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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Manuscripts, Artists & Audiences: Introduction to the Medieval Codex (HIAR10179)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is an introduction to medieval manuscripts and will consider the production and use of different types of medieval codices. The first part of the course will focus on the practical elements of manuscript production while the second part will consider different genres and the use of different medieval books.
Course description This course will introduce students to the production, use and functions of medieval manuscripts. Through lectures, seminars, study visits to book depositories and hands-on practical exercises, students will learn how medieval books were created and put together. Although not a chronological survey of a thousand years of book history, this course will consider both monastic production and secular workshop practices. Through case studies focusing on particular manuscripts examining patterns of use and wear and relationships between patrons, artists, and later owners, students will gain insight in to the religious and social functions of medieval books.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08012) OR Architectural History 2a: Order & the City (ARHI08006) AND Architectural History 2b: Culture & the City (ARHI08007)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs There will be a practical element to the course, for which students may have to purchase materials, these costs may be covered by the department.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History of Art courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. As numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate haptic knowledge of aspects of manuscript production and illumination through practical engagement with material and primary sources.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the key characteristics of specific genres of medieval manuscripts.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the social, religious and practical contexts for the creation, use and continued lives of medieval codices.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to confidently discuss and describe the architecture of a manuscript as well as the formal features of the page, such as iconography and mise-en-page.
Reading List
Kathryn Rudy, Postcards on Parchment: The Social Lives of Medieval Books (2015)

Eamon Duffy, Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers, 1240-1570 (2011)

Kathryn Rudy, 'Dirty Books: Quantifying Patterns of Use in Medieval Manuscripts Using a Densitometer' Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 2 (2010): 1-26.

Spike Bucklow, The Alchemy of Paint: Art, Science and Secrets from the Middle Ages (2009)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis;
Clear thinking and the development of an argument;
Independent research;
Presentation and communication skills;
Organisation and planning
KeywordsEurope,Medieval,Book history,Manuscript production,Use of Manuscripts,Devotional Practices
Course organiserDr Sara Oberg Stradal
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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