Browse Exhibits (6 total)

Reconstructing Ege FOL 47

Kent State University Recto

This exhibit presents our our partial reconstruction of Ege FOL 47, a 15th century Book of Hours that became the 47th manuscript used by Otto Ege to create his Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts portfolios.  

The directory at right lists the pages that we have created for this exhibit, corresponding to the typical sections of a Book of Hours.  To date, the available leaves of FOL 47 are primarily drawn from Matins of the Hours of the Virgin, the Office of the Dead, the Litany of Saints, and Marian prayers including "Obsecro te" and "O intemerata."  

Who used FOL 47?

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From linguistic evidence, we know that this Book of Hours was likely made for the use of a woman.  In the prayers "O intemerata" and  "Sancta Maria dei genetrix," there are several phrases in which the speaker refers to herself in the feminine. 

Interestingly, one of the missing miniatures from FOL 47 has been described as "Death in the act of striking down a young woman with his spear" (American Art Association 302). This raises the possibility that FOL 47 originally featured a portrait of its owner.  

The user's mother tongue appears to have been French (moyen français).  While the text of FOL 47 is primarily in Latin, the prayers to the saints in the Suffrages section feature French language rubrics. 

The liturgical details of the manuscript similarly suggest a French owner, specifically someone with ties to the diocese of Troyes.  

December 2015
Updated January 2016

Provenance

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The name Ege Fol 47 comes from the 40 copies of Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts Western Europe: XII-XVI Century. Otto Ege created, in which this manuscript was no. 47. Herein we describe the history we uncovered.

Decoration

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This exhibit takes a closer look at the decoration of Ege FOL 47.  Although we are missing the manuscript's original six miniatures, the decoration present on the extant folios offers an interesting mix of fifteenth-century styles that makes this Book of Hours a beautiful and fascinating piece of art. 

About This Project

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“The Medieval Manuscript: From Charlemagne to Gutenberg,” or LIS 464, is offered by the Simmons School of Library and Information Science as part of its elective curriculum for master’s candidates.  Under the direction of Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America, LIS 464 customarily features a series of on-site work sessions at the Boston Public Library.  As final coursework, each student is expected to prepare a complete bibliographic description of a specific manuscript leaf from the BPL’s medieval collection.

In the fall of 2015, the temporary closure of the BPL’s Rare Book Department due to mold contamination made this approach impossible.  “Reconstructing Ege FOL 47” represents Professor Davis’ innovative response to this challenging situation.

To allow the students of LIS 464 an opportunity for sophisticated study of a specific manuscript in the absence of access to original artifacts, Professor Davis designed a "virtual" reconstruction project, similar to her own work with the 13th century Beauvais Missal.

As described on Omeka.org, Omeka is a “web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions":

  • One or more digital images of an artifact may be added to an Omeka project as a single “item,” to which Dublin Core metadata can be attached. 
  • These images can then be arranged into “exhibits,” with captions and more extended commentary as desired. 
  • Once added to the site, the same item can be used in more than one exhibit.

"Reconstructing Ege FOL 47" is hosted on Omeka.net using the free Basic plan for projects requiring less than 500MB of data storage.  Various subscription options for projects requiring higher levels of data storage are outlined under the Plans tab at Omeka.net. In the case of projects that have access to their own server for data storage, Omeka is available for download as free, open-source software at Omeka.org

The following students were enrolled in LIS 464 in the fall of 2015 and contributed content to this project:

Maxine Brown
Jill Chancellor
Alexis Dhembe
Sean Doherty
Ann Dyer
Anne Ferrante
Erin Fordahl
Catherine Gaggioli
Adriene Galindo
Jennifer Gray
Lindsay Johnson
Warren Nelson
Katherine Philbin
Sara Powell
Neida Rodriguez
Rebecca Sandler
Rebekah Sue Scoggins
Robin Weintraub
Shelby Wolfe

Each student in the class was assigned a digitized leaf of “FOL 47”, the 47th manuscript dismantled by "biblioclast" Otto F. Ege to create his famous Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts portfolios.  These images were contributed by the libraries and other institutions throughout North America that house the original leaves. 

The student’s individual responsibility was to study the images of his or her leaf, describe the leaf as thoroughly as possible using the Dublin Core fields available in Omeka, and upload the images and description to Omeka as an “item.”

Each student was also expected to write captions for the images and add them to a communal exhibit (“Ege FOL 47”), which had been organized according to the sections a Book of Hours might typically possess.  Students were to collaborate as needed to determine the proper order of leaves within the same section (for example, the seven available leaves from the Office of the Dead.) 

Students were also encouraged to construct additional exhibits to discuss any findings or observations about FOL 47 arising from the reconstruction of the manuscript.  For example, our analysis has shown that the first owner of FOL 47 was certainly a woman, certainly French-speaking, and most likely a resident of the diocese of Troyes.  These findings are presented in the exhibit, "Who Used FOL 47?"

Welcome to our site, and please feel free to contact Lisa.Davis@simmons.edu with any questions or comments.  We would also be very pleased to hear of any leaves of FOL 47 that we may have overlooked.

Katherine Philbin
katherine.philbin@simmons.edu
March 2016
 
Site last updated February 3, 2017
 

 

Learning from New Additions

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Through the generous cooperation of curators throughout the United States, it has been possible to add descriptions of six additional leaves to this reconstruction of FOL 47.   

The pages at right discuss the new information that these contributions have provided, organized by section of the manuscript.

Our sincere thanks to:

  • The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Special Collections
  • The Lilly Library, Indiana University
  • The Morgan Library & Museum
  • The New York State Library, Manuscripts and Special Collections
  • Stony Brook University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
  • and The Toledo Museum of Art

for their kind interest and indispensable assistance.  

Katherine Philbin
February 2017