– notes, frequently asked questions and useful links from the archivist and curator of manuscripts at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Opinions expressed are the author's own.

Posts tagged “Unlocking Archives

Unlocking Archives MT16 (2)

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.

MS455-06r-200dpi

MS455-06r-200dpi

Tuesday 29 November (MT8), 1-2pm, Prof. Elliott Horowitz (Oliver Smithies Visiting Fellow 2014-15) on this term’s exhibition, ‘Look to the rock from which you were hewn’: Hebraica and Judaica at Balliol College.

All welcome! Feel free to bring your lunch. The talks will last about half an hour, to allow time for questions and discussion afterwards, and a closer look at some of the Balliol special collections material discussed. St Cross is next door to Holywell Manor; see ‘Finding Us’ at http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Services/visit.asp#f


Unlocking Archives MT16 (1)

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.

cythara1

Wednesday 16 November (MT6), 1-2pm, Prof. Matthew Balensuela (Depauw), ‘The Music Theory Booklet Balliol 173A ff. 74r–81v: Copying and Content of an Early Medieval Theory Compendium’

Balliol MS 173A is a codex created in the fifteenth century that combines selections of Aristotle (ff. 1-73) with a collection of early music theory (ff. 74‑119). The first music fascicle, ff. 74-81, stands apart from the rest of the music portion (works of Guido and a tonary) in several ways: it has handwriting different from the rest of the codex; it ends with a blank verso that could have served as the back cover of a small booklet; and it features elaborate illustrations found nowhere else in the collection.

Through an analysis of the codicological and orthographical evidence and the contents, I argue that Balliol 173A, ff. 74–81 was originally a self-standing booklet, originally copied around the twelfth century and that one of the main purposes for creating such a booklet was not merely to perpetuate the contents (works by Cassiodorus, Isidore, and Aurélien of Réôme), but also to teach scribes musical terminology and to create a brief reference work of basic musical ideas and concepts. Scribes represent an audience for music theory texts unstudied in the history of music theory. The creators and users of this booklet may not have been interested in learning music theory, nor in performing or composing music. Rather, this booklet may demonstrate how scribes untrained in music learned the basic meanings of the words they were copying and how to lay out pages that combine both text and examples.

* * *

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 some of the Balliol special collections material discussed. St Cross is next door to Holywell Manor; see ‘Finding Us’ at http://archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Services/visit.asp#f


display from the college archives

A small display in Balliol’s Historic Collections Centre at St Cross Church, Holywell, for the Friends of Reading Abbey, 8 July 2015

Copy of DSCN0076

DSCN0071

scan of seal dorse presented with reading copy of deed and transcript adapted slightly from Salter

DSCN0068

display case with original deed and supporting facsimiles and transcript

DSCN0070

original deed was flattened long ago – conservators probably wouldn’t do this now, but it does make it easier to display

DSCN0069

with much-magnified scan print of seal face – beautiful and in pretty good shape

D6-21r

recto of document, face of seal

D6-21-001

detailed scan of seal face

D6-21v

verso of document, with endorsements, and seal

D6-21ra

black and white contrast-tweaked crop of the document for easier reading of the text

Copy of DSCN0073Transcription:

Oxford, Balliol College Archives D6.21 Gifts by the abbot of Reading towards the building of the chapel of St Katherine.         

1 January 1327/8. [Salter Oxford Deeds of Balliol College 584, adapted slightly]

1 Nouerint uniuersi per presentes  quod dominus Nicholaus de Quappelade dei gracia Abbas Radyng’ liberauit sco

2 laribus domus de Balliolo in Oxonia viginti libras sterlingorum pro anima Ade le Poleter burgensis Radyng’

3 ad fabricam capelle sancte Katerine eiusdem domus. Item dedit predictus Abbas prefatis scolaribus decem marcas

4 argenti ad fabricam capelle predicte quas ab eodem Abbate per duo scripta obligatoria prius ex mutuo receperunt.

5 Dedit eciam predictus Abbas prefatis scolaribus unam fenestram vitream precii decem librarum & amplius

6 pro capella supradicta. Summa tocius xxxvj libras xiij s. iiij d. Item dedit eis meremium, lathes, & alia minuta

7 cum cariageo eorundem, que hic in specie non numerantur. In cuius rei testimonium tam predictus Abbas quam predicti

8 scolares presenti intenture alternatim sigilla sua apposuerunt. Hijs testibus magistro Thoma Othom tunc

9 Cancellario Uniuersitatis Oxon’, magistro Nicholao de Luceby tunc custode predicte domus, magistro Nicholao de

10 Tyngewyk’ & custode sigilli communis predictorum scholarium & multis alijs. Et remanebit una pars huius

11 indenture penes predictos scolares & alia pars penes custodem altaris capelle beate Marie virginis infra

12 Abbathiam Radyng’. Dat’ apud Radyng’ die veneris in festo Circumcisionis domini  Anno domini millesimo

13 Tricentesimo vicesimo septimo.

Red seal 2.5 in x 1.75 in, bishop [?abbot] in mitre and chasuble, with book and pastoral staff. Legend: S’ NICHI’ DEI GRA… [?EPISCOPI] …ILCE.SIS.

