Medieval manuscripts at the Bodleian and the senses

Speaker
Professor Kathryn Rudy - School of Art History, St Andrew's Institute of Medieval Studies
Event date
Event time
13:00 - 13:45
Venue
Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford
Oxfordshire
OX1 3BG
Venue details

Lecture Theatre

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Free
Disabled access?
Yes
Booking required
Required

As literacy grew during the three centuries before the printing press, people learned not only how to read, but also how to handle their manuscripts.

Certain physical gestures that readers enacted with illuminated manuscripts—including kissing or laying hands on certain images, and rubbing out the faces of others—imparted a ritual significance to books.

Just as our 21st century culture of ever-smaller screens has created a set of gestures and habits that had not previously existed (typing with two thumbs, scrolling, clicking, tapping), using manuscripts engendered new physical gestures, which involved touching, listening to, and even tasting books.