Tag Archives: medieval manuscripts

Whence the Manicule

I have long been fascinated by medieval manuscripts, incunabula, and early books in general. Recently I stumbled upon a number of images that included manicules within text margins and thought —whence the manicule. The manicule, ☛, is a typographic mark with the appearance of … Continue reading

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Marginal Medieval Memes

Even if you don’t geek out over illuminated manuscripts as much as I do, there’s a good chance that you will be entertained by the short video below. It’s likely that you’ve seen images from medieval manuscripts depicting both real … Continue reading

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Behind The Scenes

The exterior of the Thomas Fisher Library offers little clue to the extraordinary treasures inside. Now we can take a ten-minute, behind-the-scenes tour through the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library in Toronto, Canada, where we can discover a First Folio, the … Continue reading

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Forgotten Books, Forgotten Stories

Last month, I found a very interesting piece in Smithsonian Magazine titled “How Much Medieval Literature Has Been Lost Over the Centuries,” which linked to six-minute video from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the journal Science … Continue reading

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Bad Bunnies or the World Turned Upside Down

I have long been intrigued by the variety of marginalia found in medieval European manuscripts. While it’s not uncommon to discover colorful and playful images of mythical creatures, dogs, cats, snakes, snails, or sexualized caricatures or people, I only recently … Continue reading

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Ghost Words

What does palimpsest mean? 1 : writing material (such as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased. 2 : something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface.   One … Continue reading

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Bookmarking it old school

How to use a medieval bookmark: 1.) Read. 2.) Spin the volvelle to mark where on the page you stopped reading (I-IV correspond to different sections on the page. 3.) Close book. 4.) Repeat as necessary. By the way, the … Continue reading

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Actual Cultural Appropriation

These days we hear the term cultural appropriation in reference to everything from music to hair styles, but there are more serious instances where the phrase takes on real significance. For example, a recently completed exhibition at London’s British Library Ritblat Treasures … Continue reading

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The Matter of Jerusalem

During the last few days, Jerusalem has once again been at the top of the world news. The clever short film below, which was inspired by a new exhibition on medieval manuscripts at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, reminds us that the … Continue reading

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