Mise-En-Page in Medieval Manuscripts
Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 2:00 PM to 2:40 PM (EST)
Investigating mise-en-page is a key area of manuscript studies. It includes a description
and evaluation of each component of the manuscript’s internal design. Such features
include the pricking and ruling for the writing grid; the arrangement of ‘information
retrieval tools’, like enlarged initials, rubrics, and intertextual space; and, when
contemporary, paratextual features, like running headers and chapter numbers.
What manuscript scholars can learn from mise-en-page can be underestimated,
as we often tend to look principally at script and decoration in and of themselves. The
arrangement of the writing grid, the placement of initials, and the use of particular tools
can indicate place of origin; while certain features, such as running headers, or where
the text is placed relative to the ruled line, can indicate date. Sometimes it is also
possible to ascertain the function of a manuscript from its mise-en-page.
In this webinar, Elaine Treharne, the Roberta Bowman Denning Professor of
Humanities at Stanford University, will introduce participants to the basics of manuscript
mise-en-page, discussing manuscripts from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries. The
webinar will highlight the core things to look out for, and show how attention to the
tiniest of details can happily complement other palaeographical and codicological skills
in our research.