Tagged: history of the book

New Acquisition: 1564 Spanish Antiphonary

Special Collections and University Archives has recently acquired a sixteenth-century Spanish antiphonary, a liturgical book containing the sung parts of the Divine Office. Chants include the antiphons sung with the psalms and canticles; the responsories of Matins and Vespers; and sometimes the hymns.

Page open to book of music.
[Readings for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, M2148 .L4 1564, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.]
The musical notation is in black nota quadrata on five line staves in red, with Latin text and rubrics. The book is printed on thick, imperfect parchment, bearing marks of stitched repairs and deep follicles. Illustrations include colored initials and decorative vignettes throughout. The book measures 51 x 34 cm. It is bound in embossed leather with intact bronze bosses (corner and center pieces) and clasps. The leather binding has been restored at the spine and foredges of the boards. A bookplate is pasted onto the interior of the back cover that reads, “Gabinetto di Restauro del Libro dell’Abbazia di Praglia,” which likely identifies the source of the restoration work. It is an imperfect copy, missing some leaves throughout.
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Gold, Ink, and Parchment: Yale’s Traveling Scriptorium Visits SCUA

Paper Conservator Marie-France Lemay discussing pigments.
Marie-France Lemay discussing pigments in the Traveling Scriptorium.

Yale University Library Paper Conservator Marie-France Lemay recently presented two workshops in Special Collection and University Archives’ Ken Kesey Classroom on the materials of medieval and early modern books. Lemay presented samples of materials and tools that would have been used by early bookmakers and illuminators from the Traveling Scriptorium, a teaching kit created by Yale’s Beineke Library conservators. These workshops were arranged by Dr. Vera Keller in conjunction with a JSMA lecture on the history of color in the Italian Baroque period.

Lemay provided students from Dr. Vera Keller’s “Global History of Color” and Dr. Nina Amstutz’s “Art and Science” courses with the opportunity to handle raw materials used in historical manuscript production and scribal practices, such as stretched parchment and laid paper used for writing substrates and the ingredients for black iron gall ink (gall nuts from oak trees, green vitriol/iron sulfate, and gum arabic). The workshop also included a mixing demonstration of traditional pigments and inks and discussion of the chemical differences of organic versus inorganic materials and the nature of man-made pigments such as verdigris, produced by exposing copper to acetic acid (vinegar).

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New Exhibit | Word Made Print

In recognition of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, University of Oregon’s Special Collections & University Archives and Northwest Christian College’s Edward P. Kellenberger Library have collaborated on an exhibit titled Word Made Print: Reformation and the History of the Book.

Few historical events have touched so many lives around the world, whether Christian or not, as the Reformation, 500 years ago. Historians question whether Martin Luther actually hammered the manuscript of his 95 Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, setting in motion a series of events that split Christendom. Yet, the story itself illustrates the immense power of the printed word: Luther’s words were printed within weeks and spread like wildfire.

Word Made Print is curated by Vera Keller, David Luebke, Steve Silver, and David de Lorenzo. The Knight Library component celebrates Martin Luther and his role in the Reformation and showcases important works that demonstrate and reflect the impact of the Reformation that occurred around the same time as the invention of movable type.  In the Kellenberger Library, many early Bibles from their collection are on view.  This exhibit is free and open to the public and will be on display through December 15, 2017.

Excerpts from the Exhibit

Privilegia et documenta ad monasterium S. Zenoius Maiorii Veronae (Privileges of the Verona Monastery). [16th century]. [Latin]. Burgess Collection, Burgess MS 30.

This manuscript illustrates the scribal arts preserved in Catholic monasteries long after the Reformation.

Sleidanus, Johannes, and Edmund Bohun. The General history of the Reformation of the Church from the errors and corruptions of the Church of Rome: begun in Germany. [London: Printed by Edw. Jones for Abel Swall and Henry Bonwicke, 1689]. Rare Book Collection, xDD178.9 .S624