The Book: Making and Meaning in the Medieval Manuscript

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The Book: Making and Meaning in the Medieval Manuscript

Course Details

Cost

FREE

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  • On demand

Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22471 reviews

Course Description

As books “go digital,” we can appreciate what is gained in terms of convenience, accessibility and interconnectedness. However, we should also consider what is lost as texts transition to a digital sphere.

This module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space seeks to re-introduce learners to the codex – a handwritten and hand-constructed book - as a three-dimensional object whose characteristics produce meaning in the experience of the reader.

This module is designed to walk you through the process of making a medieval manuscript. Using a wide variety of examples from the collections of Harvard’s Houghton Library, it will familiarize you with basic terms and concepts and give you a “feel” for the shapes, sizes, formats, materials and considerations of craft that went into the making of the book as we know it.

Throughout the Middle Ages there existed an intimate relationship between making and meaning. Codices were tactil...

As books “go digital,” we can appreciate what is gained in terms of convenience, accessibility and interconnectedness. However, we should also consider what is lost as texts transition to a digital sphere.

This module of The Book: Histories Across Time and Space seeks to re-introduce learners to the codex – a handwritten and hand-constructed book - as a three-dimensional object whose characteristics produce meaning in the experience of the reader.

This module is designed to walk you through the process of making a medieval manuscript. Using a wide variety of examples from the collections of Harvard’s Houghton Library, it will familiarize you with basic terms and concepts and give you a “feel” for the shapes, sizes, formats, materials and considerations of craft that went into the making of the book as we know it.

Throughout the Middle Ages there existed an intimate relationship between making and meaning. Codices were tactile as well as visual objects designed to engage multiple senses. In the illuminated manuscript, it is often impossible to distinguish neatly between text and image; rather, letters assume imagistic forms and images take the form of letters.

Bookmakers were sensitive to the interplay of materials, from the parchment of the pages to the wooden boards, designed to protect the contents. Each of these elements conditioned a reader’s interaction with the book. Bookmaking required a significant material investment. The production process was laborious and lengthy, involving many separate stages and craftsmen.

Books participated in a wide range of ritual, liturgical, devotional, educational and practical contexts, each of which in turn conditioned the presentation and reception of both their form and content.


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Reviews 9/10 stars
2 Reviews for The Book: Making and Meaning in the Medieval Manuscript

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Paul Hundal profile image
Paul Hundal profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 138 reviews
  • 119 completed
3 years, 11 months ago
Excellent mini-MOOC. This is the first module of the series and should be done if you are interested in this subject. Each module of the series focuses on one part of the overall course that can be completed in a much shorter time. I was able to focus on the topics of most interest however this module should be included since it gives a good background on the western origins of books. Excellent presentation and material.
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Inae Park profile image
Inae Park profile image

Inae Park

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 12 months ago
I have never seen more interesting courses in my entire life. If you love books, you will really love these courses. I love the subject, lecturer and quality of the contents. Thank you so much, eDx!
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