The Book: Making and Meaning in the Medieval Manuscript - Harvard University



Informazione importanti

  • Corso
  • Online
  • Quando:
    Da definire

Explore the process of creation, and  the relationship between making and meaning, in the illuminated manuscripts of the western Middle Ages.With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

Informazione importanti

Dove e quando

Inizio Luogo
Da definire

Cosa impari in questo corso?

Middle Ages
Medieval Manuscript


As books “go digital,” we can appreciate what is gained in terms of convenience, accessibility and interconnectedness. However, we should also consider what is lost as texts transition to a digital sphere.

This module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space seeks to re-introduce learners to the codex – a handwritten and hand-constructed book - as a three-dimensional object whose characteristics produce meaning in the experience of the reader.

This module is designed to walk you through the process of making a medieval manuscript. Using a wide variety of examples from the collections of Harvard’s Houghton Library, it will familiarize you with basic terms and concepts and give you a “feel” for the shapes, sizes, formats, materials and considerations of craft that went into the making of the book as we know it.

Throughout the Middle Ages there existed an intimate relationship between making and meaning. Codices were tactile as well as visual objects designed to engage multiple senses. In the illuminated manuscript, it is often impossible to distinguish neatly between text and image; rather, letters assume imagistic forms and images take the form of letters.

Bookmakers were sensitive to the interplay of materials, from the parchment of the pages to the wooden boards, designed to protect the contents. Each of these elements conditioned a reader’s interaction with the book. Bookmaking required a significant material investment. The production process was laborious and lengthy, involving many separate stages and craftsmen.

Books participated in a wide range of ritual, liturgical, devotional, educational and practical contexts, each of which in turn conditioned the presentation and reception of both their form and content.

What you'll learn
  • The relationship between making and meaning in a medieval manuscript
  • How readers and listeners experienced books in the Middle Ages
  • The process, shapes, sizes, formats, materials and considerations of craft that went into the making of a medieval manuscript

Ulteriori informazioni

Jeffrey F. Hamburger Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Kuno Francke Professor of German Art & Culture in the Department of the History of Art & Architecture at Harvard University, is a specialist in the history of the book in the European Middle Ages. Having received his B.A. and Ph.D. at Yale University, he taught at Oberlin College and the University of Toronto before coming to Harvard University in 2000. Prof. Hamburger is a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences as well as the American Philosophical Society.