Education

Claire Bolton, ‘Fallen’ type letters

See bolton_fallen-type online

 

Second History of Libraries Summer School, Lincoln College – 3-5 July 2017

The second Lincoln Summer School in the History of Libraries was another spectacular success, thanks to a very strong programme, the generosity of knowledge and time of the 15cBOOKTRADE team and of the librarians involved in the teaching and presentations, the professionalism and friendliness of Lincoln College staff, and a perfectly balanced selection of attendees.

This year we focused on the 15cBOOKTRADE digital tools. Data and visualisations from MEI and TEXT-inc databases will inform the content of the International Conference and Exhibition which will take place in Venice in September 2018 to mark the end of the project.

Therefore we wanted to offer libraries the opportunity to train a member of staff or a collaborating scholar in the use of the four digital tools to assure that material from their libraries will be represented in the Conference and Exhibition.

The School started with a visit to the libraries of Lincoln College led by Lucy Matheson, before settling into the Oakeshott and Langford Rooms for the teaching and workshop sections on:

Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI) http://15cbooktrade.ox.ac.uk/distribution-use/

which is specifically designed to record and search the material evidence of 15th-century printed books: ownership, decoration, binding, manuscript annotations, stamps, prices, etc. Locating and dating any of these elements enables the movement of books across Europe and the US to be tracked throughout the centuries, from place of production to the books’ present locations (see also Imprint September 2015 issue).

TEXT-inc  http://15cbooktrade.ox.ac.uk/texts/

which, continuing the pioneering text descriptions of the Bodleian catalogue of incunabula, Bod-inc, is designed to host and make searchable the corpus of texts printed in the 15th century, including secondary works and paratext.

 15cV http://15cv.trade

the visualisation tool applied to the circulation of books over time and space, introduced by a video created for the project by Simon Walton, formerly of the Oxford e-Research centre: https://vimeo.com/172076861. The purpose of the video is to present to a larger audience the life of incunabula, from the time they are printed in the late fifteenth century, to the time they enter the libraries where they are today; the formation and dispersal of libraries; and the circulation of texts.

There are very clear temporal and spatial coordinates attached to the life cycle of a book which can be visualised: when and where it was printed, and where it is today. What the 15cBOOKTRADE uniquely offers on top of these is the difficult part, what happens in between, during the 500 years in which books were distributed, often away from their printing place, used, annotated, and collected by people of different professions, status, and gender, in different countries at different times.

Image-matching. Matilde Malaspina, member of the 15cBOOKTRADE and DPhil student at Lincoln under the supervision of C. Dondi, and Abhishek Dutta, Research fellow in the Visual Geometry Group at the Department of Engineering Sciences of Oxford University, introduced the work on image-annotation and image-matching technology applied to 15th-century illustration. A number of attendees were able to test the new software application, while others were introduced to the application of the MEI model (that is using provenance evidence to track the movement of books through time and space) to 16th-century printed material: C. Dondi showed the PATRIMONiT database (https://www.cerl.org/resources/patrimonit/main), developed by CERL for the project of Laura Carnelos, Marie Curie Fellow at CERL: ‘From Cheap Print to Rare Ephemera: 16th-Century Italian ‘Popular’ Books at the British Library’.

Time was generously allocated for creating MEI records under the supervision of experienced MEI editors (including Oxford DPhil and new MEI editors Hannah Ryley and James Misson); we also found time to look at the records together on a large screen, and this offered the opportunity to discuss important issues such as dating, what to do with anonymous annotations, the use of archival material, and so on.

Each day after lunch we visited a different library: at Magdalen College Daryl Green had prepared a rich and wonderful selection of the college’s heavily used material; at Trinity College Sharon Cure and Alan Coates introduced us to some of the treasures on display on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the foundation of the Old Library, including the Sermons of Leo I printed in Rome in 1470, whose early Venetian ownership was recently identified by the joint expertise on decoration and heraldry of Lilian Armstrong and Martin Davies, both 15cBOOKTRADE’s advisors. At the Weston Library Alan Coates and Francesca Galligan (Rare Books Dept. Bodleian Library) had prepared a glorious display of the finest incunabula in the library’s collection, such as the Mainz Canon Missae (1458), the Douce Pliny, the camouflaged Paris Missal, etc.

PARTICIPANTS

The 13 people who attended the Summer School came from seven different countries: Greece (2), Italy (3), Lithuania (1), Scotland (1), Spain (1), England (4 including our two DPhil students and one MA student), the United States (1). A balanced combination of specialist librarians and scholars, young and senior, all with an interest in early printed books. Again more women (11) than men (3).

