Against ‘Iberic Crudity’:
Balliol MS 238E, Bodleian MS Douce 204,
and Laurentius Dyamas
Anna Espínola Lynn, MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture (Wadham College, Oxford), will be speaking on the transmission of style in fifteenth-century Catalan manuscript production.
All welcome! Feel free to bring your lunch. The talk will last about half an hour, to allow time for questions and discussion afterwards, and a closer look at the Balliol manuscript discussed.
Unlocking Archives is an interdisciplinary graduate seminar series of illustrated lunchtime talks about current research in Balliol College’s historic collections: archives, manuscripts and early printed books, and the connections between them.
Talks take place at 1pm in Balliol’s Historic Collections Centre in St Cross Church, Holywell. St Cross is next door to Holywell Manor and across the road from the English & Law faculties on Manor Road; directions http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Services/visit.asp#f.
Post by Rachel McDonald, Assistant Librarian
On Tuesday, Balliol’s Historic Collections Centre at St Cross Church hosted a session on early printed books for students on Oxford’s MSt programme in English Literature 1550-1700, specifically the course on ‘Bibliography, Theories of Text, History of the Book, Manuscript Studies’. The session was led by Dr Adam Smyth and the books on display were chosen for the manuscript interventions that they contain, which evidence readers’ interaction with the texts and the actual physical books. They included:
- A 1633 edition of Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia (also containing The Defence of Poesie and Astrophel and Stella), with scraps of manuscript music in the binding and an ink geometrical diagram on the front free endleaf;
- Margaret Cavendish’s Poems, and Phancies (1664) with four lines of verse in ink on the inside upper board;
- A volume from the extensive tract collection of Nicholas Crouch (student and fellow of the College, 1634-1690) containing pamphlets on natural wonders such as floods and earthquakes, alongside pamphlets detailing murders and other news items!
As well as supporting the students’ studies in a very obvious and tangible way – yes, the students were allowed to handle the books! – the session provided them with an insight into the practicalities of academic research in this field. Like some of the items on display, there is much early printed material in college libraries that is uncatalogued or, at the very best, under-catalogued. Fiona (Acting Librarian) encouraged the students to take advantage of the expertise and knowledge of College Librarians, and warned against relying on SOLO for a definitive answer to all college collection enquiries.