• Medieval Manuscripts: Media Archaeology and the Digital Incunable

    Martin Foys (see profile)
    Anglo-Saxons--Study and teaching, Manuscripts, Mass media--Study and teaching, Archaeology, Manuscripts, Medieval
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Medieval media studies, Anglo-Saxon studies, Manuscript studies, Media archaeology, Medieval manuscripts
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    This chapter assesses the evolution of the digitized manuscript from fragmented data to increasingly accessible and interoperable forms. The long view of media history and the tenets of the emerging field of media archaeology frame this exploration, considering how digital representations of manuscripts function as a kind of incunable – an extended media moment caught between old and nascent methods and practices. Archaeologically, the medieval manuscript functioned as a convergence of media forms existing in partnership with larger ecologies of material expression. Today, increasingly agile digital architectures create the potential not only for excavation of historical forms, but for significant new ecologies of media. As a touchstone for such ideas, this chapter considers the critical and technological treatment of a single Anglo-Saxon manuscript (London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius MS B.v) from the eleventh century until the present day, and over the course of three media ages: manuscript, print, and digital. The complicated and protean nature of this manuscript's form, content, and interpretation over these ages, along with the fractured way it now exists digitally, serves as a starting point for considering how future digital applications might enable more capacious architectures for studying medieval manuscripts in both time and media.
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    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
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