An ex libris puzzle in Cambridge, University Library, MS Ee. 4. 30

Cambridge University Library, MS Ee. 4. 30 is a copy of Walter Hilton’s contemplative treatise The Scale of Perfection. Dating from the late fifteenth century, the manuscript is a good quality production by a single scribe, with some careful decorations. It was produced in the London Charterhouse, a major centre of book production and circulation.

Cambridge University Library, MS Ee. 4.30, fol. 4r. Copyright Cambridge University Library

Cambridge University Library, MS Ee. 4.30, fol. 4r. Copyright Cambridge University Library

Indeed, the presence of an ex libris inscription in the manuscript indicates its provenance, one which follows the standard Latin phrasing from this house: ‘Liber domus salutacionis Matris Dei ordinis cartusiensis prope London’ (‘a book of the house of the Salutation of the Mother of God, of the Carthusian Order, near London’). This formulation appears in several other volumes from the Charterhouse, including at the very end of Cambridge University Library, MS Ff. 1. 19 (fol. 134v), where it is heavily abbreviated. However, in MS Ee. 4. 30 the formulation appears in an unusual and, as far as I have been able to determine, unique format. The inscription appears one letter at a time in the central lower margins of each recto in Part One of the Scale text (fols. 4r – 62r), meaning that the reader has to decipher the text gradually. Continue reading

Sanditon: 200 Years

‘Sanditon: 200 Years’ is a conference that will take place at Trinity College, Cambridge from March 29-31, 2017. The conference will mark the bicentenary of the composition of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, Sanditon, in a year that also marks the bicentenary of Austen’s death. Austen began to write Sanditon in January of 1817. The manuscript closes with the date of March 18. Austen died four months later.

The manuscript of Sanditon is held at King’s College, Cambridge and will be available for participants in the conference to view, along with items from the Dorothy Warren and David Gilson Jane Austen collections, also held at at King’s.

This conference will be devoted to discussing a diverse range of subjects relating to Jane Austen’s last work. Papers on thematic, historical, stylistic and biographical topics are invited. Particular attention will be given to the manuscript of Sanditon and Austen’s compositional processes, as well as to the reception and textual history of Sanditon in terms of editions, adaptations and continuations.

For further details, including the call for papers, see conference website:

Conference organizer: Dr Anne Toner (Trinity College, Cambridge)

Medieval Latin Song from c. 800 to c. 1200 AD

Saturday 2 July, Pembroke College, Old Library

A one-day interdisciplinary conference dedicated to Latin song that was not routinely performed in the liturgy from the Carolingian era through to the New Song repertories recorded from c. 1100 onwards. The opening address is given by Professor C. Stephen Jaeger and the concluding paper by Professor David Ganz. Invited papers will be given by scholars of medieval music based at the Universities of Cambridge and Würzburg, including Professor Susan Rankin and Dr Sam Barrett.  Particular attention will be paid to the earliest manuscripts transmitting medieval Latin song, both notated and unnotated, the place of music in early medieval education, the song culture at Sankt Gallen in the Carolingian era as seen through the lens of its surviving manuscripts, and reassessment of Aquitanian sources for new virtuosic song repertories. For the full programme and registration, see:

In the evening from 7:30pm, a concert of recently reconstructed songs from Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy will be given by Sequentia, directed by Benjamin Bagby, with Hanna Marti and Norbert Rodenkirchen. A pre-concert talk on the processes of reconstruction will by given by Sam Barrett at 7pm.  Those registered for the conference may purchase tickets at the concessionary rate.  To book tickets, go to:

Cambridge Medieval Palaeography Workshop, Easter 2016

2014-07-25 12.05.36The Cambridge Medieval Palaeography Workshop is a forum for informal discussion on medieval script and scribal practices, and on the presentation, circulation and reception of texts in their manuscript contexts. Each workshop focuses upon a particular issue, usually explored through one or more informal presentations and general discussion. All are welcome. Easter Term meetings will take place in the Milstein Seminar Room, Cambridge University Library between 2-4 PM.

Friday 6 May 2016.

Dr. Irene Ceccherini: ‘The Network of Cursive Handwriting: Late Medieval Italian Notaries, Merchants, Scribes and Scholars between Documents and Books’

Friday 20 May 2016.

Dr. Katya Chernakova: Title To Be Announced.

Dr. Eyal Poleg: ‘The Late Medieval Bible’

Friday 27 May 2016.

Professor David Ganz: ‘When is a ‘Script’ not Several Scribes?’

For more information, see the attached poster.

Convenors: Teresa Webber, Orietta Da Rold, Suzanne Paul, Sean Curran and David Ganz. For further details, email Orietta Da Rold (

The John Coffin Memorial Lecture in Palaeography 2016

Daniel Wakelin (Jeremy Griffiths Professor of Medieval English Palaeography, University of Oxford)

‘Let me slip into something less comfortable’: Gothic Textualis by Accident and by Design

Date: 11/05/2016 – 17:30 – 19:00
Institute: Institute of English Studies
Venue: The Chancellor’s Hall, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Professor Wakelin is a leading expert in the palaeography and reading culture of the later Middle Ages. He is the author of numerous studies, among them Humanism, Reading and English Literature 1430-1530 (2007) and Scribal Correction and Literary Craft: English Manuscripts 1375-1510 (2014), which was joint winner of the DeLong Prize for book history in 2015. His John Coffin Memorial Lecture concerns the supposed ‘decadence’ of late gothic textualis, especially the more formal grades, whether it entailed effort or conscious design, and instances when individuals misunderstood it or slipped.


