image sets. To demonstrate the utility of these tools, we apply them to the St. Chad Gospels manuscript, relying on images of each page of the document as it appeared over time. An automated pipeline is used to perform non-rigid registration on each series of images. To visualize the differences between copies of the same page, a registered image viewer is constructed that enables direct comparisons of registered images. The registration pipeline and viewer for the resulting aligned images are generalized for use with other data sets.


Of Scribes and Scripts: Citizen Science and the Cairo Geniza
Laura Newman Eckstein

Preserving Endangered Archives in Jerba, Tunisia: The al-Bāsī Family Library Pilot Project
Ali Boujdidi and Paul M. Love

The Intricacies of Capturing the Holdings of a Mosque Library in Yemen: The Library of the Shrine of Imām al-Hādī, Sa῾da
Sabine Schmidtke

Compilation, Collation and Correction in the Time of Encyclopedism: The Case of UPenn LJS 55
Nathalie Lacarrière 

Mapping Manuscript Migrations: Digging into Data for the History and Provenance of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
Toby Burrows, Eero Hyvönen, Lynn Ransom, and Hanno Wijsman


Ahmad ῾Abd al-Bāsit. Catalogue of the Private Collections of Manuscripts in the Egyptian National Library
Elias G. Saba 

David T. Gura. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College
Lisa Fagin Davis

Christopher De Hamel. Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts 
Daniel Traister

 • • • • • • • •

Fall 2017 Vol. 2.2

• • • • • • • • 

Statim Prosequi: An Index as a Product, Instrument, and Medium of the Medieval Franciscan Inquisition in Tuscany
Geoffrey W. Clement

Codex Casanatensis Ms. 1730 is a compendious work containing a wide assortment of texts related to the medieval inquisition. This codex was conceived and executed as an unitary whole, and produced in the early fourteenth century for Franciscan inquisitors in Tuscany. While many texts in Casanatensis 1730 appear in other inquisitors’ codices, there are also texts that are unique to Ms. 1730. Among these is an index at the start (fol. 1-37) that not only covers Casanatensis 1730 in its entirety, but also contains features that render it especially utilitarian.

Through an exploration of these unique features in the index of Casanatensis 1730, it appears that in the index alone, an inquisitor had at hand an alphabetically-arranged mini-libellus that comprised thirty-seven folios of a work that ultimately contains 297 folios, and that set forth his duties, powers, procedures, possible penalties et al. The index was composed in a form that was not only a summary of authoritative lengthy legal texts in the codex, but one that was easily accessible, consultable, and portable.

Casanatensis 1730 was never intended to be read from beginning to end. It was an early inquisitorial legal reference work with encyclopedic contents, but those very same contents were reduced to index entries, which are brief summaries, to which inquisitors could quickly and easily refer. The index of Codex Casanatensis 1730 was the medium by which a complex body of legal texts was reduced to its essentials, and re-arranged into a form that could be accessed quickly and easily by anyone in need of such a handy reference guide; thereby expediting the inqusitorial process and better enabling an inquisitopr to “Statim prosequi…immediately prosecute”.

A Tool for Exemplary Pastoral Care: Three Booklets of the Edwardes Manuscript in Context
Hannah Weaver

As the recent bloom of literary scholarship around manuscripts shows, the longstanding desire to correct and emend their lessons has ceded to an appreciation of what we can learn about medieval reading and writing practices from them. This paper addresses the question of genre through three apparently disparate manuscripts associated with the Augustinian canons at Oxford in the early thirteenth century. United by 1300 into a single codex that was later bound into the larger Edwardes manuscript, Gui de Warewic, La Chanson de Guillaume, and the Pseudo-Turpin Chronicle share a scribe, a lettrine artist, and a concern with acceptable Christian conduct that leads to the suggestion that the manuscript functioned as a reference codex of exemplary history. While a baronial household could have used such a manuscript, library evidence points to the possibility of Augustinian ownership of the completed codex. In addition, the Oxford houses of regular canons, Oseney Abbey and St. Frideswide’s Priory, were unusually involved in the care of their dependent churches; additional testimony from a fourth contemporary, related manuscript, Brother Angier’s Dialogues, reveals the importance of caring for sinners. Though at first glance Gui de Warewic, La Chanson de Guillaume, and the Pseudo-Turpin Chronicle seem firmly rooted in the secular, lay sphere, putting their codex in context hints at an unexpected destination: as a tool for Augustinian pastoral care.


