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The Texts and Contexts of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108

The Shaping of English Vernacular Narrative


Edited by Kimberly Bell and Julie Nelson Couch

The late thirteenth-century, monolingual Oxford manuscript, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108, bears singular importance to medieval studies, for it preserves and anthologizes unique versions of several seminal Middle English texts, including South English Legendary, Havelok the Dane, and King Horn and Somer Soneday. While critics have traditionally classified these poems by genre, this book returns them to their manuscript context in a comprehensive examination of this vernacular codex. Considering the manuscript as a “whole book” rather than a miscellany of romances, saints' lives, and religious poems, these inter-connected essays focus on the physical, contextual, and critical intersections of Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108. Codicological evidence foregrounds the manuscript’s investment in a particular vision of an English Christian identity.
Contributors are A.S.G. Edwards, Thomas R. Liszka, Murray J. Evans, Andrew Taylor, Diane Speed, Susanna Fein, Robert Mills, Andrew Lynch, Daniel Kline, Christina M. Fitzgerald, and J. Justin Brent.

Edited by Graeme Dunphy

The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle brings together the latest research in chronicle studies from a variety of disciplines and scholarly traditions. Chronicles are the history books written and read in educated circles throughout Europe and the Middle East in the Middle Ages. For the modern reader, they are important as sources for the history they tell, but equally they open windows on the preoccupations and self-perceptions of those who tell it. Interest in chronicles has grown steadily in recent decades, and the foundation of a Medieval Chronicle Society in 1999 is indicative of this. Indeed, in many ways the Encyclopedia has been inspired by the emergence of this Society as a focus of the interdisciplinary chronicle community.

The Encyclopedia fills an important gap especially for historians, art historians, and literar scholars. It is the first reference work on medieval chronicles to attempt this kind of coverage of works from Eruope, North Africa, and the Middle East over a period of twelve centuries. 2564 entries escribe individual anonymous chronicles or the historical oeuvre of particular chroniclers, covering the widest possible selection of works written in Latin, English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Norse, Irish, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Syriac, Church Slavonic and other languages. Leading articles give overviwes of genres and historiographical traditions, and thematic entries cover particular features of medieval chronicles and such general issues as authorship and patronage, as well as questions of art history. Textual transmission is emphasized, and a comprehensive manuscript index makes a useful contribution to the codicology of chronicles.

Also available online as part of Brill's Medieval Reference Library Online.

Text Comparison and Digital Creativity

The Production of Presence and Meaning in Digital Text Scholarship


Edited by Wido Th. van Peursen, Ernst Thoutenhoofd and Adriaan van der Weel

In fourteen thoughtful essays this book reports and reflects on the many changes that a digital workflow brings to the world of original texts and textual scholarship, and the effect on scholarly communication practices. The spread of digital technology across philology, linguistics and literary studies suggests that text scholarship is taking on a more laboratory-like image. The ability to sort, quantify, reproduce and report text through computation would seem to facilitate the exploration of text as another type of quantitative scientific data. However, developing this potential also highlights text analysis and text interpretation as two increasingly separated sub-tasks in the study of texts. The implied dual nature of interpretation as the traditional, valued mode of scholarly text comparison, combined with an increasingly widespread reliance on digital text analysis as scientific mode of inquiry raises the question as to whether the reflexive concepts that are central to interpretation – individualism, subjectivity – are affected by the anonymised, normative assumptions implied by formal categorisations of text as digital data.

The Palaeotypography of the French Renaissance (2 vols.)

Selected Papers on Sixteenth-Century Typefaces


Hendrik Vervliet

This collection of thirteen essays examines sixteenth-century type design in France. Typefaces developed during this period were to influence decisively the typography of the centuries which followed, and they continue to influence a great many contemporary typefaces. The papers' common goal is to establish the paternity of the typefaces described and critically to appraise their attributions, many of which have previously been inadequately ascribed. Such an approach will be of interest to type historians and type designers seeking better-documented attributions, and to historians, philologists, and bibliographers, whose study of historical imprints will benefit from more accurate type descriptions. The papers and illustrations focus on the most important letter-cutters of the French Renaissance, including Simon de Colines, Robert Estienne, Claude Garamont, Robert Granjon, Pierre Haultin, and also include a number of minor masters of the period.

Manuscript Studies in the Low Countries

Proceedings of the 'Groninger Codicologendagen' in Friesland, 2002

Edited by Anne Margreet W. As-Vijvers, Jos M.M. Hermans and Gerda C. Huisman

Volume 3 of the Boekhistorische Reeks contains the proceedings of the ‘Groninger Codicologendagen in Friesland’, the quadrennial conference on Netherlandish manuscript studies, which in 2002 was held at the Fryske Akademy in Leewarden.

