Bodleian CSB Seminars, Hilary Term 2022

Bodleian logo and Centre for the Study of the Book banner with background image of Douce Woodblocks b.1

Palaeography Seminar: Medieval manuscripts master classes

Hilary Term, Mondays, 2:15 pm
Registration required: https://forms.office.com/r/F6NjbWuhpT
YOU MUST BE REGISTERED 24 HOURS BEFORE THE SEMINAR TO RECEIVE A LINK TO ATTEND ONLINE
In-person seminars, if offered, will meet in the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library.

31 Jan. (week 3) SEMINAR CANCELLED
14 Feb. (week 5) Laura Saetveit Miles (Bergen), ‘St. Birgitta of Sweden in late-medieval England’
28 Feb. (week 7) Colleen Curran, ‘The History of Script and the Scripting of History in 10th/11th-Century Canterbury’

Seminar in the History of the Book

Hilary Term, Fridays, 2:15 pm
Registration required: https://forms.office.com/r/FSXrV1W98u
YOU MUST BE REGISTERED 24 HOURS BEFORE THE SEMINAR TO RECEIVE A LINK TO ATTEND ONLINE
In-person seminars, if offered, will meet in the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library.

21 Jan.  (Week 1) [ONLINE ONLY] Mercedes García-Arenal (Madrid, CCHS-CSIC), ‘The European Quran: the role of the Muslim Holy Book in writing European cultural history’
28 Jan. (Week 2) [ONLINE ONLY] Renae Satterley (London, Middle Temple), ‘On Robert Ashley (1565-1641)’s use of collections in Oxford in the 17th century’
4 Feb. (Week 3) [ONLINE ONLY]  Laura Cleaver (London, UCL), ‘Henry White (1822-1900): Collector of Second-Rate Manuscripts?’
11 Feb. (Week 4) [ONLINE ONLY] Riccardo Olocco (Bolzano), ‘The trade in type in Venice in the early decades of printing’
18 Feb. (Week 5)  Brian Cummings (York), ‘Bibliophobia’
25 Feb. (Week 6) Katarzyna Kapitan, ‘The Virtual Library of Thormodus Torfæus, reconstructed from Danish and Icelandic collections’
4 Mar. (Week 7) [IN PERSON ONLY] Lisa Barber, ‘The Goldsmiths’ Register and other record books of various London Livery Companies’
11 Mar. (Week 8) Alexandra Franklin and Andrew Honey, ‘Bodleian Materials for the teaching of Book History’

Textiles in Libraries: Context and Conservation

A binding with a gold and blue textile cover is displayed in an open purple box. There is damage to the covering of the spine which reveals the sewing supports underneath. The title of the project 'Textiles in Libraries: Context and Conservation' is overlaid.
Textiles in Libraries: Context and Conservation

The Bodleian’s Conservation and Collection Care team, in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of the Book, is embarking on a year of discovery in the field of Textiles in Libraries. The scope of this project is wide, from embroidered bindings to endbands, including textiles found between the pages, covering or wrapped around the binding, as well as the more unexpected places they can be found in library collections from tapestries to t-shirts.

As part of this project, the Library will be hosting a series of free online talks running from November 2021 to February 2022, bringing together conservators, curators and book artists to explore this topic further. Our speakers will highlight the many ways textiles are found in books and library collections, share case studies of collaborative conservation projects, examine what textile bindings can tell us about historic craft practices, and share examples of textiles used in contemporary book arts.

These talks will coincide with an exhibition held in Blackwell Hall of the Weston Library from November 2021, ‘The Needles Art’, which will show-case a selection of embroidered bindings from the Bodleian’s collections.

View the full programme and book tickets to the live talks here.

All talks will be recorded and publicly available to watch after the event.

Script/Print/Code: the information revolution in one afternoon

Bodleian Library, Douce Woodblocks d.1, detail
Bodleian Library, Douce Woodblocks d.1, detail

On Monday 11 October 2021 in the Bodleian’s Weston Library for Special Collections there will be a race between The Oxford Scribes , the Bodleian Bibliographical Press, and the Centre for Digital Scholarship.

