Durham Liber Vitae. From Northumbria. British Library Cotton-MS-Domitian-A-VII-f

Minor Medieval News March 2017

Ever so often we stumble on some minor medieval news, which do not merit a full article, but nevertheless, deserve a short notice.

Medieval Pilgrim Souvenirs

Becket on Horseback. Mould for Pilgrim badge. British Museum, 1890,1002.1 The Digital Pilgrim Project at The British Museum is pleased to share a new 3D digital resource focusing on the medieval pilgrim souvenirs and secular badges in the British Museum collection. Funded by a Paul Mellon Centre Digital Project Grant, The Digital Pilgrim Project has produced twelve high quality 3D models of badges which can be viewed on the British Museum’s
Sketchfab page.

Each of the models is accompanied by interactive annotations and they can be manipulated to view the badges from any angle. They are a fascinating way-in to medieval material cultures of pilgrimage and devotion and the BM collection at large (which can be viewed via Collection Online). Another option is to use the 3D collection to let students “print” their own badges as part of a pilgrimproject in school.

The Museum hopes that this resource will bring the medieval badge collection to scholarly attention and encourage further research about these small but fascinating objects. If you would like to learn more about the project, please see the attached article recently published by the Paul Mellon Centre

The First 100 Polonsky Pre-1200 Manuscripts Are Now Online

The Préaux Gospels, Add MS 11850 f. 10vThe first 100 manuscripts are up! The Polonsky Foundation England and France Project: Manuscripts from the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, 700–1200 is celebrating its first digitisation milestone. 100 manuscripts from the British Library have now been added to our Digitised Manuscripts site for you to explore!  A full list of the 100 digitised manuscripts with links to the viewer can be found here:  100 MSS Online. These manuscripts cover a wide variety of topics and images from the Project’s focus of AD 700–1200 (you can read more about the Project or listen to the French interview of Matthieu Bonicel, Head of Innovation at the BnF). Some of the highlights include lavishly illuminated Gospels, like the Préaux Gospels from early 12th-century Normandy, with its amazing miniatures of the Evangelists and luxurious canon tables.

Insular Manuscripts AD 650-850: Networks of Knowledge

Initial (detail, IN) from the 'Royal Prayerbook' [Royal 2 A XX, fol. 17r], Mercia, c. 900-925, held in the British LibraryThe Insular Manuscripts project establishes an international research network to advance understanding of knowledge exchange in early medieval Europe through analysis of Insular Manuscripts.

In the period between c. AD650 and c. AD850 manuscripts made in Ireland and Anglo-Saxon England, and in monasteries on the Continent founded by English or Irish missionaries, used ‘Insular’ styles of script, decoration, and methods of making that are distinctive and diagnostic.

There are about 500 extant Insular manuscripts, of which 75% are in libraries on the European continent (including 40% in Germany, 10% in France), a further 22% are in Ireland or the UK, and 3% are in Russia or the USA. Among those in European libraries are books that were written in England or Ireland and exported not long after they were made, as well as books that were copied on the Continent in Insular style.

Some individual books are very well known and have been studied in great detail, often as extraordinary treasures; but there is no synthetic or detailed analysis of what these books reveal en masse about networks of knowledge, movement of people, ideas and technology in the post-Roman West. As a group these manuscripts reveal the deep and extensive contribution of the islands of Britain and Ireland to medieval European culture.

This project enables a step-change in scholarship on cultural networks in medieval Europe by facilitating research with academics, curators, and digital specialists, exploring how new research tools (print and digital) can help us challenge assumptions, map our data, and change the way that investigate our material. It aims to develop a new research agenda by bringing together scholars of early medieval history and manuscript studies, with practitioners expert in network analysis and digital technologies, as well as collection curators. The project collaborates closely with a major forthcoming British Library exhibition on Anglo-Saxon England (2018).

FEATURED PHOTO:

Durham Liber Vitae. From Northumbria. British Library Cotton MS Domitian A VII f. Source: British Library

 

 

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