Conversational Lollardy: Reading the Margins of MS Bodley 978
Elizabeth Schirmer

Considers an unusual set of “key-object” annotations, pictorial as well as verbal, that appear in the margins of the Middle English gospel harmony Oon of Foure in Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 978. Argues that the margins of Bodley 978 record a variety of conversations shaped by lollardy. After briefly locating the Bodley manuscript in relation to the larger Oon of Foure tradition, the article proceeds by tracing a set of often-repeated annotative objects across the Bodley margins—key, sword, cross, lantern, heart. Taking these messy and amateurish finding aids seriously as intellectual work, it finds the primary Bodley annotator(s) developing a nuanced response to lollard hermeneutics and ecclesiology. Rather than defending scriptural translation or asserting scriptural authority, the Bodley key-object annotator(s) explore the nature of scriptural signs and track shifting modes of divine communication across the gospel narrative. And rather than directly attack the abuses of the clergy, they explore the nature of works and the uses of power—clerical and lay, human and divine—as they evolve across the unfolding arc of salvation history. Other hands respond variously to this annotative project, sometimes developing and other times critiquing the readings developed by main hand(s)’ key-objects. Lollardy itself emerges from this study, les as a coherent set of doctrines identified by a “sect vocabulary,” and more as a scripturally-grounded language for thinking with, a set of discursive and conceptual resources for entering into conversation on reformist topics in the vernacular.

“My Written Books of Surgery in the Englishe Tonge”: The London Company of Barber-Surgeons and the Lylye of Medicynes
Erin Connelly

The Middle English Lylye of Medicynes is an early fifteenth-century translation of Bernard of Gordon’s Latin Lilium medicinae (completed in 1305). The Lylye is contained in Oxford Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1505 as a sole text. Although there are many extant witnesses in Latin, there are no other known Middle English copies. The Lylye contains thousands of medicinal ingredients, including 360 individual recipes identified with Rx, with accompanying guidelines for diagnosis and prognosis. Although the text does contain some medical theory and etiology (based on thought from Arabic medicine, specifically Ibn Sīnā, and Antiquity, predominantly Galen and Hippocrates), its main feature is the large volume of medicinal recipes. It is thought to have been commissioned by Robert Broke, ‘master of the king’s stillatories,’ in the early fifteenth century during the reign of Henry VI. This article explores the later provenance of the Lylye amongst the Gale family of barber-surgeons in sixteenth-century London.

The Two Yoḥannәses of Santo Stefano degli Abissini, Rome: Reconstructing Biography and Cross-Cultural Encounter Through Manuscript Evidence
Samantha Kelly, Denis Nosnitsin

The Ethiopian Orthodox monastery of Santo Stefano degli Abissini in Rome was one of four diasporic Ethiopian communities around the Mediterranean and played a central role in disseminating knowledge about Ethiopian language, culture, and religion in sixteenth-century Europe. Yet apart from its most famous member, Täsfa Ṣǝyon, very little is known about the identities and careers of its monks. This article draws on the surviving Geez manuscripts of Santo Stefano’s own library, as well as European correspondence and archival documents, to reconstruct the biographies of two influential denizens of Santo Stefano. Hitherto believed to be a single person, Yoḥannǝs of Qänṭorare and Giovanni Battista “the Indian” (whom we identify instead as Yoḥannǝs of Cyprus) in fact followed quite different career trajectories, and illustrate the variety of ways in which Ethiopian Orthodox identity could be negotiated in a Catholic European setting.

Textual Contents of Pāli Samut Khois: In Connection with the Buddha’s Abhidhamma Teaching in Tāvatiṃsa Heaven

Toshiya Unebe

This article provides an overview of the collections of Thai manuscripts in Japan, especially the Royal Manuscripts presented to the Kakuozan Nittaiji temple and other palm-leaf collections kept at Japanese universities and libraries. It also briefly discusses collec­tions of samut khoi (illustrated folding paper manuscripts) of the Phra Malai dating from the nineteenth to the early twentieth century preserved in museums and libraries in Japan.