This webpage, script-print-code.info, tells the story.

This is a chance to compare script, print, and electronic text encoding side-by-side, in real time. The text will be written in manuscript, printed in movable type, and encoded by three teams, starting at 1pm.

In this blogpost we’ll report on the progress and the thoughts of the scribes, printers and encoders as they work through the same text, a portion of Psalm 107 (‘… They that go down to the sea in ships …’), to create a published version, in one or many copies.

Onlookers are welcome in Blackwell Hall, the main public foyer of the Weston Library on Broad Street, Oxford.

The event is in honour of the start of the Lyell Lectures 2021, The Genesis, Life, and Afterlife of the Gutenberg Bible, which will be given by Paul S. Needham, beginning on 11 October 2021. Details in the event listing include links to watch the livestream of these lectures. The lectures will be recorded and will be available a short time after the conclusion of the series, at https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/event/the-lyell-lectures

A webpage showing many digitized copies of the Gutenberg Bible, for comparison, is available here.

Here is the webpage for this event:

Musical premiere of ‘Clippings and Fragments,’ by Tom Coult, Albi Rosenthal Visiting Fellow

Composer Tom Coult (Albi Rosenthal Visiting Fellow, 2021) will see the premiere of his song cycle, ‘Clippings and Fragments,’ at the Oxford Lieder Festival on 18 October 2021.

Composer Tom Coult
Composer Tom Coult

The work was commissioned by the Festival for its 20th year, and draws upon the Bodleian Library’s John Johnson collection of printed ephemera. This rich and diverse assemblage of often-overlooked items is one of the largest and most important collections of printed ephemera in the world. It offers a fresh view of British history through documents which, produced for short-term use, have survived by chance, including advertisements, handbills, playbills and programmes, menus, greetings cards, posters and postcards.

The Lieder Festival ‘Nature’s Songbook,’ 8-23 October 2021, takes place both in person and online.  This will include a performance of ‘Clippings and Fragments’ by soprano Anna Dennis and speaker John Reid, a conversation with Tom Coult, and a film which looks into Coult’s creative process, and ephemera from the John Johnson collection.

A blogpost by Tom Coult outlines the commission.

Persian Arts of the Book conference, July 2021, reuniting Bodleian Bahari Fellows

In July 2021 the Bodleian Libraries hosted a virtual reunion of scholars who spoke about their research into the Persian collections of the Bodleian Libraries. Over the past five years, through the Bahari Fellowship programme, scholars have visited the library to examine texts, paper, paintings, bindings, and provenance of manuscripts now in the Bodleian collections. Their insights and conversations with distinguished panel chairs were shared with an online audience watching from around the world, on 13 and 14 July.

Papers delivered at the conference can be seen as podcasts at this link.

Download the full conference programme here.

A suite of films about the collections, from the point of view of curators, conservators, and researchers, is linked here .

Fellowship opportunities for research in Bodleian Special Collections can be seen from this webpage: https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/csb/fellowships 

Early Modern copper plates at the Bodleian Libraries

The Bodleian Libraries hold copper plates from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries in several different collections.  These are listed along with the finding aids in the LibGuide Printing Surfaces.

Many of the earlier plates are survivals from publishing projects, whether realised or not. Others were collected or commissioned to depict objects of antiquarian study. Still others, in the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, represent the process of printing, for instance, Copper plates for paper bags.

The Rawlinson collection of copper plates is the subject of a doctoral study by Chiara Betti, under the Collaborative Doctoral Partnership programme.

