Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search

Reading the Manuscript Page: Design Features of the Medieval Book

Modern readers today rely on design features found in the pages of printed books to navigate their way through the text, but did you know that medieval manuscripts were read in much the same way? This post looks at the design features added by scribes to medieval pages, using a 14th-century Latin Vulgate Bible produced in East Anglia (TCD MS 35) and recently digitised as part of the Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project: click here to see the manuscript in full. This decorated single-volume Bible features layout elements typically found in books of the Middle Ages to guide readers when consulting their manuscripts.

Continue reading “Reading the Manuscript Page: Design Features of the Medieval Book”

A Manuscript’s Journey through the English Civil Wars

TCD MS 174, f. 50r

The Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project has now digitised an early medieval collection of saints’ lives (TCD MS 174), produced between the late 11th- and early 12th centuries as one of four companion volumes at the Old Sarum Cathedral of Salisbury. See the manuscript in full here. So how did this manuscript reach Trinity College Dublin? To find out, we must follow this manuscript’s journey through the English Civil Wars (1642-1651).

Old English inscription reading of searbyrig ic eom (‘I am of Salisbury’), from TCD MS 174, flyleaf i-recto

Continue reading “A Manuscript’s Journey through the English Civil Wars”

Farcical Fountains in the Fagel collection

Dr Maria Elisa Navarro Morales is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. She and her students have this year been looking at the architecture titles in the Fagel Collection, although for obvious reasons they have not been able to see them in person. The students submitted blogposts, three of which will be published here. Although they included bibliographies in their essays, for brevity we have omitted them. This post is by Olivia Bayne.

*SPLASH* without warning, followed by a roar of shrieks and laughter.  There you were, innocently admiring the garden view from a gallery window when, suddenly, some strange figure hidden in the foliage threw a bucket of water in your face.  Equal parts damp and mortified, you scurry out of the room; away from potential further drenching, away from the laughter of other guests soon to be met with similar ironic fates. Down the hall you come across a mirror.  Stopping to rearrange your hair and wipe the water from your brow, you straighten up, smile, and *poof* another figure, this time hidden in the rafters, has emptied a sack of flour atop your head.  You are now wettened and whitened – just in time for dinner.  Your host must be a madman; surely this is nothing more than a madhouse.

Fig. 1: Guests run away under a cloak from surprise water jets. Giovanni Battista Falda, Le fontane di roma, Rome, 1691. Shelfmark: Fag. I.I.27 no.3, plate 10.
Continue reading “Farcical Fountains in the Fagel collection”

Ephemeral Architecture Eternalised in Print:

The Documentation of the Funeral Procession for Archduke Albert VII of Austria, 1622

Dr Maria Elisa Navarro Morales is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. She and her students have been looking this year at the architecture titles in the Fagel Collection, although for obvious reasons they have not been able to see them in person. The students submitted blogposts, three of which will be published here. Although they included bibliographies and footnotes in their essays, for brevity we have omitted them. This post is by Zoe Cooke.

The Pompa Funebris Alberti is a book that commemorates the funeral of Archduke Albert VII of Austria which took place in Brussels on March 12, 1622. A copy of the illustrated volume resides in the expansive Fagel collection at the library of Trinity College Dublin and it includes fifty-four plates detailing all the figures who took part in the funeral procession and the purpose-built, monumental, ephemeral architecture that was designed for it by artist and court architect, Jacob Franquart. The volume provides invaluable insight into the function of ephemeral architecture in the orchestration of courtly ceremonies in the early modern period in Europe.

Fig.1. Fag.I.1.60: Jacob Franquart. Pompa funebris optimi potentissimiq[ue] principis Alberti Pii, Archiducis Austriae, ducis Burg. Bra. &c., Brussels, 1623. Title page
Continue reading “Ephemeral Architecture Eternalised in Print:”

The Fagel French Garden Connection

Dr Maria Elisa Navarro Morales is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. She and her students have this year been looking at the architecture titles in the Fagel Collection, although for obvious reasons they have not been able to see them in person. The students submitted blogposts, three of which will be published here. Although they included bibliographies and footnotes in their essays, for brevity we have omitted them. This post, by Niamh Flood, refers to the Fagel House, which is discussed on the first Fagel video.

There is an inconspicuous volume in the Fagel Library, unremarkable in appearance and at less than twenty pages, so slight as to be almost overlooked in this vast collection: Hardouin-Mansart, Jules, and Michel Hardouin (engraver), Book of all the Profiles and Elevations Plans both in Perspective and Geometric of Chateau de Clagny. Paris: Cossin, 1680. Shelfmark Fag. I.1.72.

Plate 1: Fagel I.1.72 Hardouin-Mansart, Jules, and Michel Hardouin (engraver), Book Of All The Profiles And Elevations Plans Both In Perspective And Geometric Of Chasteau De Clagny. Paris: Cossin, 1680
Continue reading “The Fagel French Garden Connection”