Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Turning over a new leaf: Manuscript innovation in the twelfth-century renaissance

How did the medieval manuscript develop as a physical object during the Twelfth Century Renaissance and what do these changes tell us about the intellectual culture of the period?

Duration
2010  -   2015
Contact
Erik Kwakkel
Funding
NWO VIDI NWO VIDI

This project ran from 1 May 2010 until 1 May 2015 and is now closed. The research undertaken was concerned with the relationship between written culture and society, specifically how innovations in the technology of the medieval manuscript (the handwritten book, or codex, used before the invention of print) relate to cultural change.

Project Summary

This project studied the manuscript culture in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance” (c. 1075 - c. 1225). During this period manuscript production turned over a new leaf, as did readers, who were introduced to new reading aids, page layouts and scripts. This project studied the emergence of this new book is caused by shifts in the manner of reading and the texts that were read, as well as a changing intellectual profile of scholars. The project aimed to trace the roots of this new manuscript (the institutional homes of a new breed of European scholars), maps its development, and explains its elevation to new book standard. With its innovative blend of physicality and historical inquiry the project is anticipated to have significant implications for all medieval disciplines that use primary sources. For the project’s output, see the résumé of the PI, Dr. Erik Kwakkel (here).

Dr. F. (Erik) Kwakkel

Published

[Book] Stephen Partridge and Erik Kwakkel (eds.), Author, Reader, Book: Medieval Authorship in Theory and Practice (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012).

[Book] Rosamond McKitterick, Erik Kwakkel and Rodney Thomson, Turning Over a New Leaf: Change and Development in the Medieval Book (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2012). Available in Open Access via.

[Book] Erik Kwakkel (ed.), Writing in Context: Insular Manuscript Culture 500-1200, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Book Culture (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2013).

[Journal article] Erik Kwakkel, 'Dit boek heeft niet de vereiste breedte: Afwijkende bladdimensies in de elfde en twaalfde eeuw,' Jaarboek Nederlandse Boekgeschiedenis 19 (2012), 33-49.

[Journal article] Erik Kwakkel, 'Discarded Parchment as Writing Support in English Manuscript Culture,' in English Manuscripts Studies 1100-1700, 17 (2012), 239-61.

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'Writing in Context: Introduction,' in Erik Kwakkel (ed.), Writing in Context: Insular Manuscript Culture, 500-1200, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Book Culture (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2013), 15-20.

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'Hidden in Plain Sight: Continental Scribes in Rochester Cathedral Priory, 1075-1150,' in Erik Kwakkel (ed.), Writing in Context: Insular Manuscript Culture, 500-1200, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Book Culture (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2013), 231-61.

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'Late-Medieval Text Collections: A Codicological Typology based on Single-Author Manuscripts,' in Medieval Authorship: Theory and Practice, ed. Stephen Partridge and Erik Kwakkel (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), 56-79.

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'Kissing, Biting and the Treatment of Feet: The Transitional Script of the Long Twelfth Century,' in Erik Kwakkel, Rosamond McKitterick and Rodney Thomson, Turning Over a New Leaf: Change and Development in the Medieval Book (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2012), 78-126.

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'Commercial Organisation and Economic Innovation,' in The Production of Books in England, 1350-1530, ed. Alexandra Gillespie and Daniel Wakelin, Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology, 14 (Cambridge: CUP, 2011), 173-91.

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'A New Type of Book for a New Type of Reader: The Emergence of Paper in Vernacular Book Production,' The History of the Book in the West:  400-1455, ed. Jane Roberts and Pamela Robinson, The History of the Book in the West: A Library of Critical Essays, 1 (London: Ashgate, 2010), 409-438.

Forthcoming

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'Decoding the Material Book: Cultural Residue in Medieval Manuscripts', in Michael Van Dussen and Michael Johnson (eds.), The Cultures of the Medieval Manuscript Book (Cambridge: CUP).

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'The Digital Eye of the Palaeographer,' in Stewart Brookes, Malte Rehbein and Peter Stokes, eds., Digital Palaeography, Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities (Aldershot: Ashgate).