Engraved and etched copper plates owned by the London-based antiquarian collector Richard Rawlinson (1690-1755) came to the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, with his bequest of a large collection of material, in 1755. The majority of these plates were gathered by Rawlinson second-hand from printers or other collectors, and thus date from the seventeenth, and first half of the eighteenth, century. These illustrate scenes and objects of antiquarian and topographical interest and many portraits. The plates include work by seventeenth-century engravers Wenceslaus Hollar [see the catalogue of Hollar’s work by Richard Pennington, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etched Work of Wenceslaus Hollar 1607-1677] and David Loggan. Another group of plates within this collection was made for Rawlinson himself, to depict unique objects in his own vast antiquarian collections. These collections included a large number of medieval and early modern manuscripts donated or bequeathed to several institutions including the Bodleian, as well as printed images, antique and exotic cultural objects, inscriptions, and seal matrices.
The copper plates thus sit within a much more extensive collection assembled by an eighteenth-century antiquarian, touching on areas of curatorial interest to libraries, museums, and archives. Surviving papers and notebooks of Richard Rawlinson are held at the British Library, the Bodleian Library, and at St John’s College, Oxford.

 

Shaping Scholarship: early donors to the Bodleian Library

This AHRC-funded project led by Robyn Adams (CELL, UCL), examines the network of individuals whose donations helped to build the collections of the library. Focusing on the first two decades following the seventeenth-century refurbishment by Sir Thomas Bodley (c.1600-1620) of Oxford’s university library, the study examines the shape of the collection of the books donated and purchased with funds, the social backgrounds of the c.220 donors, and how these men and women were connected across the social compass of the time.

Locating material for the material history of the book

Teaching with our Collections, at the Bodleian Libraries

The Bodleian Libraries contain a wealth of material that is relevant to the study of the book in every period. This is not only in book or manuscript form, although Bodleian Special Collections are frequently used for teaching at the Bodleian’s Weston Library for Special Collections. Many non-book items–eighteenth-century pins, samples of paper, newly-made parchment, old copper plates–exist within and outside the miles of bookstack. We will be undertaking a survey of this material in 2021-22, paying close attention to what is useful for the teaching the history of books and manuscripts in the broadest sense.

Throughout this year we expect to be looking into:

Centre for the Study of the Book | Bodleian Libraries (ox.ac.uk)

 

Events from the Bodleian Centre for the Study of the Book

Books on a library shelf. William Henry Fox Talbot, ‘Scene in a Library’ c. 1846
William Henry Fox Talbot, ‘Scene in a Library,’ positive salt print from a photogenic drawing. By kind permission of The National Media Museum, Bradford.

The 27th Annual D. F. McKenzie Lecture

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian
‘Photography and the Book’
Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty, St Cross Building, Oxford
5pm, Thursday, 17 February 2022 (Hilary term, Week 5)
All welcome.

Detail of carpet page from Bodleian MS. Kennicott 1 fol. 123r, the Kennicott Bible
Bodleian MS. Kennicott 1 fol. 123r, detail of carpet page

Student book-collecting prize

University of Oxford students are eligible for the Colin Franklin Prize for Book-Collecting. Read more…

Conferences: save the dates

Opening the Sacred Text: Meaning, Materiality, Historiography

Monday 21 February – Wednesday 23 February 2022
Registration required, link to registration page here.

Lyell Fellowship 20th Anniversary Conference
The History of the Book at the Bodleian

Monday 25 April – Tuesday 26 April 2022
Registration opens soon

Textiles in Libraries: Context & Conservation series

Online, register for link: https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/event/textiles-in-libraries-series
Thursday 13 January 2022 4-5pm (GMT)  Talk 4: ‘Textiles from East to West: case studies from the Leiden collections’  — Karin Scheper, Head of the Conservation department at Leiden University Libraries

Thursday 27 January 2022 4-5pm (GMT)  Talk 5: ‘Textiles and text: A collaborative approach to conserving textile-covered manuscripts’ — Jane Eagan, Head of Conservation of the Oxford Conservation Consortium; Maria Hayward, Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Southampton

See the podcasts of previous talks in this series:
http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/series/textiles-libraries-context-conservation-series

Palaeography Seminar: Medieval manuscripts master classes

Hilary Term, Mondays, 2:15 pm
Registration required: https://forms.office.com/r/F6NjbWuhpT
In-person seminars, if offered, will meet in the Lecture Theare, Weston Library. YOU MUST BE REGISTERED 24 HOURS BEFORE THE SEMINAR TO RECEIVE A LINK

