The conference is organized by the working group ‘Writing and Writing Practices in the Medieval Low Countries’ (Schrift en Schriftdragers in de Nederlanden in the Middeleeuwen – SSNM), in collaboration with the Huygens Institute-ING and the Regional Historic Center Limburg
This conference is devoted to the physical appearance of documents in the High and Late Middle Ages. Artefacts that survive from medieval written culture can roughly be divided into two categories. On the one hand there are manuscripts – historical, literary and other – which are usually kept in libraries. These objects are carefully catalogued, not just for their contents but also for their material features. Moreover, they frequently feature in studies that are exclusively interested in their physical appearance, discussing, for example, the codicology or palaeography of manuscripts from the same genre (liturgical books, Bibles), location (monastic house, region, country) or scribe. On the other hand, a wide range of documentary material survives from the Middle Ages, which is kept in the archives – charters, registers, cartularies, account books and rolls, and the like. Of these archival documents, mainly charters have been traditionally studied in much detail, quite often combining the research of the external features – palaeography, writing supports, tags and seals – with the study of the internal features, such as language and text structure.
Hitherto, scholars studying the material forms of documents kept in libraries and those researching the records preserved in archives seem to have been living in separate worlds. This conference aims to bring them together by encouraging a material-based focus in the study of documentary sources. Through a broad range of papers it will be shown what kind of studies may be most fruitful, what methods may be used, and how the physical features of documentary sources may impact our understanding of their production and use.
Key lectures will be given by:
Prof. dr. Peter Gumbert (Leiden University)
Prof. dr. Benoît-Michel Tock (Université de Strasbourg)
Abstracts (maximum 500 words, in English) should be sent before October 20 2013 to Dr. Eef Dijkhof (eef.dijkhof [at] huygens.knaw.nl).
For more details please see the attached file below.