Thursday, July 14, 2016

Learning from Medieval Manuscripts

On exhibit in the Hodges Reading room in Jackson Library

“Learning from Medieval Manuscripts”

The University Libraries is fortunate to have in its collections, “Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts.  Western Europe: XII-XVI Century”, a portfolio collection created by Otto F. Ege in the 1940’s, a professor of art history and dean of the Cleveland Institute of Art.  His intent through these portfolios was to provide opportunity for many to view and learn from these individual leaves. 

The selected leaves span through several centuries and across countries, taken from imperfect volumes from Otto Ege’s personal collection.  These manuscripts have provided the university community rare and special opportunities to view first hand historical documents that illustrate a time before mechanical printing was introduced. 

Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives  has made available these medieval manuscripts to university faculty and students through teaching opportunities and research.  Through the years the original storage has become less than perfect.  The preservation division was able to design and create new protective enclosures for these portfolio items to ensure their conservation for the future. 

The exhibit documents the construction of the new enclosures and provides a view of several of the leaves from the collections, presenting some interesting historical facts regarding the creation of medieval manuscripts.

-Audrey Sage