31 Jan. (week 3): SEMINAR CANCELLED
14 Feb. (week 5): Laura Saetveit Miles (Bergen), ‘St. Birgitta of Sweden in late-medieval England’
28 Feb. (week 7): Colleen Curran, ‘The History of Script and the Scripting of History in 10th/11th-Century Canterbury’

Seminar in the History of the Book

Programme: 2022 Seminar in History of the Book_programme
Hilary Term, Fridays, 2:15 pm, Horton Room, Weston Library
Registration required: https://forms.office.com/r/FSXrV1W98u
In-person seminars, if offered, will meet in the Lecture Theare, Weston Library. YOU MUST BE REGISTERED 24 HOURS BEFORE THE SEMINAR TO RECEIVE A LINK

21 Jan.  (Week 1) Mercedes García-Arenal (Madrid, CCHS-CSIC), ‘The European Quran: the role of the Muslim Holy Book in writing European cultural history’ ONLINE ONLY
28 Jan. (Week 2) Renae Satterley (London, Middle Temple), ‘On Robert Ashley (1565-1641)’s use of collections in Oxford in the 17th century’ ONLINE ONLY
4 Feb. (Week 3) Laura Cleaver (London, UCL), ‘Henry White (1822-1900): Collector of Second-Rate Manuscripts?’ ONLINE ONLY
11 Feb. (Week 4)Riccardo Olocco (Bolzano), ‘The trade in type in Venice in the early decades of printing’
18 Feb. (Week 5)  Brian Cummings (York), ‘Bibliophobia’
25 Feb. (Week 6) Katarzyna Kapitan, ‘The Virtual Library of Thormodus Torfæus, reconstructed from Danish and Icelandic collections’
4 Mar. (Week 7) Lisa Barber, ‘The Goldsmiths’ Register and other record books of various London Livery Companies’ IN PERSON ONLY
11 Mar. (Week 8) Alexandra Franklin and Andrew Honey, ‘Bodleian Materials for the teaching of Book History’

Oxford Bibliographical Society

All welcome. To register for online talks, email: sarah.cusk@lincoln.ox.ac.uk

Thursday 20 January, 5:15 pm Chiara Betti (London, Institute of English Studies/Bodleian), ‘New research on Richard Rawlinson’s copper plates: from the engraver’s shop to the printed paper’ ONLINE

Thursday 24 February, 12:30 pm Nicole Gilroy (Bodleian), ‘Loose threads: an interdisciplinary approach to the conservation of textiles in library collections’ Weston Library Lecture Theatre (TBC)

Thursday 10 March 2022, 5:15 pm Philip Errington (Peter Harrington Books), ‘Harry Potter and the descriptive bibliography’ Lincoln College, Oxford, Oakeshott Room

Thursday 28 April 2022, 5:15 pm Michael Edson (University of Wyoming). ‘Who’s who in Samuel Garth’s Dispensary? Evidence from copies in Oxford college libraries’ Lincoln College, Oxford, Oakeshott Room

Friday 6 May 2022 CENTENARY COLLOQUIUM. Registration required, programme TBA.

The Murbach Hymns (MS. Junius 25) – Vernacular Glossing in the Early Middle Ages

Webinar, Thursday 17 February 2022, 2 pm to 5 pm GMT
Friday 18 February 2022, 9 am to 3:30 pm GMT
Free event, registration required; you must book before Tuesday 15 February 2022 to receive the link for this event. Register here.
A webinar examining Bodleian MS. Junius 25, the ‘Murbach Hymnal,’ with material dating from the 8th to 11th centuries, and other glossed manuscripts. For full programme and speaker information, see https://medieval.ox.ac.uk/2021/11/26/webinar-the-murbach-hymns/
Convenor: Luise Morawetz (luise.morawetz@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk)

Copper plate of botanical subject, detail
Bodleian Rawl. copperplates e.108
Copper Plates Unfolded

An ECR Multidisciplinary Masterclass on Printing Plates
Monday, 21 February 2022, 9.30–16:00
Weston Library & Ashmolean Museum

