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Tag: medieval manuscripts

Tara Andrews and Caroline Macé, eds. Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Texts and Manuscripts: Digital Approaches

Tara Andrews and Caroline Macé, eds. Analysis of Ancient and Medieval Texts and Manuscripts: Digital Approaches. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2014. 346 p., 27 b/w and 51 col. ill. ISBN: 9782503552682. €97.00 (hardcover).

For many, the detailed study of ancient and medieval manuscripts may evoke images of a sort of textual archeologist working alone in a painstaking effort to unearth and dust-off forgotten texts. During the earliest days of formalized modern manuscript studies in the nineteenth century, this picture might have been apt as collectors, enthusiasts, and scholars mined caches of manuscripts across Europe and the Near East in a race to discover and recover ancient and medieval texts. As the field evolved in the twentieth century, scholars shifted their focus to the application of a range of critical theoretical approaches to the countless texts their predecessors had made available.

Michael Hampton. Unshelfmarked: Reconceiving the artists’ book

Michael Hampton. Unshelfmarked: Reconceiving the artists’ book. Axminster, Devon: Uniformbooks, 2015. 174p., ill. ISBN 9781910010068. £12.

In Unshelfmarked: Reconceiving the artists’ book, Michael Hampton’s goal is to shift the grounds on which scholars seek to answer that perennially pesky question, “What is an artist’s book?” In a gray-papered and un-illustrated 26-page (numbered A-Z) Exposé bound into the middle of Unshelfmarked, Hampton files the artist’s book in an “ecosystem” that ranges from tramp art to pooh sticks via hopscotch, sewing bees, football fanzines and “rubbish of every kind” (O).

Emily Steiner and Lynn Ransom, eds. Taxonomies of Knowledge: Information and Order in Medieval Manuscripts

Emily Steiner and Lynn Ransom, eds. Taxonomies of Knowledge: Information and Order in Medieval Manuscripts. Philadelphia: Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies / University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015. x, 162 p., 18 colour plates, 9 b/w ill. ISBN 9780812247596. US $45.00; UK £29.50 (hardback).

This book assembles a short collection of essays broadly relating to the different ways in which knowledge in the medieval world was organised and classified in and by manuscripts and book-collecting culture. Starting life as papers presented at an annual Schoenberg symposium on manuscript studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the volume functions as something of a festschrift for the founder of Penn Libraries’ Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, the late Lawrence J. Schoenberg, and it offers six complementary approaches to how manuscript evidence may be used to provide insights on the ways in which literary, scientific, geographic, devotional, and hagiographic knowledge was categorised and interpreted in the later Middle Ages.

Gill Partington and Adam Smyth, eds. Book Destruction from the Medieval to the Contemporary

Gill Partington and Adam Smyth, eds. Book Destruction from the Medieval to the Contemporary. New Directions in Book History. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. xi, 216p., ill. ISBN 9781137367655. £58 / US $95 (hardback).

This lively book helps inaugurate Palgrave’s series New Directions in Book History, the raison d’être of which is to publish “monographs that employ advanced methods and open up new frontiers in research” (i). Rather than showcase an innovative methodology or rethink a hackneyed subject area, Gill Partington and Adam Smyth broach a neglected topic, suggesting that squeamishness about book destruction has hindered the study of a range of artistic, literary and cultural practices.