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Manuscript Resources

None of the medieval texts we read originally appeared in the tidy, uniform format of the student edition. They all circulated in handwritten, unique manuscripts (with the exception of a few early printed texts). This material fact can greatly affect how we might read this literature intertextually and the kinds of assumptions we make about readerships.

The videos and websites I provide in "Getting Started with Medieval Manuscripts" are primarily designed to help the undergraduate, who has never before thought about (let alone handled) a medieval manuscript, quickly grasp the basics of manuscript study.

The best way to understand manuscripts is to look at them. A lot. Georgia is not overrun with medieval manuscripts (although Hargrett does hold several items), so under "Digital Facsimiles" I link to a myriad of manuscripts that have, in whole or in part, been digitized.

I have also gathered an array of resources for viewing and deciphering Books of Hours, including links to many fully or partially digitized samples.

The medieval process of sourcing pigments, turning raw materials into usable colorants, mixing the paints and inks, and applying them to paper and parchment is a fascinating area of study. Equally compelling is the modern scientific analysis of those colorants through chemical and spectroscopic analysis. I have collected an array of resources on these topics on my "Medieval Pigments: Creation and Analysis" page.

Unless the entire course is dedicated to manuscripts, I won't spend much time on paleography (the study of handwriting, and thus the skill necessary to read the manuscripts themselves). However, I know some students are fascinated by it, so under "Paleography" I provide a few pointers for getting started.