Scribal Arts

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

Medieval scroll text layout

The Got Medieval blog offers a tutorial on laying out a scroll text by a graduate student of medieval studies. The tutorial is done in a very lighthearted way.

Gothic text found in Salisbury Cathedral

Experts working on restoration of the Henry Hyde monument in Salisbury Cathedral have discovered remnants of Gothic text beneath whitewash on the cathedral wall.

Secret Vatican documents published

A collection of 105 documents, some dating back over 1,000 years, has been published in book form by the Vatican. The Vatican Secret Archives features a such diverse documents as a letter from the grandson of Genghis Khan to a 1550 note from Michelangelo demanding payment.

[WES] Selviergard Fun Day

Come out and join in the fun in beautiful downtown Butte on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at the Bodenberg Butte Baptist Church! This is a day to just hang out and schmooze with an informal Collegium with classes in Viking turned shoes, the scribal arts, heraldic display, stitchery, etc. Feel free to bring along any project you are currently working on.

[WES] Heraldic Gathering in Southern Shores

On Saturday, February 27, 2010 Southern Shores will be hosting a Heraldic Gathering at His Grace, Duke Cariadoc's home to assist as many as we possibly can to create submissions to the College of Heralds for their Devices and SCA names.

Drachenwald scribe offers insight into Book of Kells techniques

A recent paper by Cornell paleontologist John Cisne on the repeating patterns in the Book of Kells so intrigued Duchess Nerissa de Saye, who commented on Drachenwald's Dragon Scribes blog, that she asked her father to help "translate" the article into layman's terms.

Belles Heures to be displayed at the Cloisters

Beginning March 2, 2010, the Belles Heures (1405–1408/9) of Jean de Berry, a lavishly-illustrated manuscript, will be on display at the Cloisters Museum in New York. The unbound leaves will remain on display until June 13, 2010. (video)

Celtic Psalter on display for first time at the University of Edinburgh

The Celtic Psalter, Scotland's oldest book, dating to the 11th century, has been placed on display at the University of Edinburgh for the first time in history. The book contains "hand-written psalms in Latin, with Celtic and Pictish illustrations."

Gulf Wars XIX Volunteers Wanted

Several event staff departments are seeking volunteers for Gulf Wars, March 15-20, 2010.

Byzantine Gospel of Mark a forgery say scientists

A recent scientific study of the Archaic Mark, a 44-page codex, believed to be "an important witness to the early text of the gospel," has been proven to be a 19th century forgery according to a team of experts from the university of Chicago.

Medieval Jewish books focus of Bodleian Library exhibit

From December 8, 2009 to May 3, 2010, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University will host Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures, "which tells the story of how Jews, Christians and Muslims have together contributed to the development of the book as an object of great cultural importance."

Archaeologists ponder "Secrets of Shangri-La"

Archaeologists believe they have found Shangra-La in the form of Himalayan caves holding wall paintings, illuminations and 15th century religious texts. (photos)

Swamp Romp photos online

Gleann Abhann Historian, Baroness Barbara Sterling, has posted an album of photos from the recent Swamp Romp event which took place October 17, 2009 in Troll Fen.

For newcomers: SCA Online Demo

New to the SCA? Want to know information about the Society and what activities are available? Check out the SCA Online Demo, a collection of articles and photos relating to activities in the SCA.

BBC looks "Behind the Book of Omens"

On its website, BBC America has posted a series of videos on the Freer and Sackler Galleries exhibit Falnama: Behind the Book of Omens, the exhibit, which runs through January 24, 2010. The exhibit focuses on "a group of rare and unusual manuscripts that were once used to explore the unknown through divination in 16th- and 17th-century Iran and Turkey."

[WES] Heralds' Collegium

All are welcome to a day of classes for both heralds and scribes, including some crossover material, like how to read the tricky hand that you're sure was done by a drunken weasel that the award scroll is in, and what exactly does "a fish counter-urinant, rayonny-fitchy pean" mean. There will be other classes as well, and an open scribal all day. Please see the heralds' website: www.heralds.westkingdom.org for further information.

The inspiration of flowers

Jehan, Giles, and Yseult of the he Royal College and Confraternity of Scribes and Illuminators of the Kingdom of Lochac have created a marvelous website to inspired scribes to use symbolic flowers and plants in their artwork. An Introduction to Floral Symbolism in Manuscript Illumination features illuminated flowers and short descriptions of their symbolic meanings.

13th century Perth Charter restored

The year-long project to restore the Royal Charter of the city of Perth, Scotland has been completed. The status of Royal Burgh was given to Perth in 1210 by King William the Lion of Scotland. (photo)

[GLE] Havoc

HAVOC featuring this year's Gleann Abhann Heraldic & Scribal Symposium October 30 - November 1, 2009

Combat (and more) in Peace Park

SCA members from the Kingdom of Calontir spent the afternoon of October 17 at Peace Park, on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Missouri. Dan Brenner of the Columbia Missourian was on hand to chronicle their armoured fighting and the more peaceful scribal crafts.

The St. Albans Psalter to be displayed in Germany

The St. Albans Psalter, one of the world's best examples of manuscripts from the Romanesque period, is a cherished possession of the the Dombibliothek Hildesheim in Hildesheim, Germany. The removal of its binding has enabled the Dom-Museum Hildesheim to display individual leaves from the book in a special exhibit which will run December 9, 2009 until January 24, 2010. (photos)

7th century Islamic manuscripts from the J.J. Marcel collection online

In 1864, the Imperal Library of Russia acquired the "collection of ancient Kufic Qur'ans on parchment bought from Mme Desnoyer, heiress of Arabist Marcel who was among the members of the learned French expedition to Egypt equipped by Bonapart," a magnificent set of about 2000 parchment leaves in Arabic, illuminated in full color and gold.

Kells beauty "in the (crossed) eyes of the creators"

The intricate and precise artwork of the manuscripts of 7th and 8th century England and Ireland, including the Book of Kells, has amazed artists and scholars for centuries. Now paleontologist John Cisne believes he knows how it was done. (photo)

Nuremberg Mahzor on display at the Israel Museum

In celebration of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new Year, officials at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem are displaying the Nuremberg Mahzor, a 14th century collection of "handwritten Ashkenazi, or northern European, prayers and liturgical poems." The manuscript is considered the largest surviving text of its kind with only 7 of its 528 pages missing.

Old Norse manuscripts online

The website Wikimedia Commons has digital images of several Old Norse manuscripts available to view online. The site also has brief information about the documents.

Byzantine seal found near Varna

Bulgarian archaeologists working at a medieval monastery near the Bulgarian city of Varna have discovered a 10th century Byzantine seal believed to have belonged to an imperial protospatario in Constantinople.

Codex Sinaiticus now available online

After years of restoration and digitalization, the Codex Sinaiticus, the earliest surviving Christian Bible, is now available online.

Making medieval manuscripts

Anyone teaching classes on how to make medieval manuscripts will want to take a look at the Free Library of Philadelphia's website on How Illuminated Manuscripts were Made, which takes visitors through the process of creating a manuscript from parchmenter to bookseller.

How to cook a porpoise

Richard II's recipe for cooking a porpoise is now available online. The recipe is included in a new digitized version of The Forme of Cury, the 15th century text long used by historians to re-create medieval recipes. (video)

Remnant of medieval book found in Bulgarian churchyard

Experts are studying the silver and gold casing of a medieval book dating to the end of the 14th century discovered recently in the yard of St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria.