Symposium: A Bunch of Books. Book Collections in the Medieval Low Countries

Symposium at the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of Queeste
Organised in cooperation with Radboud University Nijmegen

Date: 14 February 2013
Venue: Gymnasion, room GN 3, Heyendaalseweg 141, 6525 AJ Nijmegen.
Costs: €15,– (students 7,50)
Registration: Please send an e-mail to Renée Gabriël ( before 1 February 2013

Due to the überlieferungsgeschichtliche Methode and New Philology, the idea that the meaning of texts is determined by the material context in which they are preserved has become central to the study of historical literature in the Low Countries. However, this approach has mainly inspired researchers to study texts in their manuscript context, especially that of miscellanies. During a symposium on book collections we would like to explore the significance of material context outside the manuscript. Not only individual texts, but also manuscripts as a whole functioned in the context of a larger collection of books and derived meaning from the context of this collection. In Memory’s Library. Medieval Books in Early Modern England(2008) Jennifer Summit stated that ‘libraries were dynamic institutions that actively processed, shaped, and imposed meaning on the very materials they contained’.The focus of this symposium will be on the ways in which books functioned in the context of a collection, on how individual books related to collections as a whole and to the users and owners of these collections. Book collections constitute a melting point of materials and themes that are often studied separately: Latin and vernacular texts, religious and secular literature, manuscript and print, rhyme and prose, splendour and plainness, old and new. By making use of inventories, library catalogues and preserved manuscripts the speakers at this symposium investigate the characteristics, size and meaning of book collections in the Low Countries. They address questions about the owners and users of these collections, social and cultural exchange, the formation of meaning, the organisation of collections, and the consequences of this approach for our view on literary history. The confrontation of the study of texts in their manuscript context and in book collections will be one of the central discussion points of this day.

Program (download pdf)

10:30 Welcome and Coffee
11:00 Introduction
Suzan Folkerts and Renée Gabriël
Texts in medieval libraries: Thoughts for an integrated approach
Prof. Dr Albert Derolez (Ghent University) 
Books that are collections of books 
Prof. Dr Herman Brinkman (Huygens ING / University of Amsterdam)
12:30 Lunch
Collecting Religious Knowledge: books, libraries and networks
Dr Sabrina Corbellini (University of Groningen)
Book Collections and their Use. Some Examples from Princely and Noble Libraries
Dr Hanno Wijsman (Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes Paris)
15:00 Coffee and Tea break
15:30 The Beckers Connection: Some Thoughts on the Latin Books of Hours in the Soeterbeeck Collection
Ad Poirters MA, in collaboration with Dr Hans Kienhorst (Radboud University Nijmegen)
16:00 Keynote 
Devotional anthologies: Collectors of religious texts and their methods
Dr Ryan Perry (University of Kent)
16:45 Drinks

You are also invited to the public lecture Medieval Manuscripts as Truly Open Data by Dr. Will Noel, Director of The Special Collections Center and The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (University of Pennsylvania) on Wednesday 13 February at 16:30.

CEU summer courses

De Central European University te Budapest organiseert een aantal summer schools die interessant kunnen zijn voor mediëvisten. Meer informatie vindt u hieronder.

Course details:
DATES: 15 -20 JULY, 2013
Course director:
Anna Somfai, Senior Research Fellow, Medieval Studies Department,
Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Niels Gaul, Medieval Studies Department, Central European University,
Budapest, Hungary; David Juste, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften,
Munich, Germany;
András Németh, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome, Italy; Inmaculada
Perez Martín, Instituto de lenguas y culturas del mediterraneao y
oriente proximo, Madrid, Spain; Katalin Szende, Medieval Studies
Department, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

DATES: 1-12 JULY, 2013
Course director:
Irene Barbiera, Research Fellow, Department of Medieval Studies,
Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Bonnie Effros, Department of History, University of Florida,
Gainesville, USA; Gundula Muldner, Department of Archaeology, University
of Reading, UK; Raphael Panhuysen, Department of History, Archaeology
and Area Studies, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Ildiko Pap,
Department of Anthropology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest,
Hungary; Alice Choyke, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European
University, Budapest, Hungary

Financial aid is available.
Application deadline: February 15, 2013
Please visit the individual course web sites for specific information.

Summer University Office
1051 Budapest, Nádor utca 9, Hungary
tel: 36 1 327 3811