07 January, 2008

In which I babble over a new book

Today I received in the mail Introduction to Manuscript Studies, by Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham.

This is a MUST-HAVE book for anyone messing around with medieval manuscripts. I'm serious. If I had had this book this time last year, my Codicology class would have been significantly easier. This book is incredibly useful. It has chapters on the making of medieval manuscripts (four of them, including one on binding, on text, on glosses and corrections, and on tools). It has chapters (6) on reading manuscripts: general info, punctuation and abbreviation, damaged MSS, origins and provenance, description, and selected scripts. It has lists of common abbreviations, lists of unique features of scripts to help you date and place them. All in one book. It then has chapters on some manuscript genres. There's a glossary (very useful for the novice), and a section on tools for study of medieval Latin, with some books I have not heard of before but which may prove invaluable, since much of my own study will involve teasing out the delicate nuances of a single word here, a phrase there, etc.

Not only is it just dripping usefulness, it is absolutely gorgeous. Full-colour glossy with pictures almost every page.

It's a heavy volume, but I will just have to make room for it. Perhaps in my laptop bag, which they don't normally weigh.

If you have any interest at all in manuscript studies, you need this book.

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