Among the 6 specialist librarians were Robert Betteridge, the National Library of Scotland, Irini Solomonidi, The Gennadius Library in Athens, Eric White, Princeton University Library, Emma Sillett, of Merton College Library, Viktorija Vaitkevičiūtė, University Library of Vilnius, and Cristiana Iommi, Biblioteca comunale Spezioli of Fermo (The Marche). DPhil students came from Greece, Italy, and Spain, as well as Oxford.

TESTIMONIALS:

A questionnaire was circulated after the School, enquiring about the overall experience, their view of the balance between visits, lectures, and workshops; Oxford and Lincoln College as a location; the quality of the visits, the speakers, and the digital tools; the topics; the overall organisation; and their impression of fellow colleagues; what they found most useful, was there anything that we should consider doing differently, or that we should add. Responses, which could be filled in anonymously, were all overwhelmingly positive:

“Direct in-person instruction during 3-day immersion”, plenty of time to create records, and collective revision of the records were found most useful during the workshop. “To be able to contribute to the database and the project is very exciting. The colleagues were of a fantastic standing and it was a true privilege to meet such a diverse group of specialists from across the world who pursue a common goal. I was able to learn a lot from them, for which I am thankful”. “The locations and facilities at Lincoln were excellent”, “Lincoln College’s Oakeshott Lecture Room was ideal for small group work and had lots of natural light, which was helpful!”. “The visits were an excellent way of matching the features listed in MEI records to the material texts themselves. I also learned a lot from discussing the books on display with my more experienced colleagues. The speakers were very knowledgeable and conveyed the significance of the c15BOOKTRADE project”. “Perfect organisation! You are a great team (also because you are very funny!)” … “after the Summer School I understood that I have to learn the Italian language!”. Again this year, more than one attendee wished the school lasted five days.

 

The website of the Summer School is still available on

http://www.lincoln.ox.ac.uk/Summer-School-History-of-Libraries

From the organisers’ point of view, the second Summer School confirmed the need to set up an advanced Masters Course in the understanding, use, and care of pre-modern manuscripts, archives, and printed books, with the aim to train the next generation of British and international librarians in the care of special collections, use of advanced digital resources, close collaboration with the research world, and a generation of scholars in any discipline which deals with books not shy of handling and working with primary sources.

Cristina Dondi, Oakeshott Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities, Lincoln College, and the 15cBOOKTRADE Principal Investigator.

 

PHOTO GALLERY

Lincoln College Library
Lincoln College Library

 

Magdalen College Library
Magdalen College Library

 

Daryl Green, Librarian of Magdalen College, explaining the content of marginal annotations.
Daryl Green, Librarian of Magdalen College, explaining the content of marginal annotations.

 

Trinity College Library
Trinity College Library

 

Alan Coates presenting Trinity College Library history and collection.
Alan Coates presenting Trinity College Library history and collection.

 

The display in the Bahari Room, Weston Library. The Mainz Canon Missae at the front, the drawing of Marco Zoppo on the front endleaf of Clemens V’s Constitutiones, and opposite, a rare surviving copy of a Paris Missal, in two volumes, camouflaged in revolutionary legislation.
The display in the Bahari Room, Weston Library. The Mainz Canon Missae at the front, the drawing of Marco Zoppo on the front endleaf of Clemens V’s Constitutiones, and opposite, a rare surviving copy of a Paris Missal, in two volumes, camouflaged in revolutionary legislation.

 

Refreshing and well deserved spritzers in the Rector’s garden!
Refreshing and well deserved spritzers in the Rector’s garden!

 

The full group (unfortunately except for Irini, already on her way back to Athens) together with Prof. Henry Woudhuysen, Rector of Lincoln College, and Lucy Matheson, the College Assistant Librarian (left-hand side).
The full group (unfortunately except for Irini, already on her way back to Athens) together with Prof. Henry Woudhuysen, Rector of Lincoln College, and Lucy Matheson, the College Assistant Librarian (left-hand side).

 

History of Libraries Summer School – Lincoln College, 13-15 July 2016

Go to our PICTURE GALLERY

The first Lincoln Summer School in the History of libraries was a spectacular success, thanks to a very strong programme, the generosity of knowledge and time of the many Oxford colleagues involved in the teaching and presentations, the professionalism and friendliness of Lincoln College staff, and a perfectly balanced selection of attendees.