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'Hadewijch Manuscripts,' in Companion to Hadewijch, eds. Patricia Dailey and Veerle Fraters (Leiden: Brill).

In Preparation

[Book] Erik Kwakkel (ed.), Manuscripts of the Latin Classics 800-1200 (Leiden: Leiden University Press).

[Book] Erik Kwakkel (ed.), The Vernacular Manuscript (Leiden: Leiden University Press).

[Book] Erik Kwakkel, Stuk: De allure van het kapotte boek (Leiden: Leiden University Press).

[Book] Erik Kwakkel and Francis Newton, Medicine in Monte Cassino: Constantine the African and the Oldest Manuscript of his Liber pantegni (Publisher not yet known).

[Book] The Birth of Gothic Script (Publisher not yet known).

[Book] Erik Kwakkel and Rodney Thomson (eds.), The European Book in the Long Twelfth Century (Publisher not yet known).

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'Classics on Scraps: Classical Manuscripts Made from Parchment Waste in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries', in Erik Kwakkel (ed.), Manuscripts of the Latin Classics 800-1200 (Leiden: Leiden University Press).

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel, 'Script, 1075-1225', in Erik Kwakkel and Rodney Thomson (eds.), The European Book in the Long Twelfth Century.

[Book chapter] Erik Kwakkel and Rodney Thomson, 'The Material Book in the Long Twelfth Century,' in Erik Kwakkel and Rodney Thomson (eds.), The European Book in the Long Twelfth Century.

Dr. I. (Irene) O'Daly

Published

[Article] 'An Assessment of the Political Symbolism of the City of Rome in the Writings of John of Salisbury', Medieval Encounters. Jewish, Christian and Muslim Culture in Confluence and Dialogue 17 (2011): 512-533.

Forthcoming

[Book Chapter] 'Diagrams of Knowledge and Rhetoric in the Manuscripts of Cicero's De inventione', in Manuscripts of the Latin Classics 800-1200 (Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2015).

[Review] 'The Classics in the Medieval and Renaissance Classroom: The Role of Ancient Text in the Arts Curriculum as Revealed by Surviving Manuscripts and Early Printed Books, eds. J. Feros Ruys, J.O. Ward, M. Heyworth', Quarendo.

In Preparation

[Book] Seeing Sense: Diagrams and the Study of Ciceronian Rhetoric in the Middle Ages (Publisher not yet known).

[Book] John of Salisbury and the Medieval Roman Renaissance (Publisher not yet known).

[Book] Medieval Fragments, eds. Irene O’Daly and Jenny Weston (Publisher not yet known).

[Book Chapter] 'Old Texts in New Contexts: The Classical Revival of the Long Twelfth Century', in The European Book in the Long Twelfth Century, eds. Erik Kwakkel and Rodney Thomson (Publisher not yet known).

J.A. (Jenny) Weston MA

Published

[Book Review], ‘J.P. Gumbert, Illustrated Inventory of Medieval Manuscripts in Latin Script in the Netherlands’, Quaerendo 43 (2013) 1-3 (Brill: Leiden, 2013).

[Magazine Article] 'Manuscripts for the Rich and Famous (Super Bling)!’, in Quest Magazine, Issue 10 (May, 2014): 36-43.

Forthcoming

[Book Chapter] ‘Taking Stock: Booklists as Evidence of Medieval Reading Culture’, in The Fruits of Learning: The Transfer of Encyclopaedic Knowledge in the Early Middle Ages, eds. Rolf Bremmer Jr and Kees Dekker, Storehouses of Wholesome Learning Series (Paris, Walpole, Mass.: Peeters, forthcoming, 2014).

[Book Chapter] ‘Following the Master’s Lead: The Script of Orderic Vitalis & the Discovery of a New Manuscript (Rouen BM 540)’, in Orderic Vitalis: New Perspectives on the Historian and his World, eds. Elisabeth van Houts, Giles Gasper et al. (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, in progress, 2015).

