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Manuscript book in the west 1


Admission requirements

In principle aimed at MA students of Book & Digital Media Studies. Some exceptions may be made: contact the instructor.


This seminar course offers an introduction to the history and development of the Western manuscript book. It explores various aspects of the production and use of the medieval manuscript in Europe, from scribal habits to the practices of readers. The course focuses on both the physical features of medieval books as well as the contexts in which they were produced and used. The course consists of two parts: in the first half students are taught how the manuscript was produced and used; the second half will put the theory into practice and offer students the chance to work with actual medieval artifacts.

Course objectives

1 To introduce students to the medieval manuscript and its culture of production and use.

2 To develop a critical understanding of how knowledge of medieval books may be employed in other medieval disciplines, such as the study of history and literature.

3 To show what role the handwritten book plays in the broader history of human communication.


The timetable is available on the Media Studies website

Mode of instruction


Course Load

The course load is 140 hours

  • Hours spent on attending seminars: 26 hours

  • Time for studying compulsory literature: 39 hours

  • Time for writing papers: 75 hours

Assessment method

  • Essay 1: 40%

  • Essay 2: 40%

  • Class participation: 20%


Blackboard will be used (general information, supplying additional readings)

Reading list

Clemens, R. and Graham, T. (2007), Introduction to Manuscript Studies (Cornell University Press)


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte via:
Registration Contractonderwijs via:


Media Studies student administration, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;

Coordinator of studies: Mr. J. Donkers, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 1.02b.