The Western Manuscript Collection of Alfred Chester Beatty (ca. 1915–1930)
Laura Cleaver

Alfred Chester Beatty and his wife Edith were amongst the last figures of a generation of London-based collectors who created major collections of medieval manuscripts between c. 1915 and c. 1930. In shaping his collection, Beatty benefitted from the advice and example offered by older collectors, in particular Sydney Cockerell and Henry Yates Thompson, and from the skills of those who worked in museums, notably Eric Millar. This period saw major developments in the study of medieval manuscripts. Much of this work was rooted in connoisseurship and concentrated on grouping books by region, artist and date. Trained by Cockerell and others, Beatty worked to develop connoisseurial skills in order to build a collection that could rival those in museums. The publication of catalogues of a selection of his books, and the sale of part of his collection in 1932-1933, helped to draw attention to the manuscripts that he considered to be of the finest quality. At the same time, the rejection of volumes from the collection, which were often never publicly linked to his name, helped to establish the collection’s reputation for excellence and to consolidate contemporary ideas about a canon of illuminated manuscripts that were to have an important influence on both twentieth-century collecting and scholarship.

The St. Chad Gospels: Diachronic Manuscript Registration and Visualization
Stephen Parsons, C. Seth Parker, W. Brent Seales

This paper presents a software framework for the registration and visualization of layered image sets. To demonstrate the utility of these tools, we apply them to the St. Chad Gospels manuscript, relying on images of each page of the document as it appeared over time. An automated pipeline is used to perform non-rigid registration on each series of images. To visualize the differences between copies of the same page, a registered image viewer is constructed that enables direct comparisons of registered images. The registration pipeline and viewer for the resulting aligned images are generalized for use with other data sets.

An Investigation of the Relationship Between Prince Shōtoku’s Shōmangyō-gisho and Two Dunhuang Buddhist Manuscripts: A Debate over Originality and Canonical Value
Mark Dennis

This article investigates the relationship between two manuscript fragments discovered in Dunhuang, China referred to as Nai 93 and Tama 24, and the Shōmangyō-gisho, a Buddhist text written in classical Chinese attributed to Japan’s Prince Shōtoku (574-622). Shōtoku is remembered in Japanese history as the country’s first patriarch of Buddhism, revered for his patronage of the nascent faith and his great erudition. His studies under a Korean Buddhist monk led, according to early historical texts, to his composing the Shōmangyō-gisho and two other Buddhist commentaries that have been greatly valued throughout Japanese Buddhist history.

But the discovery of the Dunhuang manuscripts, which are quite similar to and predate Shōtoku’s Shōmangyō-gisho, called into question the text’s perceived value. The article examines scholarship on this discovery published in the late 1960s and 1970s, which represents the search for “the true record” of Prince Shōtoku, the dominant paradigm of the field. It is meant to be a preliminary piece to a more detailed study of the intellectual history and exegetical tradition of the three texts attributed to Shōtoku.

The Glossa Ordinaria Manuscripts of the Biblioteca Capitolare of Monza
E. Ann Matter

The Glossa ordinaria is a set of standardized glosses to the Vulgate Bible text. It was developed in the early twelfth century and remained a standard feature of the Latin Bible through the early age of printing. Important scholarly studies of the past few decades have clarified much about the origin and use of the Glossa ordinaria, but there has been less attention given to the way in which Glossed Bibles were collected in medieval libraries. Before the advent of printing, manuscripts of the Glossa ordinaria always circulated in the format of part-Bibles, copies of specific biblical books or collections of similar books; as a result, collections were often spotty and are thought to have been somewhat randomly assembled. This study examines the remarkable set of Glossa ordinaria manuscripts in the Biblioteca Capitolare of Monza, Italy, where an almost complete Glossed Bible (missing only the books of Maccabees and Ruth) were collected in the late twelfth century. Special attention is given to several canons of the Monza Cathedral who donated these books to the library, especially one Guidotto, who left a number of manuscripts signed with his name, some of which say they were copied especially for the cathedral library. This suggests a deliberate medieval attempt to collect a Glossed Bible, and invites further exploration of other canonical libraries to more closely determine the relationship between the Glossa ordinaria and the biblical scholarship and book collecting habits of medieval Augustinian Canons.

The Summula de Summa Raymundi in Gordan MS 95, Bryn Mawr College
Thomas Izbicki

Raymond of Peñafort’s Summa de casibus conscientiae, including its fourth book, the Summa de matrimonio, was one of the most successful texts for pastors and confessors composed in the Middle Ages. Written by a Dominican friar in the thirteenth century, it treated cases of conscience in a systematic manner. It also examined matrimony and the other sacraments. The Summa was subject to detailed commentary by William of Rennes, updates by John of Freiburg reflecting new papal pronouncements, and abridgment for pastors’ greater convenience. One important summary was done in Latin verse, a work attributed to Adam of Aldersbach, a Cistercian monk. Eventually Adam’s Summula de summa Raymundi itself received a detailed prose commentary. This commented version was printed in Cologne in the late fifteenth century. Gordan Manuscript 95 at Bryn Mawr College, from the collection of Phyllis Goodhart Gordan, contains Raymond’s Summa with his commentary on the trees of consanguinity and affinity, which indicated whether couples were not permitted to marry because of blood kinship or sexual contact. It concludes with an extended extract from Adam’s work added after the texts by Raymond had been copied. That extract varies from the printed version and two manuscripts located at the University of Pennsylvania. The excerpts display differences from the other available texts of Adam’s work, including additional lines of verse, suggesting that it was drawn from a different manuscript tradition.

