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Piety in Pieces

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Kathryn M. Rudy

Introduction: A new approach to codicology

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  • 1 Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, describes the situation in an interview, “History Delete (...)

1In response to an event in the Soviet Union in 1953 George Orwell wrote, “He who controls the present controls the past, and he who controls the past controls the future.” He was referring to an incident that involved a strategic adjustment to a book. Stalin had just died, and Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria, the chief of Stalin’s secret police, had fallen out of favor. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, issued since 1926, had a positive article on Beria that was now an embarrassment. This meant that the article had to be amended. Rather than reprint the entire encyclopedia, which would have cost time and resources, the Soviets instead found a cheaper solution: to write an addendum page—an extended article about the Bering Strait—and then send it to all registered owners of the volumes, with instructions that they should paste the new page over the Beria article, thereby obfuscating it.1 The motivations for issuing this new article were clearly political (expunge Beria!) and economic (do it cheaply!). Speed was also a motivation: the paste-over allowed the book to keep pace with events in a manner faster than making a whole new book.

2While the content of this action was dedicated to maintaining a sense of Soviet historical purity, the actual procedure used continued a practice that had been widespread in the Middle Ages. In this study I explore the ways in which medieval book owners adjusted the contents of their books to reflect changed circumstances. Such circumstances were not usually so overtly political, but they nonetheless reveal other fears and motivations. Religious, social or economic reasons could also motivate such emendations. Augmentations to a book reveal strong emotional and social forces. These are often difficult to identify in manuscripts, because the new parts often blend in with the old. Furthermore, modern audiences often see manuscripts as products of a single “genius” mind, when in fact all manuscripts were made in a group effort over months, years or even decades.

3When a manuscript enters a public collection, it is stabilized, preserved, frozen. In the Middle Ages, however, the manuscript was not a static entity, but rather an object whose content and structure were dynamic. Although all medieval manuscripts could, in theory, have texts and images added to them, in the current study I concentrate on Netherlandish prayerbooks, because certain aspects of their production lent them to upgrades. Assembled in layers from the beginning, Netherlandish prayerbooks were uniquely able to accommodate revisions. Generations of owners added physical material, texts, and objects, and with them, layers of meaning. These changes often reveal their owners’ fears and desires. By manipulating the past (in the form of the received book) and making adjustments to it, book owners felt as if they could control the future, which for Christian believers often meant controlling their own eschatological outcome: the fate that would befall them at the end of time. Many prayers added to Netherlandish prayerbooks were designed to secure an eternal place in heaven for their users. As the technology of salvation became ever more complicated, people needed “devotional upgrades” in their manuscripts. They added prayers that promised ever-greater indulgences to reduce their purgatorial sentences after death.

  • 2 On church burials where people were buried with books or book clasps, see Janne Harjula, “Undergro (...)

4A manuscript under normal circumstances would outlive its original owner and probably outlive its next ten owners. After stone slabs with lapidary inscriptions carved into them, parchment is one of the most enduring substrates for preserving a text. When owners died, the manuscripts changed hands, except in the rare cases where people were buried with their books.2 Normally, the book passed to another member of the living. These important moments in a manuscript’s history often led to changes in the manuscript’s form: adjustments to keep the old manuscript relevant to a new owner. In this study I lay out a scheme for organizing the kinds of changes that medieval people made to their manuscripts.

  • 3 On the development of book culture in this region, consult J. P. Gumbert, The Dutch and Their Book (...)

5I concentrate on Netherlandish manuscripts and the changes made to them in the fifteenth century, because this was a particularly dynamic time and place for books. (I do occasionally draw on examples from neighboring regions, especially for earlier examples, because Netherlandish book production started quite late but then sped rapidly in its technological development.3) With manuscripts produced in both convents and in secular ateliers, the Northern and Southern Netherlands had some of the most robust markets for manuscripts in Europe. Because so many Netherlandish prayerbooks made for local consumption were in the vernacular, they had a far greater social reach than in France and England, where most of the books of hours and prayerbooks were copied in Latin and were therefore limited to the most highly educated. These forces exerted pressure on Netherlandish book production to create more manuscripts, cheaper, faster and more efficiently, and to reach ever-broader audiences. Production was so successful in the Southern Netherlands (mainly Bruges), for example, that stationers exported books of hours (in Latin) to England, where the demand was greater than the supply. It is this dynamic market setting that I intend to investigate, because these conditions inspired new techniques and operations for producing new books and upgrading old ones.