Lyell Lectures 2016

‘Public Reading and its Books: Monastic Ideals and Practice in England c. 1000-c. 1300’, to be given by Dr Teresa Webber (Trinity College, Cambridge), in the Weston Library Lecture Theatre (the former ‘New Bodlean’ Library), Broad Street, Oxford, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm, from 3 May to 19 May, as follows:

3 May ‘Public Reading in Monastic Observance: the framework of norms

5 May ‘Reading the Gospel

10 May ‘Reading the Bible’

12 May ‘Celebrating the Saints’

17 May ‘Reading in Chapter’

19 May ‘Reading at Collation: Monastic Ideals and the Practice of Public Reading’

The Elision of Mark Pattison in Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure

Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure. © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure. © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum holds both the original manuscript and first edition proofs for Thomas Hardy’s novel Jude the Obscure (Object Numbers MS 1-1911 and PB 9-2008). The novel was published in 1895 and follows the tragic tale of Jude Fawley, whose impassioned ambition to become a scholar is repeatedly thwarted by a troublesome blend of social impediments and regrettable personal decision-making. The novel transpired to be Hardy’s swansong in literary fiction, and is an astonishingly rich vision of the troubled philosophical and political conditions in the fin de siècle.

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Early Modern Lexicography – ‘The Engelhus-Vokabular’

I’m currently working on a doctoral thesis on an analysis and editing of a 15th century dictionary written by the school-master, chronicler and theologist Dietrich Engelhus (ca. 1362-1434). The dictionary contains lemmata in both Latin and Greek (using the Latin alphabet), followed by a multitude of explanations such as definitions, translations into Middle Low German, examples of use, derivations and grammatical information.

Cod. Guelf. 956 Helmst., 221v

Cod. Guelf. 956 Helmst., 221v

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Workshop “Collecting Knowledge, Creating Knowledge”


Cambridge, 27 February 2016

Seminar Room 11, Faculty of History (3rd floor)

West Road CB3 9EF

10:00 – 10:30 Welcome Coffee and Registration in the Senior Combination Room

10:30 – 11:00 Introductory remarks by Rosamond McKitterick (Cambridge)

11:00 – 13:00 Reading the Classics

Chair : Mary Garrison (York)

Joanna Story (Leicester) The Reception of Classics in Munich Clm 14641

Justin Stover (Oxford) Victorinus, Isidore and a Bamberg Miscellany

Paulina Taraskin (London) Reading Horace: British Library Harley 2724

Renan Baker (Oxford) Sedulius Scottus and the exempla of Roman imperial biographies

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch in the Senior Combination Room

14:00 – 16:00 Collecting Knowledge in the Early Middle Ages

Chair : Teresa Webber (Cambridge)

Giorgia Vocino (Cambridge) Miscellanies For and From the Classroom: some Italian Examples (9th-11th centuries)

N. Kıvılcım Yavuz (Leeds) The Art of History-Making in Eighth-Century Francia: the Case of Historia Daretis Frigii de origine Francorum

Claire Burridge (Cambridge) Early Medieval Medical Miscellanies: an Exploration of Three Manuscripts

Anna Dorofeeva (Frankfurt) Strategies for Knowledge Organisation in Early Medieval Latin Glossary Miscellanies: the Example of Munich, Bayerische

Staatsbibliothek, Clm 14388

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee & Tea in the Senior Combination Room

16:30 – 17:30 Round table

Attendance at the workshop is free of charge, but registration is required. Depending on the number of attendants we may need to ask for a small contribution to the cost of refreshments.

For further details and to register, please contact Giorgia Vocino (


Medieval and Modern Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age (MMSDA)

2 – 6 May 2016, Cambridge and London

The Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network (DiXiT), and run by King’s College London with the University of Cambridge and the Warburg Institute will run in two parallel strands: one on medieval and the other on modern manuscripts.

The course is open to any doctoral students working with manuscripts. It involves five days of intensive training on the analysis, description and editing of medieval or modern manuscripts to be held jointly in Cambridge and London. Participants will receive a solid theoretical foundation and hands-on experience in cataloguing and editing manuscripts for both print and digital formats.

The first half of the course involves morning classes and then afternoon visits to libraries in Cambridge and London. Participants will view original manuscripts and gain practical experience in applying the morning’s themes to concrete examples. In the second half we will address the cataloguing and description of manuscripts in a digital format with particular emphasis on the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). These sessions will also combine theoretical principles and practical experience and include supervised work on computers.

The course is free of charge but is open only to doctoral students (PhD or equivalent). It is aimed at those writing dissertations relating to medieval or modern manuscripts, especially those working on literature, art or history. Eight bursaries will be available for travel and accommodation. There are thirty vacancies across the medieval and modern strands, and preference will be given to those considered by the selection panel likely to benefit most from the course. Applications close at 5pm GMT on 22 February 2016 but early registration is strongly recommended.

For further details see or contact