Teaching with Special Collections & Archives at Maynooth University Library

Barbara McCormack is Special Collections Librarian at Maynooth University. She teaches on the MA Historical Archives, a programme concerned with the principles, attitudes and skills necessary for the professional management of archival collections. As Special Collections Librarian at Maynooth University Library I am in the enviable position of curating the historical collections of St Patrick’s …

Archaeological adventures in the Bolton Library

We’re delighted to be able to share this fascinating post by Paul Novosel, with additional thanks to Dr Eleanor Giraud and the Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick.

Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick

by Paul Novosel

If I wasn’t a professional musician, I would have probably been an archaeologist. Unearthing the past and finding historical artefacts has always fascinated me. And this term at UL, I had the chance to experience something akin to an archaeological dig: as part of my MA in Ritual Chant and Song, I delved into the world of rare liturgical books.

For one of my MA modules, I was given the awesome opportunity to thoroughly examine a rare book from the Bolton Library and create a record of its health (image 1). The University of Limerick takes care of the Bolton Library, “a collection of 12,000 early printed books, manuscripts and incunabula of exceptional academic and bibliographic importance”. It’s a literary goldmine of historical artefacts for future generations of researchers—a very noble legacy, and a coup for the Glucksman Library.

Image1-MARitualChantandSongstudentscataloguechantbooksfromtheBoltonLibrary 1: Students of the MA in Ritual Chant…

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The Science of Medieval Pigments: Teaching the Materials Analysis of Manuscripts in the Undergraduate Classroom

Cynthia Turner Camp is Associate Professor of English and Graduate Coordinator at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, where she teaches Middle English and manuscript studies. She and her students blog about their adventures with manuscripts on the Hargrett Hours Project website, and you can also follow along on Twitter at @hargretthours. It can …

An Online Module for Teaching Manuscript Transcription with Blackboard Learn

Krista A. Murchison is a lecturer in medieval literature at Leiden University, in The Netherlands. Her research centers around the popular vernacular literature of England and the productive ways in which contemporary digital culture and medieval textual culture illuminate each other. Her experience with digital pedagogy includes leading her students’ production of a web edition …

Can I have your autograph? Martin Luther’s Sprichwortersammlung (Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Add. A. 92)

Alexander Peplow is a first-year DPhil student in History at Merton College, Oxford, and a member of the Teaching the Codex committee. Here, he writes about one of the Bodleian's Martin Luther autographs, which he encountered as a Master's student in Medieval Studies, and reflects on some of the techniques he used to analyse it.  …

Writing with Goose Quills (Joint Blog Post/ Teachable Features 4)

Professor Henrike Lähnemann is based at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg during the summer, and she has been using a very practical method to teach her students about manuscript production. Click on the screenshot below to watch the video on the Freiburg website, and see Professor Lähnemann and her students produce their own documents.

Taking Palaeography Further: Launching The Manuscripts Outreach Network (MON)

Anna Boeles Rowland is a DPhil student in Medieval History at Merton College, Oxford. Dr Pauline Souleau is a Lecturer in French at Somerville College, Balliol College, and Magdalen College, Oxford. In this post, they follow on from their paper at Teaching the Codex II (May 2017) and introduce the Manuscripts Outreach Network. The Project/The …

Reblog: Readers and Fools (Research Update)

Dr Mary Boyle is one of the co-founders of Teaching the Codex, and a Visiting Scholar at the Großbritannien-Zentrum at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Here we reblog her post on her summer project looking at marginalia in surviving copies of Sebastian Brant’s ‘Narrenschiff’. 

To Be A Pylgryme

I’m lucky enough to have been spending this summer as a visiting scholar at the Großbritannien-Zentrum (Centre for British Studies), which is part of Berlin’s Humboldt University. Two months of this period was funded by the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst/ German Academic Exchange Service) as part of a project looking at reader responses to Sebastian Brant’s Narrenschiff (Ship of Fools), which was first published in 1494.

The Narrenschiff is often described as a work of moral satire. To expand on that, it’s an extremely comprehensive list in verse of the different ways in which humans are fools, which doesn’t necessarily sound like an enticing description to the modern reader. There are over one hundred options, ranging from those who do not raise children properly to ignorant or otherwise inappropriate candidates for ordination, and from adultery to insufficient preparation for death. Each ‘fool’ is illustrated with a woodcut. This was an…

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Paleography and Music Notation: Using Research Methods to Develop Pedagogy

Dr Samantha Blickhan is the IMLS Postdoctoral Fellow at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, where she works on crowdsourced text and audio transcription projects for Zooniverse.org. Her PhD (Royal Holloway, University of London, 2016) thesis focused on the paleography and notation of insular song from 1150-1300. Here, she writes about designing an undergraduate music paleography …

Reading a Manuscript Description (Joint Blog Post/ Teachable Features 3)

Dr Matthew Holford, Curator of the Medieval Manuscripts Cataloguing Project at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, explains the intricacies of catalogue descriptions of manuscripts. This post features both in our blog and our Teachable Features series.  It is easy to forget that manuscript descriptions can be hard to understand. Once you are familiar with the …