6To adjust a manuscript, one could either add or subtract contents or change the organization. One could make marks upon existing material or insert new material that provides space for further marks, or even add new material with marks already in place. Obversely one could scrape out existing marks, thereby creating a palimpsest, or cut out material altogether. Subtractions could mean cutting out folios, removing quires, scraping out texts, and defacing images, either through iconophilia or iconophobia. I concentrate here on additions to manuscripts: how manuscripts, which could be considered complete and discrete objects, might be made to accommodate new materials. One manuscript’s gain was sometimes another’s loss, and to the extent that that’s the case this study deals in images that were cut from one manuscript to arrive in another. But throughout the following pages, my interest is in the act of acquisition and insertion of images and text, by which the book might gain, rather than lose, contents.

  • 4 Sandra Hindman et al., “Reconstructions: Recuperation of Manuscript Illumination in Nineteenth- an (...)

7Some cutting inevitably took place in the Middle Ages, but the systematic harvesting of images from books began in the modern era, and as such, is beyond the scope of this study. Furthermore, recent studies have already dealt with cutting things out. Most notably, the topic of collecting cuttings has been addressed in an exhibition mounted by Sandra Hindman and Nina Rowe that showcased the practice of gleaning images from medieval manuscripts (especially in the nineteenth century) to suit the tastes of collectors.4 Whereas the modern collector desired a variety of the best examples to put on display, which led to the fragmentation of books, the medieval owner collected prayers and images, which led to the expansion of the manuscript. I am primarily interested in the manuscript itself as the site of collection.

  • 5 J. P. Gumbert, The Dutch and Their Books in the Manuscript Age (London: British Library, 1990), pp (...)
  • 6 On iconoclasm see David Freedberg, The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Respo (...)
  • 7 Virginia Reinburg, French Books of Hours: Making an Archive of Prayer, c. 1400–1600 (Cambridge and (...)

8Studying how medieval users in the Netherlands augmented their books can give insight into a different spectrum of information about how people used them. Whereas receiving a book is a passive act, and buying a used book is an act of selection and consumption, taking an already-complete book and making the effort to add something to it is fundamentally active (rather than passive) and includes elements of production (rather than just consumption).5 If someone adds images or texts to a book, he or she has probably read the book thoroughly enough to know that certain desired components are missing. This new owner has addressed that lack by initiating a series of steps, which may result in commissioning artists, scribes and binders to break the book apart, change it, and put it back together. Until now the strong desires that have been considered have chiefly been the destructive ones—the forces of iconoclasm, on the one hand, and the collector’s desire for ownership, on the other.6 But in fact, strong desires could provide an opposite force and lead to a book’s burgeoning.7 A believer’s powerful needs could make his book swell with the desire for more outlets for his love. More words, more images, more pages could make the book burst out of its binding. Studying the physical book and its additions can help to track these desires. I consider the augmented book as the result of a particular need.

9Throughout this study, therefore, my essential questions are these: when an owner possessed a complete, finished manuscript, how could he or she add things (texts, images, physical material) to it to reflect its (new) ownership? And what would he gain by doing that? In the period of flourishing literacy, what basic changes to the structure of manuscripts made it possible for him to do this? This study is ostensibly about the material life of objects—medieval books—as they accumulated layers of stuff from one or more owners. But of course, the study is really about people, and what of their desires can be found among those layers. The study rests at the intersection of human desire and codicology.

  • 8 Eamon Duffy, Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers 1240–1570 (New Haven and London: (...)

10Codicology—the archeology of the book—has been a concern in manuscript studies ever since scholars such as L. M. J. Delaissé and Peter Gumbert underscored its importance for understanding the medieval book. In this study, I approach codicology in a new way, offering up an original account of the processes that produced augmentations.8 Considering the book as a physical object allows me to think about the adjustments to it as something both historically bound and cumulative. By that I mean that various techniques for manipulating the contents of the finished book developed over the history of the codex’s existence, accumulated, so that by the fifteenth century, when literacy and book production rose sharply, book makers and users had a panoply of methods from which to draw. I hope to reveal these exploitations in a systematic way, which to some extent also maps onto a history of the book. By taking the structure of the book as my starting point, I will extend Delaissé’s initial research. Of course, I won’t describe the exact physical structure of every manuscript in the book, or discuss every text and image in every book, as that would be tedious.

