Scribal Arts

Calligraphy, illumination, paper making, bookbinding, printing, and related sciences and arts

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight digital manuscript

Murray McGillivray of the Cotton Nero A.x. Project reports that 180 high resolution, color images from the British Library's MS Cotton Nero A.x are now available to view on the website of the University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources. The manuscript includes the complete story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Mesa parishioners undertake "scriptorium" project

A group of women from St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Mesa, Arizona, have created their own medieval scriptorium. Under the leadership of SCA member Lee Kitts, the women have completed the Book of Genesis, with plans to finish the other 65 books of the Old and New Testaments. Maria Polletta of Azcentral.com has the story. (slideshow)

10th century pen nibs found in Bulgaria

Archaeologists have discovered a set of 11 bronze pen nibs dating back to the Age of Simeon I of Bulgaria. The artifacts were found at the site of a royal palace and church complex that housed a literary school during that time period.

Cursed in Kent

Poor Sacratus, Constitutus and Memorianus must have had a bad time in Roman Kent, England. Their names were found among 11 others on a lead "curse tablet" discovered recently by the Maidstone Area Archaeological Group.

16th century woman's prayer book reissued for modern readers

Seder Nashim, a 16th century siddur for women, and written in the Ladino language, is being reissued in Hebrew by the Ben Zvi Institute. The book The book was written by Rabbi Meir Benbenishti.

Theft of Codex Calixtinus alleged to be an inside job

Four people, including the former caretaker at Santiago de Compostela cathedral, have been arrested for the 2011 theft of the Codex Calixtinus Of Pope Calixtus II, a 12th-century collection of sermons and liturgical passages.

Free medieval computer fonts

The website Fontspace offers a number of medieval or medieval-like computer fonts on their website. The fonts are available to download free with an account.

Medieval documents from five Jerusalem libraries to be available online

The Arabic Manuscripts Digital Library of Jerusalem reports that it will make thousands of Arabic language documents, dating to the early Islamic era, available to access on the internet.

Durham University prepares for arrival of the Lindisfarne Gospels

Officials at Durham Cathedral and University are readying themselves for the arrival of the 1,300-year-old Lindisfarne Gospels at the university in 2013, with such activities as a concert by the newly formed Lindisfarne Gospels Community Choir.

[DRA] Maerlants World

Jacob van Maerlant, popularly known as "father of all Dutch poets" is a famous dutch writer and poet of the 13th century (1230/1300), the first - or at least the most prolific - writer at the time to write in Dutch instead of Latin. His works include retelling of the arthurian legends, the history of Troy, a treaty on how to be a good ruler, a bestiary and more. We're taking his work as inspiration for this event.

13th century Aberdeen Bestiary on display

The Aberdeen Bestiary, a 13th century illustrated book of animals, will be on display at Aberdeen University for the first time. The book, which once belonged Henry VIII, has been in the care of the university for nearly four centuries. (photos)

Medieval Scribal Complaints about Working Conditions

Ever wonder what the medieval scribe thought about while laboriously copying manuscript after manuscript?  "New parchment, bad ink; I say nothing more," wrote one in the margins. "I am very cold," complained another.

Using science to read the Archimedes palimpsest

In a TEDTalks video on YouTube, ancient books curator William Noel discusses "the fascinating story behind the Archimedes palimpsest, a Byzantine prayer book containing previously-unknown original writings from ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes and others." (video)

British Library successful in purchase of St Cuthbert's Gospel

In 2010, the British Library began its quest to own the St Cuthbert Gospel, a manuscript discovered in 1104 when the saint's coffin was opened after a Viking raid. The book was finally acquired from the Society of Jesus (British Province), or Jesuits, for UK£9m.

"Absolutely fantastic" digitization project by Oxford and Vatican libraries funded

A US$3.17 million , four-year project, funded by the Polonsky Foundation, will make available for the first time materials from the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford.

Welsh manuscript to go up for auction

A very rare 14th century manuscript written in medieval Welsh will be put up for sale by Southeby's auction house. The manuscript is only one of two medieval Welsh documents known outside of the UK.

Sribes of the Known World Pennsic Gathering

The Kingdom of Æthelmearc is proud to host the Known World Scribal Gathering at Pensic 41. The Scribes of the Knowne World are hereby invited to a get-together hosted by the Kingdom of Æthelmearc. Bring your portfolios to share.

The Gathering will be held in Æthelmearc Royal on Monday, August 6th, 2012 from 3pm-5pm.

Photos of silk banner making class in Northshield

Sara reports that she has posted an album of photos from the Silk Banner Class taught by HSH Luce Tolle at the recent Stellar University of Northshield (SUN).

Rare black-tinted Flemish manuscripts online

In the second half of the 15th century, the noble families of Burgundy were privileged to enjoy illuminated books with black tinted pages, scribed with gold and silver script. Examples of these rare and magnificent manuscripts may be viewed on artist Daniel Mitsui's blog, The Lion & the Cardinal.

[EAS] All Things Scribal

The people of the Barony of L’Ile du Dragon Dormant are pleased to offer a day of classes dedicated to ALL THINGS SCRIBAL. The day will offer a range of classes ranging from basic introductions to more advanced tips and tricks for experts.

British Library announces plan to digitize Persian documents

The PARSA Community Foundation is teaming up with the British Library and others to provide online access to the Library's 11,000 Iranian manuscripts, one of the largest and best known in the world. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

1000 years of London's records in new book

A new book by David Pearson looks at 1000 years of records for the city of London. London 1000 Years: Treasures from the Collections of the City of London is reviewed by Paul Lay on the History Today website.

"Twelve Knights of Atlantia" online

Lady Merwenna de Rannowe reports that the Twelve Knights of Atlantia, an illuminated book commissioned by Duchess Seonaid, with original poetry by Maitresse Maaline Renard and illuminated by Lady Merwenna, is now available to view online.

Byzantine exhibit showcased on History Today website

The May 2012 issue of History Today features a slideshow from a major exhibition at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art: Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition. The exhibit runs through July 8, 2012.

Research reveals Middle Ages' dirtiest books

New research by experts at St Andrews University in Scotland reveals the reading habits of medieval people by determining accumulations of dirt on each page.

Fighting threatens historic Timbuktu

Fighting following a military junta in northern Mali is threatening the historic architectural and cultural center of Timbuktu, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. The city's 60 private libraries are a repository for over 700,000 ancient Islamic manuscripts.

King James Bible featured at Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas

The Folger Shakespeare Library and the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford are sponsoring the exibition The King James Bible: Its History and Influence February 28 - July 29, 2012 at the Harry Ransom Center of the university of Texas in Austin.

Lochac website showcases work of Kingdom scribes

The Provost of Scribes for the Kingdom of Lochac, Caristiona nic Beathain, reports that new content has been placed on the Lochac College of Scribes website, showcasing the marvelous work of the Kingdom's calligraphers and illuminators.

Medieval Estonian documents go online

The oldest written documents in Estonia are now online thanks to a joint project between the Estonian State Archives and the Estonian History Museum. The oldest documents data from the mid 13th century.

Illuminated treasures from the British Library on YouTube

In a six-part video series available on YouTube, Dr Janina Ramirez "unlocks the secrets of illuminated manuscripts that were custom-made for kings and explores the medieval world they reveal."