The rich contents of this book reflect the two major conference themes, Books and Teaching, and the Art of Manuscript Illumination. International scholars in these fields investigate both subjects from various angles.

Papers included in the first section offer glimpses of medieval school life, the role of schoolboys in the production of manuscripts and printed books, the use of books by medieval surgeons, the pecia-system to produce manuscripts, and the importance of manuscripts for early modern scholarship.

In the second section the focus is on the state of research and new inquiries in Netherlandish manuscript illumination. Miniatures, border decoration, scribes and workshop practices are the subjects of studies ranging from the Moerdrecht Masters, active in the second quarter of the fifteenth century, to Ghent-Bruges illuminators in the beginning of the sixteenth century, and from mass-produced books of hours to luxurious, secular manuscripts made for members of the Bourgundian court.

In the third part some current book-historical projects are presented, which cover a broad range of important research tools that are now available through the Internet, both for specialists as well as book lovers.

French Vernacular Books / Livres vernaculaires français (FB) (2 vols.)

Books Published in the French Language before 1601 / Livres imprimés en français avant 1601

Andrew Pettegree, Malcolm Walsby and Alexander Wilkinson

This work offers for the first time a complete list of all books published wholly or partially in the French language before 1601. Based on twelve years of investigations in libraries in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere, it provides an analytical short-title catalogue of over 52,000 bibliographically distinct items, with reference to surviving copies in over 1,600 libraries worldwide. Many of the items described are editions and even complete texts fully unknown and re-discovered by the project. French Vernacular Books is an invaluable research tool for all students and scholars interested in the history, culture and literature of France, as well as historians of the early modern book world.

For vols. III & IV please go to French Books III & IV.


Edited by Lotte Hellinga

Since the appearance in 1908 of the first volume of BMC the work has been relied on as one of the main authorities on the earliest printing in Europe. Its coverage of early printing from the European countries in which the new technique was successively introduced provides not only extensive bibliographical descriptions, but introduces the material with an analysis of the development of printing in the relevant areas. This final volume to appear in the series covers England, where printing was not introduced until 1476, a good twenty years after the appearance of the earliest printed books in Mainz. The England volume of BMC responds to the special circumstances of early printing in England by giving particular attention to textual transmission, systematically following each text from source or copy to print whenever possible. Printing-house methods of book-production get full consideration. Notes on further dissemination are extended by an analysis of early ownership (and by implication of readership) taking account of material outside the British Library collection. This is followed by a history of the formation of the collection from 1753 in the British Museum, which began with the great collectors of the eighteenth century, and in which the antiquarian book-trade of this and later periods had an important role.
In view of the new focal points of interest the bibliographical descriptions are more elaborate than in the previous volumes, and include extensive notes on provenance and early readers which are the work of Margaret Nickson. A new forensic element is the systematic investigation of paper used by the printing houses until Caxton's death in 1492, when the nature of production changed. This was undertaken by Paul Needham, who contributes a separate introduction on the trade in paper and paper as evidence for dating and production processes. His investigation, together with the evidence of the use of printing types, underlies the new chronological arrangement which has to be the basis for any interpretation. The resulting chronological list of all printing in England before 1501 is presented in separate tables. The work includes descriptions of 323 copies of books, representing 221 editions of items printed in England, out of a total of 395 known to date, extensive introductions and 52 full-size plates accompanying the descriptions of printing types.
Dutch Occasional Poetry of the 16th through 18th Centuries
Part 2

The genre of occasional poetry, verse written to celebrate milestones in the life of private citizens, was introduced into the young Dutch Republic in the late sixteenth century. Starting from Leyden academic circles, it rapidly gained popularity among large sections of Dutch society; a poem written on the occasion of a wedding or a funeral must have been a status symbol for the well-to-do citizen. Publication of these virtually unknown poems ensures their survival, but also their availability to scholars all over the world. Together with Dutch Occasional Poetry of the 16th through 18th Centuries - Part 1 this collection will constitute a firm base for many kinds of research, for historians, art historians, students of genealogy, musicologists, and students of book history.

This collection is also included in the Dutch Occasional Poetry of the 16th through 18th Centuries collection.