Copy of DSCN0075

 

A number of other documents from early in the college’s history were also on display, and visitors were interested in the history of the building and the other print and manuscript special collections kept as St Cross as well as the college’s administrative records. Our student intern explained his summer research project, working on another part of the college archives: the library’s 17th century book borrowing registers. Stay tuned here for some of his findings later in the summer…

 

 

 

Copy of DSCN0072


#DIYdigitization

Do you have photos of manuscripts held in Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries? now you can make them available to other researchers via their Special Collections #DIYdigitization‬ group: have a look! https://www.flickr.com/groups/bodspecialcollections

There are instructions for naming/shelfmarking/tagging your uploads so others can find them, and so photos of the same ms from different contributors can find each other.

Balliol researchers are encouraged to do the same https://www.flickr.com/photos/balliolarchivist/collections/72157631849081491/

Opening access to archives and manuscripts, one click at a time…


Unlocking Archives talks, Hilary Term 2015

Two Unlocking Archives coming up in Hilary Term 2015:

1) Professor Stephen F. Brown, Boston College: Lessons Learned from Balliol Commentaries on Peter Lombard’s Sentences. Monday 23 February 2015 (HT week 6), 1-2 pm

Stephen Brown is Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute of Medieval Philosophy and Theology at Boston College (Massachusetts, USA), and is an Oliver Smithies Lecturer at Balliol for Hilary Term 2015. Stephen has published monographs on William of Ockham, St. Bonaventure, and Thomas Aquinas, and many of his scholarly articles include Latin text editions based on Balliol College manuscripts.

Prof. Brown’s talk will examine academic discussion of Peter Lombard’s Sentences in the theological community of fourteenth-century Oxford, with reference to and illustrations from Balliol manuscripts.

2) Emily Freeman, Ruskin College of Fine Art: John Evelyn’s Trees: the art of Sylva. Friday 6 March (HT week 7), 1-2 pm

Emily is a second year undergraduate at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and lover of foliage and shrubbery. Her talk will examine the different illustration schemes that have accompanied Evelyn’s Sylva, and discuss the influence of historic illustration and special collections on her own artistic practice.

All welcome! All talks are held at Balliol Historic Collections Centre, St Cross Church, Manor Road. Feel free to bring your lunch. The talks will last about half an hour, to allow time for questions and discussion afterwards, and a closer look at some of the Balliol special collections material discussed.


Unlocking Archives 8

     Lunchtime talk: Unlocking Archives

– current research in Balliol College’s special collections –

DSCN7460ab

The Index of Images in Oxford College Libraries:

an overview of the Project

Dr Lynda Dennison

Friday 22 November (Oxford MT week 6), 1-2 pm

Balliol Historic Collections Centre

St Cross Church, Manor Road

* all welcome *

A survey of the scope and method of the project, which aims to compile an index of images in Oxford College Libraries from the time of Chaucer to Henry VIII, illustrated with special reference to the medieval manuscripts collection at Balliol College.

For the past six years Lynda Dennison has been a researcher for the Index of images in English manuscripts from the time of Chaucer to Henry VIII, c.1380-c. 1509, general editor Kathleen Scorr, and has lectured in the History of Art at the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education and the Oxford Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Feel free to bring your lunch. The talk will last no more than half an hour, to allow time for questions and discussion afterwards, and a closer look at some of the Balliol manuscripts discussed.

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manuscripts produced:

  • 037
  • 080
  • 081
  • 092
  • 093
  • 101
  • 219
  • 219
  • 228
  • 235
  • 264
  • 286
  • 290

Unlocking Archives 7

Unlocking Archives :

a series of lunchtime talks about current research
in Balliol College’s special collections

The Archaeology of the Book of Kells

Dr Ian Mertling-Blake

Friday 1 November (Oxford MT week 3) 1 pm

A thirty-minute minute illustrated introduction to decorative motifs adapted by illustrators of the Book of Kells, suggesting possible megalithic, prehistoric, early historic origins, that they draw on disparate artistic traditions and imitate metalworking and enamelling techniques exemplified by masterpieces like The Tara Brooch, The Alfred Jewell, Ardagh Chalice etc. There will be an opportunity to examine a copy of splendidly accurate full-colour reproduction published by Faksimile Verlag, Lucern for Trinity College Dublin in1990.

The Scottish poet Ian Blake (Balliol ‘65) graduate of TCD, whose doctoral thesis was supervised by the late Dame Kathleen Kenyon, directed excavations at sites he discovered on the west shore of the Dead Sea until, after the ’67Arab-Israeli War, the UN designated the area ‘Disputed Territory’ which it remains.

All welcome! Feel free to bring your lunch.

The talks will last about half an hour, to allow time for questions and discussion afterwards and a closer look at some of the Balliol MSS discussed.

All Unlocking Archives talks take place at Balliol’s Historic Collections Centre, St Cross Church, Manor Road OX1 3UH (next door to Holywell Manor). Map & directions