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Medieval Manuscripts

Descriptive information and selected images from ten western medieval manuscripts rangingApostle from the 13th through the 16th centuries. The collection includes an apocalyptic text by Telesphorus; glossed decretals of popes Innocent IV and Gregory IX; a Dominican gradual of saints; a part of the Old Testament which consists of a fragment of the Books of Tobit and Esther, and a complete Book of Judith; and six Books of Hours.



Table of Contents for Medieval Manuscripts Collection

Medieval Manuscripts

Medieval Manuscripts on the Web

About the Collection

Additional References: Print & Web Sources

About the Images

Acknowledgements

About the Collection


The Special Collections Department of the Syracuse University Library is fortunate to hold a small but significant collection of Latin medieval manuscripts on parchment of Spanish, English, Italian, French, Flemish, and German/Austrian origin which range in date from the thirteenth through the sixteenth centuries. The collection includes an apocalyptic text by Telesphorus; glossed decretals of popes Innocent IV and Gregory IX; a Dominican gradual of saints; a part of the Old Testament which consists of a fragment of the Books of Tobit and Esther, and a complete Book of Judith; and six Books of Hours.

EvangelistsThe artwork represented in these manuscripts vary in content and style from decorative initials to historiated initials, from intricately ornamented decorative floral borders to narrative scenes and borders, and from incompleted line drawings to partial and full page religious compositions.

In May of 1999, the Special Collections department embarked on a digitization project with the following objectives: to gather full descriptive information on the ten western medieval manuscripts of the collection; photograph selected images from each manuscript, and digitize these images for display on the web.

The Digital Scriptorium served as a model for gathering information for a multilevel description. Three of the levels of description--manuscript, part, & text are available in table format for each manuscript of the Syracuse University collection, in addition to a brief descriptive summary and images from selected folios. With a few minor variations, the fields and contents of the Digital Scriptorium catalog descriptions have been closely followed. A more detailed description and definition of the individual fields can be found in the Data Dictionary available at http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Scriptorium.

The index to the Medieval Manuscripts (below) provides links to pages, each with a brief description of a particular manuscript, from which viewers can access a table with detailed catalog information on the individual manuscript or view individual images in jpg format.

ms01.jpg

MS 1 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Novellae of Pope Innocent IV and Decretales of Pope Gregory IX cum glossis 
Italy; ante-1278; Latin

ms02.jpg

MS 2 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Book of Hours (Le Louchier Hours; The Syracuse Hours) 
France; post-1450; Latin with French rubrics

ms03.jpg

MS 3 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Book of Hours 
France, post-1450; Latin

ms05.jpg

MS 5 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Book of Hours 
Italy, last quarter of the 14th century; Latin 

ms06.jpg

MS 6 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Book of Hours 
France, ca. 1480-1500; Latin with French rubrics

ms07.jpg

MS 7 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Book of Hours 
Flanders; ca. 1510-1520; Latin, with final prayer in French

ms11.jpg

MS 11 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Gradual of Saints (Weiss Antiphoner, Syracuse Gradual) 
Spain; 1484-ca.1524; Latin with marginal notations in Spanish 

ms12.jpg

MS 12 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Partial Old Testament (fragment of Books of Tobias and Esther; complete Book of Judith) 
Italy; 13th century; Latin 

ms27.jpg

MS 27 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Psalter 
England; post-1320; Latin 

ms90.jpg

MS 90 Syracuse University Library, Department of Special Collections 
Libellus of Telesphorus, or Libellus fratris telesfori 
France or Germany; 1392; Latin 

About the Images

Images were selected based upon their representation of the major decorative artwork in each manuscript. In some instances, this just includes decorative and historiated initials (e.g., MS 12), or a large percentage of decorative borders which frame the text (e.g., MS 2). When the binding or layout is of some related interest, images of these were also included.

A 35mm Pentax camera with macrolens supplied by the Library’s Media Services Department was used to photograph most of the manuscript images appearing in this site and the resulting slides were later scanned professionally and the images placed on Kodak Photo CDs. Additional images of the MS 11 were taken with a Sony Mavica by Ron Bouverat of Media Services. Images of MS 27 come from a selection of slides from the Fine Arts Slide Library. These, in addition to two slides from MS 11, had been taken by the University photographer, Dave Broda. The remainder of the images were photographed by graduate intern, Jennifer Casten.

The digital camera images and the images from the Kodak Photo CDs were then adjusted for sharpness and color, and cropped and resized to 600 pixels wide, and saved as "tiffs" in Adobe Photoshop 4.0. These tiffs were then batch-converted into "jpegs" using Graphic Converter 3.6.2. The resulting jpeg images range in size from 400-900+ kilobytes.

Acknowledgements


Mark F. Weimer, Project and internship site supervisor
Peter D. Verheyen, Preservation and Access Librarian; website coordinator
Barbara Kwasnik, Graduate Internship Faculty Advisor, School of Information Studies
Jennifer Casten, Graduate Intern, School of Information Studies; project content developer
Ron Bouverat and staff of Media Services Department
Susan Miller and staff of the Slide Library, Fine Arts Department
Mary Beth Hinton, Editor of the Syracuse University Library Associates Courier.
Lillian Davis, Office Coordinator for the Department of Special Collections
Julien Vernet, Graduate Assistant; project photographic assistant
Staff of the Department of Special Collections

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