Various Authors & Editors

Early Printed Cyrillic Books
Library of Moscow State University, Belorussian and Ukrainian Publications

National and cultural identity
This collection bears witness to the complex, yet fascinating process of book printing in Belorussia and Ukraine when these countries were still under Polish-Lithuanian rule. Deprived of political rights and freedom of worship, the Orthodox Byelorussians and Ukrainians struggled to preserve their national and cultural identity by printing religious, liturgical, and historical books in the Cyrillic script. Often, these publications had a polemical intent – attacking the Catholics, the Uniates, and the Protestants alike – or propagated an openly nationalist agenda. One of the most popular works included in this collection is the Sinopsis – the first printed book on the history of the Eastern Slavs that promoted the idea of uniting all Slavic peoples. Equally interesting in this respect is the politically charged Trebnik, which was published in 1646 at the instigation of Piotr Mogila, the Metropolitan of Kiev.

The Brotherhoods
The role of the Brotherhoods ( bratstva) was crucial to this process of national emancipation. The Brotherhoods were political organizations that sought to stimulate Belorussian and Ukrainian culture by, for example, establishing schools and printing houses. Alarmed by these initiatives and anxious to curb the activities of the Brotherhoods, the government of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, in tandem with the Catholic and the Uniate Church, banned all politically sensitive publications. However, this did not prevent educated and influential Belorussians and Ukrainians from taking part in printing Cyrillic books. Printing houses specializing in Belorussian or Ukrainian publications existed at some point in time in Kiev, L’vov, Chernigov, Vilnius, Mogilev, and many other places.

Kiev-Perch Laura
The largest and most productive printing house in Ukraine belonged to the famous Monastery of the Caves, in Kiev ( Kieov-pecherskaia lavra). It functioned from 1616 until the end of the 18th century, and is represented in the present collection by 47 titles. These include a 1619 edition of the Anfologion (translated by Iov Boretskii), Pamva Berynda’s Leksikon slavianorusskii (the first Slavic “encyclopedia”), and a number of Besedy (“Conversations” on religious topics) that are especially noteworthy for the exceptionally high quality of the typography. The second largest segment of the collection comprises 20 books printed by the Uspenskii Brotherhood of Lvov, which was one of the most important cultural centers in Ukraine during the 17th and 18th centuries. In Belorussia, the Brotherhoods of Vilna and Eve, as well as smaller printing houses in Mogilev and Kutein, specialized in the printing of Cyrillic books. Among the most valuable of the 23 Belorussian books included in this collection are Kirill Trankvillion Stavrovetskii’s Perlo mnogotsennoe (1699), Akafisty vsesedmichnye (1698) – which was printed by the Brotherhood of Mogilev – and a number of sumptuously illustrated liturgical works and prayerbooks.

Unique collection
The present collection consists of 109 rare or otherwise valuable Belorussian and Ukrainian books printed in the 17th century. As well as having an historical value, the combination of luxurious design and sophisticated typography makes these works stand out as true landmarks of early book printing. The books were often embellished by professional artists, who added illustrations and designed the title pages. Ukrainian and Belorussian books differed from those printed in Moscow in both style and content. Whereas the latter were funded by the government and meticulously censored by the Metropolitan and the Tsar, the printing in the Ukraine and Belorussia was supported primarily by private donations. Their repertoire was also much more diversified. The books’ more colorful design, their covers, dedications, coats of arms, and spectacular illustrations contribute to the uniqueness of this material.

Moscow State University Library
Moscow State University Library (founded 1756) is one of the biggest libraries in Russia. Today, it stores more than 8 million volumes and owns many rare books and manuscripts. The most valuable part of its holdings is in the Rare Books and Manuscripts section, which accommodates over 200,000 items, including unique Western, Oriental, and Slavonic manuscripts, archives, incunabula, prints, and other early works. The unique collection of early printed Slavonic books was obtained largely through donations, purchases, transfers from other libraries, and the work of the Archeographical Expedition (which spent over 30 years working among Russian Old Believers in different parts of the former Soviet Union). Nowadays, the Slavonic collection comprises 2,170 items dating from the 1400s to the 1900s.

The Bookshop of the World

The Role of the Low Countries in the Book-Trade, 1473-1941

Edited by Lotte Hellinga, Alastair Duke, Jacob Harskamp and Theo Hermans

Proceedings of a Conference held in London, 15-17 september 1999, organized by The Association for Low Countries Studies, University College London, Centre for Dutch and Flemish Culture, The British Library, Dutch and Flemish section, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. Twenty-five papers by experts in their particular period or area were selected for publication. Covering almost five centuries, they represent a wholly modern approach to the history of the book and publishing in a European context, highlighting for the first time the crucial role of the Low Countries in transmitting the intellectual heritage of an area well beyond their own - changing - borders.