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Manuscripts at UGA: Now With More Everything!

This is a semester I’ve been waiting on for a long, long time. It’s the semester when – finally! – UGA is able to participate in the manuscript dealer Les EnluminuresManuscripts in the Curriculum program. Thanks to the generosity of the Hargrett Library, the Willson Center for Arts and Humanities, and the English Department, we are borrowing nine medieval manuscripts from Les Enluminures to teach with for the the semester. This was originally scheduled for Fall 2020, but we all know how that went. So it’s doubly special that we are finally able to host these lovely volumes on campus, to work with them in the Special Collections library, and to share them with the public.

We’ve got so much happening this semester. One class is diving into the technologies that underpin medieval manuscripts. They’re thinking through how these books operate distinctive objects in the world, as well as how the medieval technologies we find initial unfamiliar are invisibly embedded in modern books. Another class is currently making medieval inks and pigments, interpreting medieval recipes and adapting them for modern tools. They’re doing this in preparation to help the Special Collections Library run a Medieval Family Day for the community. If you’re in Athens, save some time on Saturday, 22 October, to come learn about how medieval manuscripts were made. More info coming soon.

I’m delighted also to share these manuscripts with other university students in the North Georgia area. Students from Young Harris College in the North Georgia mountains are coming to UGA to get a crash course on medieval manuscripts with these lovely objects, and in late October I will be traveling to Young Harris to give a public presentation on medieval books. Major shout-out to Dr. Daniel Helbert for managing the logistics on the Young Harris end to make this collaboration happen.

A few other events are in the works, and there will be more content coming to the blog this semester — updates on inkmaking, previews of Family Day, and some student-authored content as well. It’s a great day to be a medieval-curious Bulldawg!

Image: TM 644, fol. 4r. A beautifully decorated initial opens this Office of the Dead made in Cologne.