The programme focused on the application of the digital humanities to the transmission, preservation, and dispersal of the European written heritage between the 15th and 16th centuries. Oxford scholars and digital projects lead the way in the fields of the transmission of written heritage, the history of libraries, and in the development of cutting-edge digital tools, funded by important institutions and in collaboration with research libraries in Europe and the United States.

The Summer School involved a series of five visits (Merton, Weston, Lincoln, Bodleian, All Souls), ten lectures, and eleven hours of workshops on primary sources and specialist databases.

Visits started with the medieval library of Merton College, led by Julia Walworth, Research Fellow and Librarian of the college, who also exhibited their earliest borrowing list. We then moved to the Visiting Scholars Centre of the new Weston Library, where Irene Ceccherini (Lyell-Bodleian Research Fellow in Manuscript Studies and Dilts Research Fellow, Lincoln College) presented manuscript material from the Bodleian’s Canonici collection, James Willoughby (Research Fellow at New College) manuscripts from English medieval libraries, Alan Coates and Francesca Galligan (Rare Books Dept. Bodleian Library) incunabula, sixteenth-century printed material, and the Bodleian’s rich documentary sources for the reconstruction of its collections – acquisitions registers from 1602, the purchase ledger of Albert Ehrman, whose outstanding Broxbourne Collection was donated to the library in 1978.

The school then moved to Lincoln College, where Richard Sharpe (Professor of Diplomatic, University of Oxford) offered an illuminating lecture on the development of medieval libraries in Great Britain, followed by James Willoughby on the digital resources created to investigate them. As Professor Sharpe’s opening remarks reminded us, “when studying the survival of medieval libraries in Great Britain we have to learn how to deal with fragments”. The chief tool is Medieval Libraries of Great Britain, digital version MLGB3 which brings together two standard research tools for medieval libraries: Neil Ker’s Medieval Libraries of Great Britain and the British Academy series, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues. MLGB3 is a comprehensive project that reconstructs the contents of medieval institutional libraries by uniting two categories of evidence for the medieval provision of books: first, the extant library catalogues and booklists and other documentary sources; and second, the surviving books themselves that bear evidence on which a judgement of provenance can be made. A key component is the List of Identifications, the cumulative index of identified authors and works, which contains more than 30,000 entries for provenanced copies of about 7,500 texts, and it is still growing.

The day moved on to fifteenth-century printed books, incunabula, with a lecture by Cristina Dondi on the database

Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI)

which is specifically designed to record and search the material evidence of 15th-century printed books: ownership, decoration, binding, manuscript annotations, stamps, prices, etc. Locating and dating any of these elements  enables the movement of books across Europe and the US to be tracked throughout the centuries, from place of production to the books’ present locations; (see also Imprint September 2015 issue).

The Group moved to Lincoln College Library, where Fiona Piddock, the College Librarian, introduced the history of the remarkable building, and Sarah Cusk and Rahel Fronda (Western and Hebrew Antiquarian Cataloguers, Lincoln College) presented some of the many treasures from the Senior Library. Back in the Oakeshott Room, Professor Henry Woudhuysen, Lincoln’s Rector, offered a wide-ranging lecture on the continuation of production and use of English manuscripts after the invention of printing.

The first intense day of the Summer School ended with a lovely dinner at St Edmund’s Hall, where we were received by Nigel Palmer, emeritus Professor of Medieval German Literature and an advisor to the 15cBOOKTRADE Project, who also showed us the College’s Senior Library and gardens after dinner.

On the second day Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, gave us a lecture in the Weston Lecture Theatre on the history of the Bodleian Library and on the ongoing plan to write a new history of it, but taking the distance from the traditional insiders’ approach, trying instead to focus on different approaches, including the intellectual output resulting from the use of the library. Richard also took the time to show the school around Duke Humfrey’s library, the Divinity School, and Convocation House.

Back at Lincoln, Prof. Sharpe offered a magisterial excursus on the transmission of texts during the patristic and medieval times, which was followed on by Dondi’s lecture on the transmission of texts in print and the database TEXT-inc .

which, continuing the pioneering text descriptions of the Bodleian catalogue of incunabula, Bod-inc, is designed to host and make searchable the corpus of texts printed in the 15th century, including secondary works and paratext.

In the afternoon, Matilde Malaspina, member of the 15cBOOKTRADE and DPhil student at Lincoln under the supervision of Dr Dondi, introduced the work on image-matching technology applied to fifteenth-century illustration.

