Shakespeare’s Sonnets 121 to 126, printed in 2016

Vile or vile esteemed? Look hard for the ‘missing’ lines in Sonnet 126. More to come on these sonnets, with notes of their making, in a later blogpost.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets 100 to 120, printed in 2016

In 2016, the 400 year after William Shakespeare’s death, the Bodleian Library asked printers around the world to print his sonnets afresh. These are the results.

See more Shakespeare sonnets printed in 2016

Sonnet 117, The Press of Robert Lo Mascolo, Union Springs, New York
Sonnet 117, The Press of Robert Lo Mascolo, Union Springs, New York [detail]

Shakespeare’s Sonnets 58 to 77, printed in 2016

Visiting Fellowships in the Special Collections of the Bodleian Libraries

fellowships-imageThe Bodleian Libraries offer Visiting Fellowships to researchers coming to Oxford to use the Special Collections of archives, manuscripts, rare books, ephemera, maps, and music. Fellowships support a period of study in the Weston Library for Special Collections.

The call is now open for applications for 2017-18. Deadline for applications is December 5, 2016.

See the Fellowships pages for details of Fellowships offered in particular fields of study, and for How to Apply.
http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/csb/fellowships

Stuarts Online and animated

A web resource for schools, Stuarts Online, featuring materials from the Bodleian and Ashmolean has launched a video narrated by David Mitchell.

The Stuarts in Seven Minutes has been produced as part of the Stuarts Online initiative. Produced by academics at the universities of Cambridge, Exeter, Nottingham and Oxford, Stuarts Online includes twenty short films – each centred on a key text or artefact – which explore the stories, conflicts and personalities central to the history of Stuart Britain. It also provides lesson plansbiographies, timelines, and other learning resources. The films are enriched by privileged access to the holdings of the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Library, of the University of Oxford. Their development was supported by further partnerships with the Historical Association and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

David Mitchell recording 'Stuarts in Seven Minutes' for the Historyworks production
David Mitchell recording ‘Stuarts in Seven Minutes’ for the Historyworks production
An animated navy from 'Stuarts in Seven Minutes'
An animated navy from ‘Stuarts in Seven Minutes’

Books as art and treasure: events from the Bodleian Libraries

BOOK COLLECTING: SCIENCE AND PASSION
The Bodleian Libraries award the Colin Franklin Prize for book collecting to a student of the University of Oxford every year. The competition for 2017 is now announced.  http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/csb/fellowships/the-colin-franklin-book-collecting-prize Hazel Wilkinson (Cambridge/Carr-Thomas-Ovenden Fellow at the Bodleian Libraries), winner of the first Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize at the University of London in 2014, will speak about building a book collection, in

‘“best edit.”: Book Collecting and the Hierarchy of Editions’

Monday 7 November at 5:15 pm in the Visiting Scholars’ Centre, Level 2, Weston Library.Entrance with University card, via the readers’ entrance, Parks Road.For information: contact Alexandra Franklin alexandra.franklin@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

THE MUGHAL HUNT
Lecture, 9 November 2016 1.00pm — 2.00pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library
Adeela Qureishi speaks about assembling the display of Mughal paintings depicting hunting scenes, from albums of paintings in the Bodleian collections.
The display is on view in the Proscholium, Old Bodleian Library.
This lunchtime lecture in the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, is free but places are limited so please complete our booking form to reserve tickets in advance.
http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/whats-on/upcoming-events/2016/nov/the-hunt-in-mughal-india

TOM PHILLIPS
A Humument: fifty years
14 November 2016 4.30pm — 7.00pm   Lecture Theatre, Weston Library
In 1966, the artist Tom Phillips bought a copy of the forgotten Victorian novel A Human Document and started to work with it. With paint, cut-up and collage, he created a new story and a new kind of work: A Humument. The Bodleian is celebrating the final, fully revised, 50th anniversary edition with this book launch event.
Dr Gill Partington (University of Warwick) & Dr Julia Jordan (UCL); followed by dialogue between Adam Smyth (English Faculty) and Tom Phillips
This event is free but places are limited so please complete our booking form to reserve tickets in advance.
http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/whats-on/a-humument

