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Posts Tagged ‘illumination’

Since it’s finally starting to act like spring (56 degrees yesterday!), I went into the city with M. as part of the “rediscovering a life outside of library school” series. Both having student IDs, we took advantage of the Village East Cinema’s $7 student Tuesday deal and saw The Secret of Kells, an animated movie about the illuminated manuscript called the Book of Kells.

Brendan and Aisling in the forest

The movie is utterly delightful – it might be a little frightening for young children at parts, but certainly doesn’t lose any enjoyment for adults. It’s a very lush movie – the music is well done and the visuals are worth finding a theater that has it.

While waiting for the movie, we stopped over at Artichoke, which only sells a few kinds of pizza but all wonderful. I had a slice of the eponymous pizza (which was the size of 3 slices), and M. had the sicilian, also delicious but smaller.

Since M. was finished long before me and the weather was so nice, we wandered next door to Led Zeppole, also run by the same guys, to get 3 piping hot zeppoles. I wanted to pick up some snacks for tomorrow, so we ventured over to Momofuku’s Milk Bar where I tried some of the cereal milk soft serve and snagged a compost cookie and a really buttery, delicious blueberry cream cookie. The cookies (and especially pies) are a little pricey, but they do have $0.85 day old cookies which (in my opinion) are just as good!

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One of my projects this summer was to examine some “hybrid books” (a printed book with some manuscript – handwritten – sections) and describe the manuscript portions. Most/all of these can’t even be found in any kind of online catalog, only in the card catalog in the Rare Book room, and even they will only make passing mention of the manuscripts within the hybrid books.

The first one I dealt with was especially interesting – the printed book was the Speculum Perfectionis by Henricius de Herpf (1524), but bound around it was a collection of poetry by Denis Faucher (Dionysius Faucherius) from ca. 1530-50. Here’s what makes this manuscript more interesting than an ordinary manuscript (click for larger versions):

Vigilance in Virtue

Vigilance in Virtue

And two pages later….

Inevitability of Death

Inevitability of Death

Fun stuff! Here are some more pictures from these hybrid books, with descriptions in the individual pages:

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After only 3 weeks, I finally encounter my first illuminated manuscript (I’ve seen them before, but I’d yet to catalog one).  I dearly wish I could take pictures of this, simply to show the elaborate initials with gold and lead decorating. This manuscript is called Repertorium juris canonici secundum ordinem alphabeticum by Petrus de Braco. I was very hesitant to write on this lovely vellum, but it’s part of my job. I’m just in the foliating stage of this manuscript, so we’ll see what else emerges from these dusty pages.

Another thing I’m quite fond of are the manicula, or pointing hands, that one finds dotting the margins of manuscripts. Actually, I’m a sucker for most forms of marginalia, especially if they are comical. The pointing hands are there to – surprise – point out interesting or important parts of the text. Here’s an example of one:

maniculum

I rarely say this, but I always wish people wrote more in their books. Sometimes the marginal notes and doodles are more interesting than the works themselves!

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