Traditional scholarship on manuscripts has tended to focus on issues concerning their production and has shown comparatively little interest in the cultural contexts of the manuscript book. The Medieval Manuscript Book redresses this by focusing on aspects of the medieval book in its cultural situations. Written by experts in the study of the handmade book before print, this volume combines bibliographical expertise with broader insights into the theory and praxis of manuscript study in areas from bibliography to social context, linguistics to location, and archaeology to conservation. The focus of the contributions ranges widely, from authorship to miscellaneity, and from vernacularity to digital facsimiles of manuscripts. Taken as a whole, these essays make the case that to understand the manuscript book it must be analyzed in all its cultural complexity, from production to transmission to its continued adaptation.
1. Introduction: manuscripts and cultural history Michael Johnston and Michael Van Dussen; 2. Bibliographical theory and the textuality of the codex: towards a history of the pre-modern book Seth Lerer; 3. What is a manuscript culture? Technologies of the manuscript matrix Stephen G. Nichols; 4. Decoding the material book: cultural residue in medieval manuscripts Erik Kwakkel; 5. Organizing manuscript and print: from Compilatio to compilation Jeffrey Todd Knight; 6. Containing the book: the institutional afterlives of medieval manuscripts Sian Echard; 7. Medieval manuscripts: media archaeology and the digital incunable Martin K. Foys; 8. The circulation of texts in manuscript culture Pascale Bourgain; 9. Multilingualism and late medieval manuscript culture Lucie Dolezalova; 10. Miscellaneity and variance in the medieval book Arthur Bahr; 11. Vernacular authorship and the control of manuscript production Andrew Taylor; 12. Medieval French and Italian literature: towards a manuscript history Keith Busby and Christopher Kleinhenz; 13. Afterword: social history of the book and beyond Kathryn Kerby-Fulton; Bibliography.