 

the-hunt_192x

German manuscripts and prints in Oxford: events in honour of Nigel Palmer

In honour of Professor emeritus Nigel F. Palmer, the eminent German medievalist, there will be a two day programme of events on medieval German manuscripts and prints hosted by the TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies programme and the Bodleian Libraries.
On Friday, the Oxford Medieval Studies lecture Devotional Culture in Late Medieval Strasbourg is given by Stephen Mossman. This will be followed by drinks to celebrate both the British launch of Nigel Palmer’s latest publication, The Prayer Book of Ursula Begerin – a critical edition, with an art-historical and literary introduction, of an illuminated manuscript made for a Strasbourg laywoman – and his 70th birthday. Everybody welcome but please RSVP to Modern Languages Office office@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk if you would like to come, to make sure there are enough spaces and wine!
On the following day, a workshop will be held on the topic German Manuscripts and Prints in Oxford in the Lecture Theatre Weston Library, 9:15am-5pm. Again, everybody is welcome but please respond to Henrike Lähnemann henrike.laehnemann@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk if you would like to attend.

FRIDAY, 28 OCTOBER, TAYLOR INSTITUTION
LECTURE AND RECEPTION
17:00 Stephen Mossman: Devotional Culture in Late Medieval Strasbourg
18:00 Drinks Reception (Room 2)

SATURDAY, 29 OCTOBER, WESTON LIBRARY
COLLOQUIUM ‘GERMAN MANUSCRIPTS IN OXFORD’
09:15 Introduction and Welcome: Martin Kauffmann
09:30 Bodleian, MS. Germ. E. 22 & al. Strasbourg devotional manuscripts: Andrew Honey & Claudia Lingscheid & Monika Studer & Ruth Wiederkehr, Undine Brückner & Racha Kirakosian

11:00 Coffee break

11:15 Bodleian, MS. Douce 313 Franciscan Missal: Henrike Manuwald,
Bod-inc H-165 Book of Hours: Stefan Matter
Bodleian, MS. Opp. Add 4° 136 ‘Yiddish Songbook’: Elke Brüggen, Franz-Josef Holznagel
12:15 Bodleian, MS. Jun. 25 ‘Murbacher Hymns’: Michael Stolz
Merton College, MS 315 ‘Glosses’: Mary Boyle & Peter Kern

13:00 Lunch break (make your own arrangements)

14:45 Bodleian, MS. Hamilton 46 ‘Boethius’: Daniela Mairhofer
15:00 Bodleian, MS. Laud. Misc. 479 ‘Paradisus anime intelligentis’: Freimut Löser & Volker Mertens & Ben Morgan
15:45 Bodleian, MS Douce 367: Platterberger Chronicle: Linus Ubl
Bodleian, Bod-inc B-504 / R-32: Bettina Wagner
16:15 Taylorian, MS. 8° G. 2 Bruder Philipp, ‘Marienleben’: Kurt Gärtner & Christina Ostermann
16:45 Right to respond / Conclusion: Nigel F. Palmer
17:00 End of proceedings

Henrike Lähnemann
Professor of Medieval German * Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages * 41 Wellington Square * UK – OX1 2JF Oxford * 0044 1865 2-70498 * Follow @HLaehnemann * Visit the Reformation 2017 at the Taylorian Institute website

Editors learn about paper, quills, and ink for closer reading

Traherne paper folding_1_blog

Members of the editorial board of the Oxford edition of Thomas Traherne’s (c. 1637-1674) works took part in a one-day workshop at the Weston Library, studying the ink and handwriting in manuscripts associated with Traherne’s works, including handwritten corrections in printed editions. They were guided by Jana Dambrogio, Thomas F. Peterson (1957) Conservator at the MIT Libraries, and a Sassoon Visiting Fellow at the Bodleian this month.

The first part of the workshop, hosted at the Bodleian Conservation studios by Andrew Honey, involved making iron gall ink (which has a dramatic colour change) and copper gall inks.

Participants had a chance to write with goose quills and steel nib pens on handmade paper, using chancery paper from the University of Iowa Center for the Book , with the help of papermaker Timothy Barrett.