[Book Appendix] with Charlie Rozier, ‘List of Manuscripts that Contain the Handwriting of Orderic Vitalis’, in Orderic Vitalis: New Perspectives on the Historian and his World, eds. Elisabeth van Houts, Giles Gasper et al. (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, in progress, 2015).

[Book Chapter] ‘Manuscripts and Reading Culture’, in A Companion to the Abbey of Le Bec in the Middle Ages, eds. Benjamin Pohl and Laura Gathagan (Leiden: Brill, under contract to publish, 2015).

In Preparation

[Book] Medieval Fragments, eds. Irene O’Daly and Jenny Weston (Publisher not yet known).

[Book Chapter] ‘Modes of Reading in the Long Twelfth Century’, in The European Book in the Long Twelfth Century, eds. Erik Kwakkel and Rodney Thomson (Publisher not yet known).

Manuscripts and Digital Humanities: A Colloquium

Paper abstracts

This mini-colloquium, the last one organized by the NWO-sponsored project “Turning Over a New Leaf”, focuses on current research that studies manuscript books and handwritten text from a digital point of view.

This mini-colloquium, the last one organized by the NWO-sponsored project “Turning Over a New Leaf”, focuses on current research that studies manuscript books and handwritten text from a digital point of view. The lectures present a palette of methods that incorporate software, showcasing how ‘digitally enhanced’ studies may add to our understanding of parchment and handwritten text, both medieval and post-medieval. At the end of the colloquium the third volume in the series Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Book Culture will be presented: Erik Kwakkel (ed.), Manuscripts of the Latin Classics 800-1200 (Leiden University Press). The keynote will be delivered by Melissa Terras. Terras' paper is part of the Lieftinck Lectures in Medieval Manuscripts and can also be attended separately from the colloquium. 

Vernacular Books in the Middle Ages

  • Time: 31 January 2014, 10:00 am - 4:45 pm
  • Location: University Library Leiden, Vossiuszaal 

This colloquium is devoted to manuscripts containing works in the vernacular. It explores various dynamics relating to the composition, design, production, and use of vernacular books in the Middle Ages. What do these objects look like? How were they produced in different linguistic contexts, such as English, Frisian, French, or Italian? How do they compare to their Latin counterparts? Do they feature unique palaeographical or codicological traits?

The Science of Medieval Script

  • Time: 22 November 2014, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
  • Location: Leiden University, Lipsius Building, Room 228

The field of Digital Humanities now plays an important role in an increasing number of disciplines, including those that have not traditionally depended on the use of computers. A greater number of projects (funded by national and European agencies) related to the study of medieval script now rely on digital tools to develop new understandings of medieval palaeography.

This mini-symposium examines the use of digital tools in palaeographical research. The four presentations question how medieval handwriting may be analyzed in a quantitative manner, how software and databases aid in dating medieval script, and how these tools can even help in the identification of individual scribes.  

The four papers show how a “scientific” approach to script opens new avenues of exploration, adding to our current paleographical knowledge and practices. They prompt the following questions: How do we obtain verifiable evidence from letter forms? What are the successes and failures of analyzing medieval handwriting with a computer? What are some of the problems encountered? And where do we go from here?

Writing the Classics: A Manuscript Colloquium

Programme | Paper abstracts

  • Time: 3 September 2013, 10:30 am-6:00 pm
  • Location: Colloquium, Grote Vergaderzaal, University Library Leiden

This colloquium is concerned with the production and use of classical texts before 1200. What did classical books look like in this period? Who were their readers? The papers shall evaluate the relationship between the demands by scholars and other readers for ancient texts, how they were presented on the page, and their production in a variety of intellectual contexts. The symposium focuses on the presence of the classical heritage, both Greek and Roman, in the Latin manuscript tradition.

The keynote lecture shall be given by Sten Ebbesen of the University of Copenhagen, a leading scholar of the history of Aristotelian reception in the Middle Ages. Other speakers include Mariken Teeuwen (Universiteit Utrecht), Rodney Thomson (University of Tasmania) and Irene O'Daly (Universiteit Leiden).

