Voices from the Beinecke Library

Early Books at the Beinecke: From the Curator's Desk

Lisa Fagin Davis describes the "world's most mysterious manuscript" in a dispatch from her recent road trip to New Haven. Yale University Press will be publishing a photofacsimile of the Voynich along with interpretative essays in a new series entitled Yale Studies in Materials and Texts, of which the Voynich book will be the first volume. 
January 22, 2015
Lisa Fagin Davis, executive director of the Medieval Academy of America, has published her account of the early books and manuscripts at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Her outstanding description can be found here.
January 22, 2015
The Olivetan Gradual (Beinecke MS 1184) is a stunning 15th-century example of the gradual, a liturgical book containing the musical components of the Mass in written notation. Susan Weil, whose husband Kenneth M. Weil graduated from Yale in 1945, generously donated this lavishly illuminated manuscript to the Beinecke Library earlier this year. Mrs.
September 12, 2014
Roger Wieck, Curator of Medieval Manuscripts at the Morgan Library in New York City, led a full-day workshop on medieval calendars at the Beinecke Library on April 4, 2014.  Students learned how medieval people used calendars to calculate various feasts, such as Easter, and how to determine what region or use each calendar was created for.  Mr.
April 7, 2014
Today graduate students in medieval studies presented their work on manuscripts in the Beinecke's collection.  The event was organized by Alastair Minnis, chair of Medieval Studies, and many of the students started their manuscript work with Professor Barbara Shailor, who teaches paleography at the Beinecke Library. YALE LECTURES IN MEDIEVAL STUDIES1st April 2014 at 5pmin the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, rooms 38-39.
April 1, 2014
On Saturday, April 29, Professor Paul Freedman (History) organized a showing of rare book relating to cooking and the preparation of food and beverages for the Yale Sustainable Food Project, which was celebrating its tenth anniversary.  Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse, was the guest of honor and on display were items from the Beinecke Library, Manuscripts and Archives, the Babylonian collection, and Prof.
April 1, 2014
Introducing: Beinecke MS 1153Through the Holy Land and Back AgainBeinecke MS 1153, produced sometime after 1383*, is extraordinary for its breadth of materials, and its unique preservation of the pilgrimage of "Franceschinus," a monk originally hailing from Pontemoli, Italy (in Tuscany). Due to the prominence of the Lives of St. Francis, St. Claire, and St. Anthony in the opening portion of the manuscript, this codex seems to have belonged to the Franciscan order.
March 31, 2014


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