Manuscripts in the Curriculum
For anyone studying the Middle Ages, there is no substitute for hands-on experience of actual medieval manuscripts. Les Enluminures has come up with an entirely new idea. We are sponsoring a program to enable colleges, universities, and other educational institutions in North America to borrow a select group of original manuscripts of a very wide range dating from the thirteenth century onwards to be used for teaching. The program makes this material available for exhibition and classroom use during a segment of the academic year (semester, quarter, or summer session). Although public display of the manuscripts is encouraged, central to the philosophy of the new program is the integration of real manuscripts into the curriculum in courses where students can work closely with original material under the guidance of a professor.
The pilot program runs for three years, starting in January 2017. There are three loan periods annually. There is a nominal cost only to contribute towards the out-of-pocket expenses of the program. The fee covers: insurance, shipping, exhibition materials (archival cradles), labels, study guides, and one-time participation of one of our specialists.
One of the international specialists of Les Enluminures (Drs. Christopher de Hamel, Sandra Hindman, Laura Light, or Emily Runde) will visit each campus during the loan period to deliver either a public lecture or an in-depth seminar (or both) of the choosing of the institution. Following the visit, we will offer a brief analysis of the collection, identifying its strengths and suggesting strategies for collection building tailored to the program’s needs. The original manuscripts are accompanied by study guides and full descriptions to be used at the discretion of the professor(s). To encourage student participation, Les Enluminures will award the author of the best student paper a small cash prize and an opportunity to contribute to our blog.
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