Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stories for Medievalists from American Libraries Direct

Uncovering the text of the New Testament
A £1.1 million ($1.8 million US) campaign by Cambridge University Library in the UK to secure one of the most important New Testament manuscripts, the 7th-century Codex Zacynthius, has been a success. The library, which holds but does not own the codex, reached its appeal target after the National Heritage Memorial Fund recognized its importance and stepped in with a grant. The manuscript (a palimpsest) will now undergo multispectral imaging and x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to enrich a new generation of research on the text....
Cambridge University Library, Sept. 12

Medieval supermodels
Erik Kwakkel writes: “This post is devoted to a particularly attractive and rare kind of medieval manuscript: the model book. A feast to the eye, the book is filled with drawings and paintings that were meant to show scribes and illuminators how to decorate letters, paint initials, or add large segments of decoration to the page. Within this tradition, two types of model books can be distinguished. Some functioned as instruction manuals, while others were a source of inspiration.”...
medievalbooks, Sept. 12

Medieval scribes getting personal
Erik Kwakkel writes: “Words found in the margins of a medieval book, placed there ‘extra-textually’ by scribes and readers, can provide information about the production circumstances of a given manuscript and the attitude of scribes or readers towards a text. In most books, there was ample room to add such details, because on average a stunning 50% of the medieval page was left blank. It is in this vast emptiness, so often overlooked in editions of texts, that we may pick up key information about the long life of the book.”...
medievalbooks, Sept. 5

And, just for fun:

IKEA’s bookbook video hit
IKEA’s new video touting the power of a good old-fashioned print catalog has generated more than 7.7 million online views in less than a week. “Experience the Power of a Bookbook” (2:28) introduces viewers to a device that “changes the way we live” (the new IKEA catalog), parodying the tone and language Apple uses to market its gadgets. In the IKEA spot, a “chief design guru” highlights the so-called bookbook’s specs and innovative features, such as an “eternal” battery life and “pre-installed” content....
Wall Street Journal: CMO Today, Sept. 8; YouTube, Sept. 3


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