Printing plates are often obscure, little-known objects: they are printing equipment and artworks in their own right at the same time.
On the 21st February 2022, five speakers will discuss the manufacturing, publishing, collecting and teaching of historical copper plates. In addition, participants will get the chance to learn from some of the top experts on the subject and participate in current, ground-breaking research.
Attendees will have the opportunity to see and handle 17th-18th century printing plates and printed books.
Confirmed speakers:  Antony Griffiths, Henry Woudhuysen, An Van Camp, Alexandra Franklin, Elizabeth Savage.
Convener: Chiara Betti (chiara.betti@postgrad.sas.ac.uk)
This event is organised with the generous support of the Oxford Bibliographical Society.
*Please note that the masterclass is now fully booked. For further information contact Chiara Betti (Collaborative Doctoral Partnership student at GLAM and the University of London Institute of English Studies).*

Book Launch: The Global Merchants

Joseph Sassoon, The Global Merchants: The Enterprise and Extravagance of the Sassoon Dynasty
Thursday 24 February
5-6 pm
Weston Library, Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre
Free event, booking required; registration opens soon at http://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/
Joseph Sassoon opens the family archives to tell the story of one of the great business dynasties of the nineteenth century. The Sassoons were Jewish exiles from Ottoman Baghdad who forged a mercantile juggernaut from their new home in colonial Bombay. In the process they formed a vast network of agents, informants and politicians and came to bridge East and West, culturally as well as commercially.

To register for email updates from the Centre for the Study of the Book, email bookcentre-newslist-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk.

Subscribers must be 18 or over (privacy policy).

Rare books and manuscripts ‘potluck’ online in 2021

Public and university libraries have faced the pandemic with a multitude of inventive new ways of connecting books and readers, such as ‘Grab and Go’ book deliveries limiting the time of physical visits. What about special collections libraries, whose materials cannot be taken out of the institution? Temporary closures or limited access to reading rooms have meant a pivot towards more provision of digital resources, and archivists and librarians have been active in unearthing treasures to share on social media.

The lockdown period has also been an opportunity to explore what can be done in new ways and even to push beyond the usual patterns of scholarly discourse. Online meeting platforms and visualizers (the modern version of that classroom standby, the overhead projector) lend themselves to the visual exploration and discussion of related items, collections, or genres of material held in institutions that are geographically distant.

Using this technology and adapting seminar formats to online presentation, at the Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book we have found new opportunities to participate in cross-institutional events in 2021,  sharing collection material with other libraries via online platforms and learning from their expert staff and unique items. In the style of a potluck meal, each institution brings a copy or a witness to the online gathering which fills out the whole intellectual smörgåsbord.

29 Jan 2021 Coverdale’s Goostly Psalmes [follow link for recording]
‘Translating, Singing, Printing the Reformation. The Queen’s College Sammelband with Myles Coverdale’s Goostly Psalmes’, with a showing of The Queen’s College copy and the Bodleian and Beinecke Library fragments
(Oxford Seminar in the History of the Book)
Henrike Lähnemann, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford
Matthew Shaw, Librarian of The Queen’s College, Oxford
Sarah Wheale, Head of Rare Books at the Bodleian Libraries
Kathryn James,  Curator for Early Modern Books and Manuscripts at Yale’s Beinecke Library
See blogpost with downloadable foldable ‘fragments’ and links to facsimiles

1 Feb 2021 Medieval book coffers [follow link for recording]
Bodleian and John Rylands curators
‘Newly acquired medieval book coffers at the Bodleian and the John Rylands Libraries’
(Oxford Palaeography and Manuscripts Studies Seminar)
See the 3D image of the Bodleian coffer on Cabinet, here.

Coming up:

4 May Dante 1481: the Comedia, illustrated by Botticelli [follow link to register]
Bodleian Libraries; University College, London; Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze; Morgan Library; British Library; John Rylands Library; Trinity College, Cambridge
(Bibliographical Society of America event and in conjunction with special series Dante 1321-2021: A Man For All Seasons)

22 June Yiddish and Russian Children’s Books [registration opens soon]
YIVO and Bodleian Libraries

And doubtless more to be added …