11I have chosen to focus on Netherlandish manuscripts because of their unique circumstance, poised at a moment when broad demand for books driven by popular piety necessitated rapid production, but before the printing press allowed for a process of mass production. In the Netherlandish manuscript, economic, social, and individual interests come together to create a variety of methods for creating and adapting books—methods one can pick apart via stratigraphy to reveal the interests of the owners. While such a reconstructive effort might be possible for any of the many genres of medieval manuscripts (Ovids, Bibles, bestiaries, sermons, etc.), I have focused on prayerbooks because of the fierce demand for them, their large-scale production, and the rapidity with which indulgences and local variations required that they be updated to suit their owners’ needs. And I have focused on Netherlandish prayerbooks because of the ways their innovative manufacture encouraged users to think—not only about their relationship to newly procured books, but also to old ones.

12I begin by explaining what I am calling the “modular method,” with which some—but by no means all—books of hours were made in the fifteenth century in the Netherlands. I dwell on this because this method represents not only a way in which new books could be made, but also a change in mindset about how older books could be updated and adjusted. I then turn to the two large categories I have defined: adjustments not requiring binding, and those requiring binding. In fact, both kinds of adjustments become much more widespread in the fifteenth century because of the modular method. Assembling a book from modules left many areas of parchment blank (for example, the backs of single-leaf miniatures and the ends of text quires) and thus provided naked surfaces for new owners to fill in. This could be done without rebinding. Secondly, the modular method promoted the idea that a book could be built in segments, thereby opening the possibility for all kinds of new added parts. Making such additions predates the fifteenth century, and my examples demonstrate this, but the practice rises to a crescendo just as printing makes its debut. I have chosen to concentrate on manuscripts made in the Netherlands (both Northern and Southern) in the fifteenth century because these represent bookmaking at a moment of extraordinary expansion in literacy, when the demands of buyers impelled producers to seek more efficient production techniques. The modular method was developed there to make more affordable books that would cater to the newly literate. It was a place and time when readers were eager to get their hands on books, and when new books were being made in new ways with proto-assembly-line methods.

Types of augmentations

  • 9 Susan Mosher Stuard, Gilding the Market: Luxury and Fashion in Fourteenth-Century Italy (Philadelp (...)

13Manuscripts were part of the luxury goods that were passed down from one generation to the next. Instead of existing in a linear economy (take resources, make an object, use it, dispose of it after use), a manuscript reentered the system after one person finished using it and therefore participated in a circular economy (take resources, make an object, use it, refurbish it wholly or in components, recirculate it). In this way, manuscripts were like expensive plate or clothing that formed part of a trousseau. Plate was melted and reshaped into new, fashionable wares; old clothing was reused, turned into linings, or had the buttons or other costly pieces removed for repurposing.9 So was it also with books. Old books did not leave the system quickly. New ones were made faster than the old ones were thrown out, and the old ones were updated so that they could stay in circulation even longer.

  • 10 Buyers at the top of the market continued to order individualized, bespoke books made according to (...)

14In fact, books were made ever-more efficiently and in ever-greater numbers in the later Middle Ages. Therefore, the structural division I propose between manuscript augmentations that required rebinding and those that didn’t is accompanied by a temporal division. I begin by examining the structure of the prayerbook before and after ca. 1390, because doing so reveals a growing culture around making augmentations, which the post-1390 book structure facilitated. Most pre-1390 prayerbooks were planned and made in a unified campaign of work. But after this time book culture changed rapidly and moved to more mechanical means of production, just as rising literacy was creating a demand for more books, and private devotion was changing such that votaries demanded prayers with ever-higher spiritual rewards. Escalating book production triggered cheaper ways to make them. It also meant that more people had access to the raw materials of book making, such as parchment. Access to time and materials plus creativity and zeal but without much training led to the production of new kinds of books and images as well as autonomous images. After 1390 the modular method gradually became the dominant method of producing books of hours (except for those at the very top and very bottom of the market10), and was one of the great innovations of the late Middle Ages (discussed at length in Part I). It was also wasteful of materials, because it resulted in many blank folios. However, books’ recipients would fill those blanks up with all kinds of stuff.