Then the workshop sessions on 15cBOOKTRADE databases started, with a group working on the image annotation software (led by Matilde Malaspina), another on Text-inc (led by Alessandra Panzanelli Fratoni), and three groups on MEI (led by Geri Della Rocca de Candal, Sabrina Minuzzi, and Cristina Dondi): some attendees had brought provenance material from incunabula in their libraries, such as the Wellcome Library in London, the University of Warsaw, the Scientific Library of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Polish Academy of Sciences, the National and University Library of Ljubljana, the Correr and Cini libraries of Venice; the others trained using information that we received from a private collector, John Gordan. The impressive collection created by his grandfather Howard Lehman Goodhart in the 1940s was in part donated to Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania (some 1013 editions), in part is still kept in the family. John Gordan provided the 15cBOOKTRADE with a digital reproduction of the 1940s typewritten catalogue which we started to input into MEI. The most immediate result of this work is a collaboration with Bryn Mawr, whose librarian, Eric Pomeroy, got in touch to provide further information and images of the provenance evidence inside the books.

The second day of the school ended with a visit to All Souls College led by the College Librarian, Gaye Morgan, and a tour de force lecture on the production and distribution of the European academic book in print by Ian Maclean, emeritus Professor of Renaissance Studies, which touched upon many extraordinary volumes set up in an exhibition and illustrated in a leaflet especially printed for the Summer School visit.

The beautiful Summer evening dinner was spent along the river Cherwell, at the Cherwell Boathouse.

The final day of the school concentrated on more training time spent on the databases, with the objective of having everybody working confidently on the new resources so that they can continue on after the school. In the afternoon there were short presentations by some of the participants involved in other, relevant, projects or about their library:

Vicky Gerontopulou presented the work on Greek heritage collections of the Onassis Foundantion. Fryderyk Rozen presented an assessment of the cataloguing of incunabula in Poland. Silvia Manzi presented her PhD research on censorship in Italy and the use of the vernacular. Laura Carnelos on her PATRIMONTiT project funded by a Marie Curie grant to study the historical and cultural context surrounding the survival, in the British Library, of rare Italian sixteenth-century popular editions which are not preserved today in any Italian library. Sonja Svoljšak on the reconstruction of the scientific library collection of Žiga Zois‘ (1747-1819), now in the National and University Library of Ljubljana. Paulina Pludra-Żuk on tracking the manuscript production and circulation in Poland of the Aurora by Peter Riga, a 12th-century versed Bible.

The day and the school concluded with the video presentation of scientific visualisation applied to the circulation of books over time and space, 15cV: https://vimeo.com/172076861

The purpose of the video, created by Simon Walton of the Oxford e-Research centre, is to present to a larger audience the life of incunabula, from the time they are printed in the late fifteenth century, to the time they enter the libraries where they are today; the formation and dispersal of libraries; and the circulation of texts.

There are very clear temporal and spatial coordinates attached to the life cycle of a book which can be visualised: when and where it was printed, and where it is today. What the 15cBOOKTRADE uniquely offers on top of these is the difficult part, what happens in between, during the 500 years in which books were distributed, often away from their printing place, used, annotated, and collected by people of different professions, status, and gender, in different countries at different times.

PARTICIPANTS

25 people attended the Summer School, from nine different countries: Austria (1), Greece (1), Ireland (1), Italy (8), Poland (3), Slovenia (1), Spain (1), the United Kingdom (6), the United States (3). A balanced combination of specialist librarians and scholars, young and senior, interested in the medieval and the early modern period, in manuscripts and in printed books. However decidedly more women (21) than men (4).

Among the 13 specialist librarians were Sonja Svoljšak, Rare Books Department of the National and University Library of Ljubljana; Agnieszka Fabiańska, MSS Department of the University of Warsaw Library; Fryderyk Rozen, Department of Early Printed Books of the National Library of Poland; Dorothy Fouracre, of the London Royal College Surgeons Library, the recipient of the grant offered by the Library & Information History Group of the Chartered Institute of Library and information Professionals (=CILIP); Elaine Harrington, from the Special Collections Department of Cork University Library (UCC); Chiara De Vecchis, from the Library of the Senate, Rome; Cristiana Iommi, from the Biblioteca comunale Spezioli of Fermo (The Marche); Ilenia Maschietto, from the Library of Fondazione Cini of Venice; Claudia Funke, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and from September Associate Director of Collections at the Huntington Library of San Marino California; Elma Brenner, of the Wellcome Library of London; Will Hale, Rare Books Deptartment, Cambridge University Library; Vicky Gerontopulou of the Onassis Foundantion in Athens; Monica Viero, from the Library of Museo Correr of Venice.