The papers shall be complemented by two displays of relevant material from the Leiden collections. The Universiteitsbibliotheek has a superlative selection of medieval classical manuscripts and the displays will provide a unique opportunity to view some treasures.

Words, Words, Words: Medieval and Early-Modern Dictionaries

Programme | Paper abstracts | Press release | Event calendar

  • Time: 31 May 2013, 12:00 pm-5:00 pm
  • Location: Colloquium, Grote Vergaderzaal, University Library Leiden

This colloquium places center stage medieval and early-modern glossaries: lists that present words and their meaning, the ancestor of our modern dictionary. The colloquium addresses a broad variety of issues related to these fascinating objects. What did dictionaries in the age of the manuscript and the early printed book look like as physical objects? How did they present their wordy information on the page? Why did users need them? Why do their contents vary so much, and what does this potentially tell us about pre-modern intellectual culture? The keynote lecture is by Professor Rosamond McKitterick, winner of the Heineken Prize for History 2010 and specialist of glossaries from the early Middle Ages. The four papers are accompanied by a display of manuscripts and early-printed books from Leiden collections, including some of the oldest glossaries that survive from the medieval period.

The event is organized as part of the annual celebration of the Stichting Stedenband Leiden-Oxford, an organization that aims to emphasize the ties between the cities of Leiden and Oxford. The theme for 2013 is “De wonderlijke wereld van het woord” (The remarkable world of the word). For the press release and a list of other activities taking place in the same week, including an exhibition in the public library, see the PDFs below (Press Release and Event Calendar).

Books of Natural History in the Medieval World: A Manuscript Colloquium

Programme | Paper abstracts

  • Time: 1 February 2013, 10:00 am-6:00 pm
  • Location: Colloquium, University Library Leiden

This colloquium brings together both experts and non-experts interested in medieval texts and manuscripts devoted to natural history. Five speakers from Holland, the United States and England will speak on a variety of topics related to the natural world, from medicine and bestiaries to Aristotle's natural philosophy and the attitude of medieval scholars toward natural history. The starting point of the papers are formed by manuscripts and the lectures will devote special attention to the physical appearance of these objects.

The lectures are accompanied by two manuscript displays, at the end of the morning and afternoon session, respectively. They each encompass 10-15 manuscripts from Leiden collections and complement the lectures. Included are some of the library's treasures normally not on display.

The keynote will be delivered by Christopher de Hamel, who will speak on the topic of "Medieval Bestiaries and their Original Purpose" (3:45-4:45 pm). De Hamel's paper is part of the Lieftinck Lectures in Medieval Manuscripts and can also be attended separately from the colloquium.

Book and their Readers in Anglo-Saxon England

Programme | Paper abstracts

  • Time: 27 January 2012, 10:15 am-5:00 pm
  • Location: Colloquium, University Library Leiden

This colloquium brings together those interested in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and their contexts of production and use. Special attention will be given to material features of manuscripts and how these relate to the objects' readers and manner of use. The papers are accompanied by two manuscript displays, exhibiting relevant materials from Leiden collections. Please see the event poster and abstracts below.

This event is organized by the VIDI project, Turning Over a New Leaf in collaboration with the University Library Leiden and the Scaliger Institute.

Scholars and Their Books: The Transmission of Knowledge in Medieval Manuscripts

Programme 

  • Time: 9 June 2011, 10:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Location: Colloquium, University Library Leiden

This colloquium is devoted to the transmission of knowledge in the manuscript age. It brings together those who are interested in manuscript culture and the history of texts and ideas in the medieval period. The four lectures and accompanying manuscript demonstrations will show how scholars read and acquired information; and how manuscripts were carefully crafted instruments that increased the knowledge of learned individuals.

This event is organized by the VIDI projects, Turning Over a New Leaf  (Erik Kwakkel, Leiden) and Marginal Scholarship (Mariken Teeuwen, Huygens ING) in collaboration with the University Library Leiden and the Scaliger Institute.

Connection with other research