Medieval Manuscript Fragments and the Vanishing Landscape of the Nineteenth-Century Album

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


This talk considers the 19th-century practice of collecting miniatures and cuttings of illuminated medieval manuscripts in albums and scrapbooks. Much current attention amongst medievalists is directed towards trying to reconstruct the original medieval manuscripts from which detached fragments derived; my interest is in recovering the ways that these assemblages presented medieval books to 19th-century observers, and how that has influenced perceptions of medieval art and the value of medieval books. Although most albums were associated with male collectors, I will argue that the role of women in their construction and use has been obscured. Few such volumes remain intact, but I will be able to show images of a stunning example from Glasgow University Library, and will also include images of other types of albums and scrapbooks from the St Andrews collection.
Period29 Sept 2021
Held atUniversity of Stirling, United Kingdom