  • 11 Patricia Stirnemann, “The King of Illuminated Manuscripts: The Très Riches Heures,” in The Limbour (...)
  • 12 Mark L. Evans, The Sforza Hours (London: British Library, 1992).
  • 13 Lucy Freeman Sandler, “Notes for the Illuminator: The Case of the Omne Bonum,” The Art Bulletin 71 (...)

15Some books were not completed during the lifetime of the copyist, miniaturist, or patron, and it is easy to see why recipients would consider these in need of further work. For example, the Limbourg Brothers died of the plague before they could finish Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (1412–16, Chantilly, Musée Condé, Ms. 65). Jean Colombe completed it in 1485 at the court of Savoy, partly copying the Limbourgs’ style, and partly finishing illuminations in his own visual idiom.11 Likewise, the Sforza Hours (LBL, Add. Ms. 34294) was made in two distinct campaigns of work. Giovan Pietro Birago executed the first round of illuminations around 1490 for Bona of Savoy, widow of Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan. He delivered only part of the work to the patron, and the final tranche of this work was stolen before he could deliver it. The book thus remained incomplete until Margaret of Austria, who inherited the book 30 years later, commissioned Gerard Horenbout to finish the miniatures in 1517–20. Thus, three decades and the Alps separate the two campaigns of illuminations for this book.12 One can understand the impulse to finish a nearly-finished book, to have a complete entity rather than one in which blanks call attention to themselves.13

  • 14 Kathryn Rudy, Postcards on Parchment: The Social Lives of Medieval Books (New Haven and London: Ya (...)

16Other forces, however, drove book owners to add texts and images to books that anyone would have considered complete. These forces included: a desire to personalize the book; a desire to respond to newly available texts and visual subjects; a desire to show devotion to new feasts and cults; a desire to make the book reflect the financial strength of the book owner; a desire to raise the level of decoration to make the book more colorful; a desire to systematize the decoration; a desire to incorporate loose images, sometimes given as gifts, into the book, thereby turning it into a memory album. This final desire is one I have discussed at length in a previous book.14 In the current study, I concentrate on the others.

17Then as now, the nouveaux riches often swathed themselves in visually loud accouterments. To this end, merchants and other wealthy urbanites added extra decoration to their prayerbooks, an arena in which they could lay on gold, decoration, abundant color while at the same time remaining humble and godly. Votaries also wished to remain devotionally current, which is why people from all walks of life expressed their personal desires by adding newly available texts, including new prayers, especially those that presented indulgences that would secure them a place in heaven. Or they wanted to record a fact or oath in a book that was as close to the word of God as possible, for this lent it gravitas.

18I first catalogue the means by which new images and other kinds of objects might find their way into books—the various gluings, sewings, scribblings, scribings, and stitchings. These cultural activities turned the book into an interactive object—a porous object—that would absorb the desires of an owner, or of a series of owners over time. While the techniques for making additions and emendations had existed since the advent of the codex, they became almost de rigueur in the years after 1390 for three reasons: first, the number of lay readers increased significantly, meaning that more people had books and traded ideas about how to use them. Second, techniques for making books of hours were adapted to the structure of this book type, which brought together discrete texts. When these were made in modular form, the fissures between sections generated blank parchment, which invited and even demanded additions. Third, prayer culture changed significantly in the fifteenth century, so that new prayers, especially those promising apotropaic benefits or indulgences, quickly became popular, and book owners wanted to incorporate these into their volumes to keep them up to date. Once owners conceptualized their books of hours as absorbent objects, they made ample use of them as repositories for prayers, notes, familial and historical information, small devotional objects. In other words, their books became platforms upon which to express themselves, and at the same time, places to store memory items. Upon the death of the owner, the manuscript would be given or sold to a new owner and not be thrown out. That new owner might adjust the book to keep it relevant. In short, manuscripts belonged to a circular economy: they circulated through multiple owners, rather than being discarded.

