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Manuscripts in the Curriculum

Artifacts from the Middle Ages incorporated into the classroom

It’s a rare opportunity to touch medieval literature and artifacts as they are generally kept away from public handling. But this semester at U of G, students have unique opportunity – the chance to work hands-on with these historical items as part of experiential learning.

Until May 20, 2020 nine illuminated manuscripts are on loan to the McLaughlin Library from Les Enluminures — a Chicago based book dealer that is home to the largest inventory of text manuscripts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. We were selected as one of four successful candidates out of 25 proposals to acquire the loan of these manuscripts.

The manuscripts are being integrated into nine undergraduate and graduate classes providing students with a glimpse into history. Dating back to as early as the 13th Century, the manuscripts include a Bible, a Psalter, a Book of Hours, a Breviary, a Confessional among others. Students participating in these classes have the unique experience of working hands-on with the manuscripts, helping them build important skills that are essential for their careers.

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, a colloquium, From Parchment to Pixels is being held at the library. The colloquium begins at 12 noon and features presentations by students, a keynote talk by Dominic Marner, professor, art history, titled "Opening the Text in the Floreffe Bible (London, BL Add. MS 17738): from Ways of Seeing to Ways of Touching," and the launch of our newest exhibition, Illuminating Life: Manuscript Pages of the Middle Ages, beginning at 4:15 p.m. The exhibit will be on display until May 12, 2020.

On March 13 and 14, 2020, the manuscripts are being featured in the Canadian Conference of Medieval Art Historians held this year at U of G. 

Want to learn more? Check out this article: U of G Offers Opportunity to Flip Through Medieval Manuscripts

Keep up to date about what’s happening at the library this semester by visiting our Workshops & Events page.

Questions? Ask Us!