Visiting Scholar Reports

15th Century Books in Print, Rare Book School

a page from a grammar of Donatus. The state of the type places it as earlier than the Gutenberg Bible. (Scheide Library, Princeton University)

By Kelsey Sorenson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The course I attended, 15th Century Books in Print and Manuscript, was held in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania’s campus with instructors Paul Needham and Will Noel. The week was spent learning about bibliographic details unique to incunables and late medieval manuscripts, from the watermarks of the paper and variations in type to collation and rubrication. The majority of our hands-on time was on the last day of the course, which was a great culmination of the week’s lessons. The book I had the opportunity to study that day was a 1495 copy of Auctoritates Aristotelis, which had a great example of blind type and beautifully labeled quires. Read more…

Cartonera Special Collection, Memorial Library

By Elizabeth Gray, Brown University

IMG_4697During my research visit, I spent a week studying the cartonera special collection at the Memorial Library. My work with the cartonera collection was facilitated by the database that includes photographs of the covers of these hand-painted, cardboard books as well as descriptions of the artist techniques and materials used in the design. While my research to this point has focused on the literature published by the cartoneras, the opportunity to interact with the texts opened several possibilities for expanding my studies to include the visual art dimension of the books. The access to the poetry and prose within the books also generated new directions for writing about cartonera literature as I was able to access hundreds of rare and difficult to locate texts Read more…

Tank Collection, Memorial Library

By Kevin Chovanec, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

image 1While visiting Madison in May, I was excited and pleased to work in Memorial Library and begin revising my dissertation with the impressive collection of Dutch literary and theological works in the Tank collection. My project focuses on how pan-Protestant sentiment forged cultural and literary connections between the peoples of Northern Europe. Based in an English department, I’m especially interested in English identification with coreligionists on the Continent and the alternative literary communities formed through such identification. Increasingly, scholars have recognized that the early modern period was pre-national, and thus a full account of literary history demands attention to collaboration and exchange across borders Read more…