Early Irish manuscript project launched in Dublin

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The Library of Trinity College Dublin is launching an extensive conservation, research and digitisation campaign focused on four of the Library’s most important early medieval insular Gospel Books:

  • Codex Usserianus Primus, 5th or 7th century (?) (TCD MS 55)
  • the Book of Mulling, 2nd half of the 8th century (TCD MS 60)
  • the Book of Dimma, late 8th century (TCD MS 59)
  • the Garland of Howth, 8th-9th century (TCD MS 56)

As the TCD website reports, these, along with the Book of Kells (TCD MS 58), the Book of Durrow (TCD MS 57) and the Book of Armagh (TCD MS 52), make up the pre-eminent collection of early Christian book art in the Library. Yet they have not quite received the attention they deserve.

Find out more about the project on the official Trinity College website, here.

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Lives of Cuthbert Now Online on the BL

cuthbert

The British Library announces the online Edition of manuscripts containing accounts of St. Cuthbert (d. 687),  one of the most important saints in medieval England and beyond.

He was an influential figure during his own lifetime, first as a hermit whose advice was sought by kings and abbesses, then as Bishop of Lindisfarne. After his death, he became the focus of a major cult. When Cuthbert’s tomb was opened 11 years after his death, his body was reported to be incorrupt. To the monks of the community at Lindisfarne, Cuthbert’s incorrupt state was proof that he was a saint.

Accounts of Cuthbert’s life, death, and miracles were written soon after by an anonymous member of the Lindisfarne community and by the Northumbrian scholar Bede, who wrote both a verse and a prose account of Cuthbert’s life and miracles. Bede also wrote extensively about Cuthbert in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Cuthbert’s community eventually moved to Durham in 995, where Cuthbert’s shrine became a major pilgrimage centre.

Four manuscripts containing some of the earliest accounts of Cuthbert’s life—written by Bede—have also recently been uploaded to the Digitised Manuscripts website: Harley MS 526, Harley MS 1117, Cotton MS Vitellius A XIX, and Cotton MS Claudius A I.

Read the whole story and have a look at some of the manuscripts on The British Library Medieval manuscript blog.

All about Mantua: Isabella d’Este’s world online

Perceval Archeostoria (english site)

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An instrument for scholars, students, and visitors, but also an exercise in imagination, exploration, and critical engagement. All this and much more is IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive, a project which focuses on one of the most influential figures of the Italian Renaissance, Isabella d’Este (1474-1539).

IDEA offers users around the world new ways to explore the history and culture of early modern Europe through  a digitalized version of Isabella’s letters, music, and art collections, as they evolved during her reign as the marchesa of Mantua. These resources map a world where politics, art, music, family life, business, and social relations intertwined, prior to the modern separation of many of these concerns into separate spheres.

The IDEA Site is currently under construction but some contents are already available. Researches and contributors can join project teams as well as discuss in Forums.

DIRECTORS are:

Deanna Shemek, PhD
University of California, Santa Cruz

Anne MacNeil, PhD
University of…

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The “Moore Bede” is now online

Moore Bede (MS Kk.5.16)

Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica gentis anglorum (HE) is the earliest surviving account of English history. Its central theme is the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms to Christianity and the establishment of the English Church. It was Bede’s last major work; he finished writing it in 731, and died a few years later on 25 May 735.

This manuscript is the earliest extant copy of Bede’s History, and may well have been copied at his own monastery, at Wearmouth or Jarrow, within a few years of his death, perhaps as early as 737. It is usually called theMoore Bede because, prior to entering the collections of the University of Cambridge in 1715 as a gift from George I, it had been owned by John Moore, bishop of Ely (1707–1714). Moore had acquired it sometime between 1697 and 1702, and before that it had been in France, in the library of the cathedral of St. Julien at Le Mans. The ex libris of St. Julien can be seen at the foot of the last complete folio (128v). Other evidence on that same page shows that the manuscript had been in France for a very long time, perhaps even since the reign of Charlemagne (r. 768–814). The travels of the book, as well as its very early date and proximity to the life of Bede himself, make it one of the most important surviving medieval English manuscripts.

Read more at the University of Cambridge Digital Library

Read the manuscript here

A new network for the Study of Glossing

slider02-1041x395Check out the new Network for the Study of Glossing site.

Glossing was a widespread cultural practice wherever books were being read, studied and taught, from western Europe to East Asia. Glossing fulfilled a variety of functions, including translation, guided reading, textual interpretation, education, and transmission of knowledge. Glosses—whether words or symbols—also reflect complex interactions between a wide variety of languages, from local vernaculars to international languages of high prestige.

Despite the huge number of glossed manuscripts that survive and their rich evidence for cultural and linguistic traditions, the field of glossing research remains underdeveloped. Much of the primary evidence has never been properly studied; we lack good interpretative frameworks; and exchange between different scholarly disciplines remains at a very early stage.

The purpose of this network is to promote more and better collaboration between specialists in the field. Click here for more information.

New Digitisation Project launched by the British Library

Starting this summer the British Library will collaborate with another major research library on an exciting new project to enhance access to and promote 800 pre-1200 Latin manuscripts, half of which are held by the British Library. There will be three fixed-term posts in the Ancient, Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts section of the Western Heritage department to work on this project.

Read the whole story here.

News: Manuscript Collaboration Hub

Please visit the Manuscript Collaboration Hub, a forum for the study of collaborative practices in the production of medieval manuscripts. The blog will serve as a hub for scholars working on colla…

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