A Newly Discovered Manuscript of the Historia de los Reyes Moros de Granada by Hernando de Baeza
María Mercedes Delgado Pérez

The Historia de los Reyes Moros de Granada, written by the chronicler Hernando de Baeza in the first half of the XVI century, in Spain, is a valuable text that provides a very different perspective from other late medieval Spanish official chronicles. This article provides an account of the discovery of a previously unknown manuscript of this chronicle which, unlike the two others already known, is complete and includes the ending, which narrates the negotiations between the Catholic Kings of Spain and the last Nasrid sultan Boabdil for the Islamic surrender of Granada. The article describes this previously unknown manuscript, gives an account of the importance of the codex in which it is found, and shows the importance of this discovery for Spanish historiography more generally. A complete transcription in Castillian and an English translation are provided.



The Making and Meaning of the Liber Floridus: A Study of the Original Manuscript, Ghent, University Library MS 92 by Albert Derolez (review)
Mary Franklin-Brown

Catalogue of Yao Manuscripts by Bent Lerbæk Pedersen (review)
Adam Smith

Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Texts and Manuscripts: Digital Approaches ed. by T. L. Andrews and C. Macé (review)
Alexandra Gillespie

Manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible in the Bodleian and Oxford College Libraries by Elizabeth Solopova (review)
Kathleen E. Kennedy

Colour: The Art & Science of Illuminated Manuscripts ed. by S. Panayotova, D. Jackson, and P. Ricciardi (review)
Nicholas Herman



Spring 2017 Vol. 2.1

Illuminating Archives: Collectors and Collections in the History of Thai Manuscripts
Justin McDaniel

My office is on 36th Street in Philadelphia. Within a twenty-mile radius, there are more than thirty Thai restaurants, three places to practice Vipassana meditation from students who studied in Thailand, four actively working Thai language teachers, seven places to practice Thai kickboxing, a cultural center where Thai-Americans and non-Thai enthusiasts can practice classical Thai music and dancing, two Thai markets, and a major Thai Buddhist monastery. Thai-style Buddha images are sold in several curio shops, and one tattoo parlor advertises Thai protective tattoos. If you go to New York or Los Angeles, the number of ways of experiencing Thai culture increases exponentially. Thai people have traditionally been great exporters and promoters of their culture abroad, providing readily available access to it in places like Philadelphia, London, Rome, Berlin, Paris, Sydney, São Paulo, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo. In the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, however, the first way most foreigners—at that time this contact was limited largely to members of the leisure and upper classes—encountered Thai/Siamese culture was not through kickboxing (Muay Thai) or Pad Thai noodles, but through manuscripts.


Henry D. Ginsburg and the Thai Manuscripts Collection at the British Library and Beyond
Jana Igunma

"Over half a thousand Thai manuscripts are currently being held in British institutions, with the largest collection at the British Library. Other important collections are at the Wellcome Library, the Royal Asiatic Society, the Bodleian Library and the John Rylands Library.

Thai manuscripts and historic documents first came to Britain as a result of trade contacts, and documents from the earliest period include official letters and materials received from Thai counterparts. Manuscripts were also brought from Thailand by missionaries, travelers, traders, and officers of the India Office stationed in Burma, others were systematically collected by educators and scholars with a particular research interest. The largest number of manuscripts contains Buddhist scriptures and texts related to Buddhism, many of them in Pali language. However, almost all topics that can be found in the Thai manuscript tradition are represented in the collections held in the UK, for example literary and linguistic works, traditional medicine and healing practices, customary laws, cosmology and astrology, fortune-telling and divination, and animal treatises. Approximately a quarter of these manuscripts are illustrated or decorated in some way; some being outstanding examples of the tradition of Thai manuscript painting and manuscript decoration.

This diversity is the result of the different intentions and ambitions of the collectors. Some collectors carefully chose material that they had a certain research interest for. For example, Henry Ginsburg who was fascinated by the beauty of Thai manuscript art built the most important collection of illustrated Thai manuscripts in the UK (held at the British Library). Another collector, Henry Wellcome, was particularly interested in medical texts and artefacts; therefore his collection contains dozens of medical treatises and herbals.

