Monday, December 15, 2014

Materiality of Medieval manuscripts: Interpretation Through Production

From MAM's last visit to Iowa City in 2010. Manuscripts at the Dept. of Special Collections.

From our friend, Jonathan Wilcox: An NEH Summer Seminar at the University of Iowa!

Dear Colleagues,

Would you be so kind as to share information about an NEH Summer Seminar for College and University teachers, The Materiality of Medieval Manuscripts: Interpretation through Production, that I will be hosting at the University of Iowa, June 15-July 10, 2015?   The seminar will take advantage of resources and specialists at the University of Iowa Center for the Book to give medieval scholars the chance to engage hands on with the skills of parchment preparation, manuscript lay-out, quill cutting, writing a page, and binding a manuscript.  Alongside such hands-on skills, the seminar will theorize and explore the significance of the material manuscript in the current digital age, drawing common readings from recent investigations of digital culture, work on materiality, and exemplary manuscript studies.  Seminar participants will also pursue their own projects.  For full details, see the seminar website,

NEH summer seminars are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students, and eligibility is restricted to US citizens or residents, as explained on the seminar website.  A small number of spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities.  I encourage application from scholars engaged in any of the broad spectrum of medieval studies.  Deadline for applications is March 2, 2015.  Full details about eligibility and how to apply are available on the seminar website,

With thanks for sharing this information with all who might be interested.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Tree of Knowledge: Theories of Sciences and Arts in Central Europe, 1400−1700

The Tree of Knowledge: Theories of Sciences and Arts in Central Europe, 1400−1700

Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw, Poland
Date: 28th–29th May 2015
Call for Papers

We invite submissions for papers to be given at the forthcoming seminar on theories of knowledge in late medieval and early modern Central European sources.  The seminar is open to all scholars working in the field of early modern intellectual history, or related disciplines such as history of philosophy or theology, but contributions from younger scholars (doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows) are particularly invited.  It seeks to investigate the way in which new currents of reflection on epistemology, the structure of knowledge, and the relations between arts and sciences impacted the intellectual culture of Central Europe on a variety of different levels: from philosophy of knowledge and theoretical reflection, through pedagogical organisation and methodology – the reform of schools and universities, to the wider dissemination of knowledge through print, and the fostering of national and international intellectual networks.  A particular focus will be on Ramism and the reception of Ramist, pre-Ramist and post-Ramist models in diverse intellectual and religious milieus of Central Europe.  In this way the seminar aims to place Ramism (broadly understood) in a wider intellectual trajectory, stretching back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance and looking forward to the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
* The medieval and Renaissance roots of Ramist method and pedagogy.
* The metaphysical and anti-metaphysical dimensions of Ramism.
* The development of Ramism and its relation to competing Aristotelian, Lullist, Baconian and Comenian methodologies.
* Central European readers of Ramist, Lullist and related sources.
* New models of knowledge and their relation to the new natural sciences.
* Ramism, the confessionalisation of knowledge and ‘universal reformation’.
* The impact of new models of knowledge on the teaching of particular arts in Central Europe.
* Students’ notes as a source of knowledge on pedagogical practice.
* New models of knowledge and publishing in early modern Central Europe.
* The relation of Central European intellectual developments to those elsewhere in Europe or the New World.

Conveners: Dr. Simon J. G. Burton, Dr. Michał Choptiany

Proposals should be sent to the following address: Abstracts for papers of 20 minutes should be between 250 and 350 words in length. All applicants are also required to submit a brief biography of 200 words or less. The deadline for paper proposals is 31st March 2015. The organisers reserve the right to select up to 20 papers. All applicants will be informed about the results of the selection process in the first week of April. All participants will be invited to submit a draft version of their papers to the organisers before the seminar in order to enable the circulation of manuscripts among the participants before the seminar. The conference fee is € 50 and will partially cover the costs of organisation.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hartmann Schedel at the Bavarian State Library

From the Bavarian State Library (includes links to digital resources, as well):

"From 19 November 2014 until 1 March 2015, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at Munich presents the exhibition "Welten des Wissens. Die Bibliothek und die Weltchronik des Nürnberger Arztes Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514)" (Worlds of knowledge. The library and the Chronicle of the Nuremberg physician Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514)"

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Hartmann Schedel's death, about 40 volumes from his comprehensive collection of books, one of the most eminent private libraries of the 15th century, are on display. The selection comprises a representative range of works from all disciplines of late mediaeval literature and science. Among the books on show are all five editions of the Nuremberg Chronicle which was first published by Anton Koberger in 1493 and is famous in particular for its numerous views of cities.

Hartmann Schedel's library was unequalled in fifteenth-century Germany. The Nuremberg physician was interested in virtually all areas of knowledge of the late Middle Ages: rhetoric, astronomy, philosophy, classical and humanist literature, historiography, geography and cosmography, medicine, law, theology. Already during his studies at the universities of Leipzig and Padua in the 1450s and 1460s, he transcribed many works in his own hand. Schedel was able to avail himself of a growing supply of printed books in Nuremberg, a centre of European trade and publishing. He also made use of his international network to acquire new publications from other places. At the end of his long life, Schedel*s library comprised nearly 700 volumes, including many composite volumes with several items. Today, more than 370 manuscripts and 460 printed items from his collection are preserved in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

Even though Schedel stipulated in his last will that the book collection should remain a family heirloom, Schedel*s grandson and heir, Melchior (1516*1571), an imperial soldier, sold his grandfather*s books to the Augsburg merchant Johann Jakob Fugger in 1552. Scarcely 20 years later, Fugger sold his book collection to the Bavarian Duke Albrecht V, who integrated it into the Court Library at Munich.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue available from Allitera Verlag Munich:
Welten des Wissens. Die Bibliothek und die Weltchronik des Nürnberger Arztes Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514)
Munich: Allitera, 2014
168 pp., numerous ills. ISBN: 978-3-86906-657-8. € 24.00

More information can be found on our homepage:

More than 80 of Schedel's manuscripts and all fifteenth-century editions of the World Chronicle are already accessible via
The digital collection is continually expanded.