Université de Strasbourg

Book, codex and portable library: manuscript 2119 of Strasbourg's National and University Library

June 18, 2024
From 14:30 until 17:00
Salle de formation, BNU, Strasbourg

By Marie-Sophie Winter, 2023 Fellow

Followed by a guided tour of the Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire (BNU)The seminar will be bilingual in French and English.

From April 2024 to April 2025, Strasbourg will be the UNESCO World Book Capital. This is an ideal moment to reflect on the book as an object: its origins, history and definition.

This seminar will specifically look at the medieval book - the codex - which was the successor of the ancient papyrus scroll and the historical ancestor of the modern book. How did this development affect the history of the book? And what role do codices that contain a number of different texts play in this evolution? The first part of the seminar will be dedicated to these questions.

It will then focus on a case study: manuscript 2119 from Strasbourg’s National and University Library (BNU). Marie-Sophie Winter will present the material characteristics of this ‘multi-text’ manuscript, to illustrate how these aspects allow us to better understand its genesis: that of a ‘collection of chronicles, tales and travel accounts’, which functions as a portable library.


14:30-16:00:   Seminar "Book, codex and portable library"

16:00-17:00:   Guided visit of the BNU, including the exhibition "10 Years of Treasures"

Image: Strasbourg, Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire, ms. 2119, Fol. III vo Painting, 172 x 97 mm, showing the copyist offering his book to a high person (https://bvmm.irht.cnrs.fr/iiif/17035/canvas/canvas-1421078/view)

France 2030