Lost Landscapes: Albums and Scrapbooks of Medieval Manuscript Fragments

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


This paper considers the fixing of fragments of medieval manuscripts into blank books during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These assemblages pleased the aesthete and the curious, and preserved vulnerable miniatures and examples of calligraphy; their creation was an activity suitable for both sexes, and for the hobbyist as well as the serious collector. But in many cases such volumes provided only temporary accommodation and the books were subsequently disassembled to facilitate the individual sale of the fragments. Much current scholarly energy is directed towards identifying manuscript fragments in terms of their origins, and in virtually reconstructing original medieval codices. Much less attention has been paid to the pre twentieth-century albums and scrapbooks which provided their owners not just with a mechanism to preserve these fragile materials, but also with particular ways of viewing them. This lost landscape wis the focus of my paper, which discusses both extant and destroyed albums and scrapbooks
Period12 Jul 2021
Event titleEarly Book Society Biennial Conference, Bangor
Event typeConference