Mr Peter Kidd
Full day - from 10.00 to 17.00
Maximum: 15 students
Venue: Senate House

This course will address ways in which the physical properties of manuscripts can be described, including discussion of why some practices are preferable to others. It will systematically address the stages involved in the description of a manuscript, from its shelfmark, material and dimensions to its most recent (re-)binding. It will be assumed that participants have at least theoretical knowledge of the basic codicological features of page-preparation and quire construction (prickings, rulings, catchwords, leaf-signatures, etc.).

Students can choose to follow one, two or three days of codicology.  Five places for day 2 will initially be allocated to persons attending day 1 and five places for day 3 will initially be allocated to students of both day 1 and day 2; the rest of the places will be available on a first come first served basis.


No previous reading is required or expected; a detailed Bibliography will be handed out as part of the course. Anyone wishing to start thinking about the issues involved could look at:
-- Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies (Cornell University Press, 2007), chapter 9.
-- A.C. de la Mare, Catalogue of the Collection of Medieval Manuscripts Bequeathed to the Bodleian Library, Oxford by James P.R. Lyell (Bodleian Library, 1971), pp.xxxi-xxxiii and passim.
-- Peter Kidd, Medieval Manuscripts From the Collection of T.R. Buchanan in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Bodleian Library, 2000), pp.xxxiii-xxxvi and passim.

Student Comments

Excellent handouts - clear and very useful. Solid, comprehensive overview with helpful tips regarding different approaches and shortcuts. Clear explanations of underlying rationale - and saved me from persisting in using out-of-date terminology!