Among the 12 scholars were Lilian Armstrong, Emerita Professor of the History of Art, Wellesley College, and an advisor to the 15cBOOKTRADE project; Alisa Beer, PhD student in the History Department at Fordham University (New York); Laura Carnelos, Marie Curie Fellow at CERL (London); Hannah Ryley, PhD student in the English Department in Oxford, Worcester College; Paulina Pludra-Żuk, PhD student in Medieval History at the University of Warsaw and a staff member at the Institute for the History of Science (Polish Academy of Sciences); Eugenia Croce, from Taranto (Italy) pursuing a career in librarianship; Silvia Manzi, PhD student in History at the University of Teramo (Italy); Claudia Catalano, PhD student in Librarianship at the University of Rome La Sapienza; Thomas Kohlwein, MA student in media technology and comparative literature at the University of Vienna; Sian Witherden, PhD student in the English Department in Oxford, Balliol College; Desiree Arbo, PhD student in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick; Andrea Puentes-Blanco, Phd in Early Modern History at the University of Barcelona, part of a project funded by the Spanish National Research Council on books of Hispanic poliphony (1450-1650).

Hannah and Sian have already decided to continue their work in MEI to enhance their opportunity of employment in the world of digital humanities.

TESTIMONIALS:

A questionnaire was circulated after the School, enquiring about the overall experience, their view of the balance between visits, lectures, and workshops; Oxford and Lincoln College as a location; the quality of the visits, the speakers, and the digital tools; the topics; the overall organisation; and their impression of fellow colleagues; what they found most useful, was there anything that we should consider doing differently, or that we should add. Responses, which could be filled anonymously, were all overwhelmingly  positive (“It was stimulating, excellent, and interesting”, “very well organised, interesting and useful”, “I enjoyed it very much! It was a wonderful experience and nice time”, “its perfect balance of visits/lectures/workshops, the appropriate (comfortable, efficient  and also beautiful!) location, the kindness of the staff, the excellent quality of the visits, speakers, digital tools and of the overall organisation. Meeting fellow colleagues has been a stimulating and pleasant opportunity”, “Good balance of workshops, lectures, and visits, so that although it was intense, there was enough variation (and coffee) to keep us going. Great location in Lincoln College”,  “I’ve been very involved in the workshops, especially on the last two days, and I have strongly appreciated the methodological approach to the history of libraries, combining the knowledge of the context and the experience of powerful digital resources”, “all the colleagues came from very different backgrounds, which was an invaluable richness”); with more than one attending only wishing it had lasted longer.

The website of the Summer School is still available on

http://www.lincoln.ox.ac.uk/Summer-School-History-of-Libraries

From the organisers’ point of view, the Summer School was a successful pilot for our plan to set up an advanced Masters Course in the understanding, use, and care of pre-modern manuscripts, archives, and printed books.

Our aim is to train the next generation of British and international librarians in the care of special collections, use of advanced digital resources, close collaboration with the research world, and a generation of scholars in any discipline which deals with books not shy of handling and working with primary sources.

 

Merton College Historic Library
Merton College Historic Library
Julia Walworth at Merton College Historic Library
Julia Walworth at Merton College Historic Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Ceccherini at the Weston Library Visiting Scholars Centre
Irene Ceccherini at the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars Centre
Stack list in Merton College Historic Library
Stack list in Merton College Historic Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alan Coates and Francesca Galligan at the Weston Library Visiting Scholars Centre
Alan Coates and Francesca Galligan at the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars Centre
James Willoughby at the Weston Library Visiting Scholars Centre
James Willoughby at the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Sharpe's lecture in the Oakeshott Room Lincoln College
Richard Sharpe’s lecture in the Oakeshott Room, Lincoln College
Fiona Piddock in Lincoln College Library
Fiona Piddock in Lincoln College Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Cusk in Lincoln College Senior Library
Sarah Cusk in the Lincoln College Senior Library
Rahel Fronda in Lincoln College Library
Rahel Fronda in Lincoln College Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer School Attendees in Lincoln College Library
Summer School Attendees in Lincoln College Library

 

Henry Woudhuysen's lecture in the Oakeshott Room Lincoln College
Henry Woudhuysen’s lecture in the Oakeshott Room, Lincoln College
Richard Ovenden's lecture in the Weston Library Lecture Theatre
Richard Ovenden’s lecture in the Weston Library Lecture Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Maclean's lecture in the Codrington Library All Souls College
Ian Maclean’s lecture in the Codrington Library, All Souls College