CARA News: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University is pleased to report a busy and rewarding 2016-17 academic year. On November 10, 2016, the Beinecke hosted “Otto F. Ege: A Symposium on His Manuscripts” to commemorate the Beinecke’s acquisition of Otto Ege’s private collection of medieval manuscripts and fragments. This symposium, organized by Elizabeth Hebbard, offered an overview of Ege’s manuscript modus operandi as well as a synthesis of current approaches to the study of manuscript fragments and possible new avenues forward, especially those involving digital tools.

Over the course of the academic year, Yale graduate students drew on Beinecke materials to host three successful digital editing workshops, a series in which our graduate students lead collaborative introductions to the particularities of working with and cataloguing non-codex medieval materials and offer instruction in TEI-conformant XML. By the end of this two-day workshop, participants are able to produce the code for a digital edition of a medieval documentary artifact. On November 18-19, 2016, the Beinecke hosted two strands of the digital editing

workshop: one on medieval manuscript rolls, run by Katherine Hindley, Gina Hurley, and Alexandra Reider, and one on medieval manuscript fragments, run by Anya Adair, Eric Ensley, Elizabeth Hebbard, Mireille Pardon, and Joe Stadolnik; and on April 28-29, 2017, the Beinecke hosted a digital editing workshop on medieval manuscript rolls, run by Kyle Conrau-Lewis, Elizabeth Hebbard, Katherine Hindley, Gina Hurley, and Burton Westermeier. These workshops have all drawn participants from across North America, and a pilot digital editing workshop at University College London on October 21-22, 2016, organized on the Yale side by Anya Adair, Katherine Hindley, and Joe Stadolnik with the help of Alexandra Reider, took the workshop abroad. Our Spring 2017 Beinecke Digital Humanities and Pedagogy Fellow, Gina Hurley, has been instrumental in bringing the workshop to Columbia University, the University of Toronto, and, for a second time, University College London, each of which has hosted their own iteration. The team for each of these workshops has comprised graduate students from the home institution and previous workshop instructors from Yale, and every team has adopted and adapted the workshop’s curriculum and hands-on approach to great success. We are proud to note that more than one hundred students have enrolled in one of these digital editing workshops, and we look forward to working with the next hundred. You can find more information at

Turning to Fall 2017, the Beinecke will host the 20th Colloquium of the Comité international de paléographie latine on the theme “Scribes and the Presentation of Texts (from Antiquity to ca. 1550)” on September 6-8, 2017. This fall, the Beinecke will also hold an exhibition entitled “Making the English Book” that celebrates Professor Toshiyuki Takamiya’s monumental collection of western medieval manuscripts. Guided by an appreciation of the many ways in which a medieval book may be “English,”

this exhibition will showcase the Takamiya manuscripts in the context of the Beinecke’s medieval holdings. Co-curated by graduate students Eric Ensley, Gina Hurley, Alexandra Reider, and Emily Ulrich together with Beinecke staff, this exhibition marks the first time that Professor Takamiya’s collection will be on display in the United States, and the accompanying online Omeka exhibition will accommodate an even wider audience. An associated conference, also entitled “Making the English Book,” will take place on October 6-7, 2017, and it will feature keynotes by Professor Alexandra Gillespie of the University of Toronto and Professor Daniel Wakelin of the University of Oxford.

Beinecke-organized panels at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University and the Early Book Society Conference at Durham University have offered additional opportunities to discuss the making, unmaking, and re-making of English books.

— Raymond Clemens, Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

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