Many manuscripts were given to British institutions after the death of a collector, and the trade in manuscripts only began to play a role in the second half of the 20th century. In my article I will give an overview of Thai manuscript collections in the UK, and major contributors and builders of these collections."


Cultural Goods and Flotsam: Early Thai Manuscripts in Germany and Those Who Collected Them
Barend Jan Terwiel

Finding Thai manuscripts in German museums and libraries is a daunting exercise. There are eight national libraries, twenty-five state libraries, and about eighty university libraries. As for the museums, of the thirty-nine ethnological museums, there are at least fourteen with collections that include objects from Asia. The standard publications on Thai material are both incomplete and out of date.
This paper centers upon the collectors, beginning with August the Strong, who in 1728 acquired a Thai scroll. A century later, there began a steady trickle of acquisitions. Details of how Thai manuscripts came to Germany are presented for the century between 1830 and 1930. The collectors were missionaries, explorers, diplomats, travelers, traders, and Europeans in the employ of the Siamese Government. Altogether, the Thai manuscript material in Germany is a mixed batch indeed: some documents proved to be of great value, but there are also many incomplete items and standard pieces of literature. Hence the title: "Cultural Goods and Flotsam".


Thai Manuscripts in Italian Libraries: Three Manuscripts from G. E. Gerini's Collection Kept at the University of Naples "L'Orientale"
Claudio Cicuzza

In this article I present a short description of the three illuminated Thai manuscripts kept in one of the libraries of the University of Naples "L'Orientale", the Biblioteca Maurizio Taddei. These three manuscripts contain various Buddhist jātakas and also non-canonical works, in Pali and in Thai. They are adorned with beautiful depicted images which have been here reproduced.

Manuscripts in Central Thailand: Samut Khoi from Phetchaburi Province
Peter Skilling, Santi Pakdeekham

The article discusses illuminated manuscripts of Central Thailand, dealing with the different formats and different scripts (Khom, Thai, and Mon) used for different purposes, and their eventual evolution to print technology. We focus on manuscripts from Wat Pak Khlong, Phetchaburi, and illustrate examples from its small but precious organic collection. The themes of the illustrations are both narrative and non-narrative. The narratives, such as the story of the thaumaturge monk Phra Malai, are didactic. The non-narrative paintings might be described as simply decorative, but they draw on a rich animal lore that is detailed in scholastic literature. The texts recorded in the manuscripts, such as the story of Phra Malai, the Mahabuddhaguna, and the Unhissavijaya, have complex relationships to Thai Buddhist liturgy. A genre on the delineation of monastic boundaries illustrates a core concern of Theravāda monasticism throughout Southeast Asia.

Manuscripts from the Kingdom of Siam in Japan
Toshiya Unebe

In this chapter, the textual contents of the illustrated samut khoi-s in Thailand, are examined. Samut khoi manuscripts are an important resource for the study of Siamese and Buddhist literature in the 18th and 19th centuries. Samut khoi-s are divided into two groups. Both groups use a script called "Khom" (อักษรขอม), but one group uses a thin character set, and the other a thick and calligraphic character set. The chief text of eighteenth century samut khoi-s, the Mahābuddhaguṇa, shows what great importance Thai Buddhists attached to the Buddha-anussati, the recollection of the Buddha. In the 19th century, there was a growth of the tale of Phra Malai in the Thai vernacular language—-a story of a monk named Māleyya (in Pāli) who travels to hells to help people, and to Tāvatiṃsa heaven to meet the future Buddha Metteya—was very popular at funeral ceremonies.

The Chester Beatty Collection of Siamese Manuscripts in Ireland
Justin McDaniel

"This article demonstrates the importance of the Chester Beatty Library's collection of Thai manuscripts and more broadly highlights the importance of including the study of Ireland in the history of the study of Asia. I hope it also encourages future scholars to look to Ireland when writing the intellectual history of exchange between Asia and Europe. Even though Ireland was not a colonizing power, indeed, it was colonized for most of its pre-modern history, its libraries and museums attest to a people that spread far and wide across the globe sometimes as a point of necessity and sometimes in the spirit of exploration."


