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Preliminary Reading List

H-20. The Book in the Manuscript Era

Will Noel


Preliminary Advices

The course will use the following materials as the basic texts. Please read the items on the first list before coming to the class (if possible, reading them in the order in which they are listed). The second list has a series of recommended titles: read selectively in them as time permits, and review the plates and reproductions.

First List

  1. Shailor, Barbara A. The medieval book. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991; rep 1994 (Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching, vol. 28). First published as an exhibition catalog by the Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1988. Part I concentrates on the physical composition of medieval books beginning with the change from papyrus scroll; Part II looks at the genres of medieval manuscripts and their historical place in the cultures that produced them.
  2. Clemens, R. and T. Graham. Introduction to manuscript studies. Cornell University Press, 2007.
  3. de Hamel, Christopher. A history of illuminated manuscripts. London: Phaidon, 1994.
  4. Brown, Michelle P. A guide to Western historical scripts from antiquity to 1600. London: The British Library, 1990.
  5. Second List

    These works deal with specific topics to be covered in class (although not every aspect of each work will be considered). They are more detailed (and often more difficult to read) than the books on the first list.

  6. Alexander, Jonathan J. G. Medieval illuminators and their methods of work. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.
  7. Brown, Michelle P. Understanding illuminated manuscripts: a guide to technical terms. Malibu, CA: The J. Paul Getty Museum in association with The British Library, 1994.
  8. Reynolds, L. D. and N. G. Wilson. Scribes and scholars: a guide to the transmission of Greek and Latin literature. 3rd edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.