Day 4 of Manuscript camp

Another busy day at Manuscript camp. But first…last night I went for a walk to the Stella Maris Chapel. It took 42 minutes to walk there and 35 walking back. It was a beautiful walk with tons of trees, bugs and I saw a squirrel  and a chipmunk.  I also heard a loon and saw some birds. It’s a beautiful chapel with these great stain glass windows.  A weird thing happened as I was walking to the Chapel, my hands started to swell up! I don’t know if it was an allergic reaction to the bugs or the super strong bug spray. So when I got back to my dorm I took a Benadryl and ate some chocolate and I was fine. Oh, my hiking equipment consisted of my iPhone, camera and a Swiss army knife!

So today I started out the day with a tour of the Rare book room. They have two storage areas and both hold about 4500 books. Ones we saw today include: few Ethiopian prayer books (one had a smoky smell and the other was in a leather pouch), Maria Theresa’s signature, a manuscript that was in a Catholic church from the 1600s, but with an image of Martin Luther on the cover (do you get how weird that is? Catholic church having a book with the image of a Protestant!) and this lovely Coptic Mistral which was really, really old.

9-10 Lecture ‘Music and Liturgical Books’ by Christian McGuire

1030-1150- Lecture ‘Codicology: the physical book” by Diane Anderson

1-3 Practicum ‘Codicology with real manuscripts’ (examining aka playing around with real manuscripts).

330-430 Critical editions and textual identification’ which actually turned out to be called “The Case of the Missing Manuscript: Finding the Lost Letter of Berenguela of Castile” by Theresa Vann

7- Dinner at Anton’s


Another day filled with some really interesting talks. Handling the real manuscripts was wonderful! The one that I worked on (along with my lab partner Dave) was from 14th century Italy and was a Manuscript of Bonaventure, as well as some Augustine info. The last 7 pages were in a totally different script and someone had scraped away the text to write something else in. There was also this funky star with a smiley face inside, which we believe was add in at a later day. The paper was parchment and was very smooth and in pretty good condition considering how old it was. Nope, no idea what type of critter it was made of. The size was 12×16.5 cm, so quite small.


1 comment

  1. Melissa,
    You write a very interesting story of your days at camp.
    Hope you are enjoying every minute.
    Take care,