Siamese Manuscript Collections in the United States
Susanne Ryuyin Kerekes, Justin McDaniel

This article provides a brief survey of public collections of Thai manuscripts held in the United States, which is home to roughly 650 Thai manuscripts. Of the twenty institutions that house Thai manuscripts, the following five are highlighted in this article: the Asian Art Museum, the University of California at Berkeley, the New York Public Library, Princeton University Libraries, and the Walters Art Museum. The second half of this article details a few key manuscripts held at the University of Pennsylvania: the Abhidhamma chet Kamphi, one book of the Phra 'Aphaimanī epic, and a rare set of royal decrees. In short, this overview illustrates the vast diversity of genres of Thai manuscripts held in the United States – including a Thai translation of the Gospel of Matthew – as well as the diversity of its collectors in the nineteenth-century, the majority of whom were women.

The Medieval Manuscript Book: Cultural Approaches eds. by Michael Johnston and Michael Van Dussen (review)
Benjamin C. Tilghman

A Descriptive Catalogue of the Greek Manuscript Collection of Lambeth Palace Library by Christopher Wright et al. (review)
Georgi Parpulov

Christine de Pizan in Bruges: "Le livre de la cité des dames" as "Het Bouc van de Stede der Vrauwen" (London, British Library, Add. 20698) by Orlanda S. H. Lie et al. (review)
Hanno Wijsman

Borthwick Institute for Archives by York's Archbishops' (review)
Alexander Devine

Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections by Jeffrey F. Hamburger et al., and: Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections eds. by Jeffrey F. Hamburger et al. (review)
Jessica Brantley



Fall 2016 Vol. 1.2

• • • • • • • •

Collecting Histories
Lynn Ransom

In the fall of 2014, the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies convened the Seventh Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age to consider the question: what can the study of collecting habits and provenance tell us about manuscript culture?1 Sometimes considered niche areas of interest, the history of collecting and provenance studies have broad implications for how we understand and interpret the manuscript book today. In the symposium, which we called “Collecting Histories,” our aim was to tease out some of those implications and provoke further thought on how examining patterns of collecting confirms or confounds assumptions about readership and the interpretation of texts and contexts of the premodern manuscript.

This issue of Manuscript Studies highlights the results of the “Collecting Histories” symposium and continues the conversations started during the event. As the contributions in this issue reveal, the life of a manuscript book only begins when a scribe puts down his or her pen. What happens from that moment to the present day can reveal a wealth of information about readership and reception across time.


Joseph Holland and the Idea of the Chaucerian Book
Megan L. Cook

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.


“Safe from Destruction by Fire”: Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Venetian Manuscripts
Anne-Marie Eze

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.


From Sinai to California: The Trajectory of Greek NT Codex 712 from the UCLA Young Research Library’s Special Collections (170/347)

Julia Verkholantsev

The eleventh- or twelfth-century parchment codex 170/347 is one of the rarities archived in the UCLA Young Research Library Special Collections. It has much to offer to a student of paleography: illuminations, a scribe’s colophon, calligraphic minuscule script, later inscriptions and modifications, inserted paper quires, missing folia, study notes, and even a cryptographic table. One of the most fascinating aspects of this New-Testament-turned-lectionary manuscript, however, is its history as a world traveler, for the most part incognito. Although the manuscript’s mysterious disappearance from St. Catherine’s metochion in Cairo obscured its trajectory, the analysis of its graffiti and the comparison of catalogues’ data help reestablish its provenance and narrate its journey beyond the walls of a monastic scriptorium. The resulting travelogue not only tells the story of how Sinai-born MS 170/347 landed in Los Angeles; it offers insight into the fate that befell many other rare books in the height of the nineteenth-century collecting and scholarship rush.


“The Butcher’s Bill”: Using the Schoenberg Database to Reverse-Engineer Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Books from Constituent Fragments
Eric J. Johnson, Scott Gwara

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.


The Linked Collections of William Bragge (1823–1884) of Birmingham and Dr. Thomas Shadford Walker (1834–1885) of Liverpool
William P. Stoneman

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.


Medieval Origins Revealed by Modern Provenance: The Case of the Bywater Missal 
Peter Kidd

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.


Canons, Huguenots, Movie Stars, and Missionaries: A Breviary’s Journey from Le Mans to Reno
Lisa Fagin Davis

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.

Manuscripts of Sir Thomas Phillipps in North American Institutions
Toby Burrows

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



The Bibale Database at the IRHT: A Digital Tool for Researching Manuscript Provenance
Hanno Wijsman

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.

Broken Books
Debra Taylor Cashion

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.


Manuscripts of the Latin Classics 800–1200 ed. by Erik Kwakkel (review)
Rita Copeland




Spring 2016 Vol. 1.1

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