Traherne quills_blogpost

Andrew and Jana talked about the western hand paper making process, ink making, quill shaping, and showed examples of other writing tools and materials (handmade sealing wax, stamps, paper making mould, pounce pots, etc.)

Participants all received a locked letter and later, in a seminar session, looked at three examples of folding techniques used by Thomas’s brother Philip Traherne (1635-1686), in letters preserved in Bodleian collections. Examination of major Traherne items from the collections, and additional material kindly lent by college libraries of Balliol, Brasenose, and Queen’s Colleges, formed the second part of the day. Balliol and Brasenose college library staff participated in the day with the Traherne editors.

The Oxford Bibliographical Society provided the funding for this workshop for the Oxford Traherne team.
The Oxford Traherne edition website: http://oxfordtraherne.org

Bodleian Fellows Research, Summer 2016

Some of the Bodleian Visiting Fellows awarded grants for research visits in 2016-17 have started arriving at the Weston Library.

Jana Dambrogio (Thomas F. Peterson (1957) Conservator, MIT Libraries), Sassoon Fellow, is examining ‘locked letters’ in Bodleian collections. [See an earlier blogpost here] Her first challenge is to discover the material, by looking through collections of letters from the 16th and 17th centuries. She consulted Mike Webb, curator of early modern manuscripts, and they started looking at volumes of letters in which Dambrogio identified  distinctive styles of folding and sealing, the kind of usage which her research will examine in detail.

Mike Webb and Jana Dambrogio

On August 9, the Bodleian Fellows Seminar heard from Laura Estill (Texas A&M), the Renaissance Society of America-Bodleian Visiting Fellow. Dr Estill has been working on the Edmond Malone collection, and she compared Malone’s collecting of Elizabethan plays to the collection of John Phillip Kemble, which is now held in the Huntington Library, and spoke about the significance of collections like these, made from the second half of the 18th century onwards, in shaping the canon of early modern plays.

 

Shall I compare thee to a sans-serif?

The Shakespeare sonnets collected in 2016 contain an astoundingly broad range of printed versions, coming from a wide range of printers from around the world. I recently looked through some of these and was fascinated to discover the many differences between the different editions, which caused me to ponder whether to write Shakespeare using a different typeface, orthography or other presentational choice is to reproduce precisely the same essential message.

Take, for example, the difference between two different editions of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare” etc) which were presented side-by-side to one another. One, taken from Shakespeare’s 1609 First Folio, is written with Shakespeare’s original spelling and orthography, now fairly antiquated in its use of such archaisms as “u” in lieu of “v”, or the “long s” (“ſ”). In contrast, the second version, taken directly from Wikipedia, not only uses a modern sans serif typeface, but also a modern and standardised form of spelling throughout.

For the modern reader, this functions as something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it could be argued that placing Shakespeare in a modern typeface and orthography causes him to appear more directly relevant to an audience more familiar with that more contemporary style. But it could also be seen to appear strangely synthetic and divested of its original meaning. It could be seen to lose something of its “authenticity”. A rather vague term, this could be here seen to refer to a certain consistency between the physical appearance of a work and the cultural context in which it originated. To take an Elizabethan poem and write it down in a modern style could be seen by some as deeply jarring in its inconsistency.

This then raises the important question of whether, as Ben Jonson said, “[Shakespeare] was not of an age, but for all time” or whether there is some specific temporal quality to his work that necessitates it being placed into its original cultural context. This is the same debate which tends to come into play, for example, when it is debated whether Shakespeare should be staged in modern or period costume. Several of the sonnets printed for this project gesture  towards “authenticity”, with Sonnet 105 (“To me, fair friend” etc), from earlier this year, while at first appearing mock-Elizabethan through its antiquated typeface and use of illustration, nonetheless, upon closer inspection, also making use of modern orthography. The implication may be then that a balance must be preserved, so that Shakespeare’s message may retain more or less its original meaning, but also be capable of altering that meaning in subtle ways in order better to fit a contemporary cultural context.

For modern readers, there is a certain value both in understanding Shakespeare’s work as it originally would have been and as it is now and therefore a certain value in comprehending how the way in which Shakespeare is written could be seen to affect what it means.

from Benjamin Maier, Intern at the Bodleian Libraries