19Updating manuscripts could involve small or large interventions. Jotting down a new prayer or drawing a figure onto the existing blank (sometimes ruled) parchment of an older prayerbook formed the smallest interventions. The second level: adding single leaves, pasting or sewing small objects, including bits of parchment, leather, paper, metallic badges to the blank areas of the parchment. Third: inserting single leaves into the book so that they become part of the book’s structure. Fourth: adding entire quires to the beginning or end of an existing manuscript. Fifth: adding material, such as quires, to the interior of the manuscript in such a way that the contents are restructured. Only some of these forms of updating could be accomplished within the original binding of the book.

20The second part of my argument is this: while the parchment book block lasts a long time, a book’s binding does not. Bindings fall apart after a few years of hard use. Consequently, users often had their books rebound if they used them heavily. Doing so also afforded them the opportunity to add more material before the book was resealed into its new binding. Ateliers even sprung up that specialized in dismantling, refurbishing and rebinding books, as I argue toward the end of this study. In what follows I have organized these strategies for augmenting the book, from the simplest to the most complex, and as such have divided the augmentations into two conceptual categories: those that are relatively superficial and do not require rebinding the book; and those that do require structural changes, and therefore rebinding. These I take up in Parts III and IV, respectively.

21To rebind a manuscript was an operation that required the assistance of a professional, and with it the provision of time, money, and planning. Rebinding signals a high degree of desire, even desperation, to keep a book useful and in circulation. Book owners who have their books rebound have either worn them so heavily that they have no real alternative, or have such a strong desire for certain texts and images that they are willing to part with considerable resources to create the books they want. Both scenarios reveal a strong attachment to the book and also signal that more was at stake than merely the object itself. Augmenting the prayerbook was augmenting the spiritual self, and making that altered spirituality manifest materially. Such physical interventions are therefore an order of magnitude more complicated than changes that can be wrought without rebinding. Those that don’t require rebinding, conversely, are considerably more casual and could be cheap or even free. They could be as simple as adding some scrawls to a blank page. The structure of those changes provides the structure of this study. They are as follows:

Additions made to manuscripts

22Category I: Changes that did not require rebinding

23Correcting the text
Adding text to blank folios and interstices
Augmenting the existing decoration
Drawing or painting images directly onto the blank parchment
Adding physical material superficially

24Category II: Changes that required rebinding

25Incorporating end leaves into the book during rebinding
Adding single leaves into the structure (textual or with an image)
Adding a bifolium
Adding a quire
Changing the structural order of the quires
Multiple and more complicated changes

26Nearly every surviving medieval book has had something done to it during the intervening centuries, and therefore, nearly every manuscript would be eligible as fodder for the present study. You will be relieved to know that this study is not meant to be an exhaustive catalogue of medieval manipulations to the book, but its goal is to organize such manipulations, and by doing so, to foster awareness of them, to think about them structurally, and to seek patterns. That said, a manuscript that has one sort of augmentation often has several, for an owner who considered his book incomplete might initially write some additional text on the blank end leaves, but then find that he had even more text to add, and therefore wanted to bind in some more pages. Moreover, the people who wrote in their books and affixed objects to them were also the people who used their books most heavily, thereby wearing out the bindings and necessitating an additional round of work. In my classification, these measures would qualify as two kinds of manipulation, one from Category I (changes without rebinding) and Category II (changes that require rebinding). Therefore, some of the manuscripts I introduce early in this study reappear later on.

  • 15 On a related set of concerns, see Rowan Watson, “The Illuminated Manuscript in the Age of Photogra (...)

27Documentary photography can capture some of these augmentations.15 Most commercial photography produced by museums and libraries does not present the manuscript as an entity, but flattens out single folios (usually by pressing them under glass) and shows them as if they were not connected to a book. I have therefore included some of my own amateur photos of manuscripts, which often provide a better sense of the object as a layered, three-dimensional object. Regardless of the type of photography, the more complicated the intervention, the more photos that are required to show it. For some of the more multifold interventions near the end of the study, I have also employed diagrams to illustrate my points.

28In summary, therefore, my premise is this: understanding the fears, hopes, and desires of people who lived half a millennium ago through the murky lens of time is often fruitless, but by studying the images and texts that owners added to their books, one can see what drove and inspired them. It took effort to change a book once it was already made. These changes, in demonstrating what owners were willing to add even at the expense of some inconvenience, precisely index those texts they most desired. Devotion, as a series of habits, was never finished. The committed votary collected ever more ways to venerate his or her object of devotion, while the parchment manuscript was an ever-expanding unit of layered memory that could grow in step with the shifts in one or more owners’ lives. Reactions to marriage, children, sin, and fear of the fiery afterlife, all entered books and structured sets of gestures. These gestural habits, mediated by the manuscript, molded the mind and body.

