History of the Medieval Book (HISM178)

15 credits

In this module you will explore the production and use of books in the Middle Ages and its modern scholarship. You will be introduced to both traditional approaches to manuscript sources (textual criticism, codicology, bibliography) and encouraged to investigate the role of the history of the book for the appreciation of medieval culture and society. A variety of different kinds of medieval books and their producers will be considered through a number of case studies that will focus on particular types of books, such as law books, music books, anthologies of literature and poetry, chronicles, collections of charters, saints’ lives, and liturgical or devotional books. The module will aim to develop some practical skills and will also consider digital tools in the study of medieval manuscripts. At least one session will be held in a research library with access to original documents (e.g. Exeter Cathedral library and/or the Special Collections, Research Commons at the University of Exeter).

No prior knowledge is needed for this module; it is suitable for specialist and non specialist students, and recommended for interdisciplinary pathways.