Rare Book School

RBS Home | Course Schedule | Admissions | myRBS | Support RBS | Contact RBS | Previous Years

Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List

M-90. Advanced Seminar in Medieval Manuscript Studies

Barbara A. Shailor

Preliminary Advices

Participants should bring to New Haven: pencils (no ink), a magnifying glass, a computer (of whatever sort), a Latin-English dictionary of any size; a printed copy (since the printed reproduction of the abbreviations is closer to the manuscript than the online version) of Adriano Cappelli, Lexicon abbreviaturarum. Dizionario di abbreviature latine ed italiane: the introduction should be reviewed before the class either in the original Italian, or in the English translation by Davin Himann and Richard Kay, The Elements of Abbreviation in Medieval Latin Paleography  (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Libraries, 1982).

Before class participants should also be familiar with and/or re-read:

  1. Albert Derolez, The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books, from the Twelfth to the Early Sixteenth Century (Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology 9) Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  2. Bernhard Bischoff, Latin Palaeography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, English tr. by Dáibhi ó Crónin and David Ganz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
  3. Barbara A. Shailor, The Medieval Book: Catalogue of an Exhibition at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University (New Haven: Yale University Library, 1988).

Since each person will have to select a project for class presentation, please consult the website of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library for some of the following collections which contain medieval and Renaissance manuscripts: General, Marston, Mellon Alchemical, Osborn. The printed catalogs of each of the collections (when available) are to be preferred due to some typographical issues with the digital format of the website (e.g., no Greek or Middle English letterforms), but the online version contains a more complete listing of the more recent acquisitions. It would be most useful to select a few items beforehand that may be appropriate for a project. All projects must be approved by the instructor.