Notes

1 Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, describes the situation in an interview, “History Deletes Itself,” Harper’s Magazine, December 2011, pp. 27–28.

2 On church burials where people were buried with books or book clasps, see Janne Harjula, “Underground Literature: Archaeological Finds of Books and Book Elements from Finnish Churches,” Mirator 16 (2015), pp. 160–90.

3 On the development of book culture in this region, consult J. P. Gumbert, The Dutch and Their Books in the Manuscript Age (London: British Library, 1990); Kathryn M. Rudy and Ed van der Vlist, “Het geschreven boek in Nederland tot omstreeks 1400: continuïteit en emancipatie,” Jaarboek voor Nederlandse boekgeschiedenis 17 (2010), pp. 15–51.

4 Sandra Hindman et al., “Reconstructions: Recuperation of Manuscript Illumination in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century America,” in Manuscript Illumination in the Modern Age: Recovery and Reconstruction, ed. Sandra Hindman and Nina Rowe (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2001), pp. 215–74. Before this, Rowan Watson, Vandals and Enthusiasts: Views of Illumination in the Nineteenth Century: An Exhibition Held in the Henry Cole Wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum, 31 January-30 April 1995 (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1995), and Roger S. Wieck, “Folia Fugitiva: The Pursuit of the Illuminated Manuscript Leaf,” The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 54, Essays in Honor of Lilian M. C. Randall (1996), pp. 233–54; and Christopher De Hamel, Cutting up Manuscripts for Pleasure and Profit, The Sol M. Malkin Lecture in Bibliography 11 (Charlottesville: Book Arts, 1996), also addressed the topic.

5 J. P. Gumbert, The Dutch and Their Books in the Manuscript Age (London: British Library, 1990), pp. 72–73 discusses the market for second-hand books in Deventer.

6 On iconoclasm see David Freedberg, The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989).

7 Virginia Reinburg, French Books of Hours: Making an Archive of Prayer, c. 1400–1600 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 2, 44 and passim notes that older books of hours were updated to keep them in circulation, although this is not the thrust of her larger project.

8 Eamon Duffy, Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers 1240–1570 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006), pp. 38–39, uses the term “devotional accretion” to describe images and texts added to prayerbooks.

9 Susan Mosher Stuard, Gilding the Market: Luxury and Fashion in Fourteenth-Century Italy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006); Brigitte Buettner, “Past Presents: New Year’s Gifts at the Valois Courts, ca. 1400,” Art Bulletin 83, no. 4 (2001), pp. 598–625.

10 Buyers at the top of the market continued to order individualized, bespoke books made according to traditional design principles, and those at the bottom of the market might make themselves a book with home-spun decoration.

11 Patricia Stirnemann, “The King of Illuminated Manuscripts: The Très Riches Heures,” in The Limbourg Brothers: Nijmegen Masters at the French Court, 1400–1416, ed. Rob Dückers and Pieter Roelofs, exh. cat., Museum het Valkhof, Nijmegen (Ghent: Ludion, 2005), pp. 113–19, at p. 113. In the same volume, see p. 219, fig. 13, for an example of the two campaigns of work on a single folio.

12 Mark L. Evans, The Sforza Hours (London: British Library, 1992).

13 Lucy Freeman Sandler, “Notes for the Illuminator: The Case of the Omne Bonum,” The Art Bulletin 71, no. 4 (1989), pp. 551–64, analyzing an example of later illuminators finishing an English encyclopedia of the fourteenth century, performs a close codicological reading.

14 Kathryn Rudy, Postcards on Parchment: The Social Lives of Medieval Books (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015).

15 On a related set of concerns, see Rowan Watson, “The Illuminated Manuscript in the Age of Photographic Reproduction,” in Making the Medieval Book: Techniques of Production: Proceedings of the Fourth Conference of the Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500, Oxford, July 1992, ed. Linda L. Brownrigg (Los Altos Hills and London: Anderson-Lovelace & Red Gull Press, 1995), pp. 133–43, who details the early history of documentary photography for manuscripts, which was crucial to their being entered in the canon.

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