California Rare Book School at University of California, Los Angeles will be offering an intensive course on Scientific and Secular Medieval Manuscripts this year. The course will be taught by Drs. Melissa Conway and Cynthia White, from August 12-16, 2019, on the UCLA campus. The class is limited to twelve students. Applications and further information can be found on the CalRBS website: www.calrbs.org.
The course description follows: While biblical, liturgical, and devotional manuscripts survive in the greatest number, religious texts tell only one part of the vibrant intellectual history of the Middle Ages in Europe. This course will focus upon the varieties of scientific and secular manuscripts, among which are medical, astronomical, and mathematical texts; bestiaries and natural histories; herbals and agricultural manuals; itineraries, chronicles, romances, and collections of poetry. Usually illustrated and often lavishly illuminated, these manuscripts were major sources of information and entertainment for several centuries. Using a combination of the extensive holdings in UCLA’s Special Collections, online sources, and field trips to the UCLA Biomedical Library, and the Getty Museum, this course will provide an overview of the too-often overlooked history, production, distribution, and survival of scientific and secular manuscripts. This year the class will receive an exclusive curator’s tour of the Getty’s exhibition “Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World.” By the end of the class students will be familiar with important examples in each genre, and the range of resources for continuing study.