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September library website update

October 1, 2012

September was a busy month for the library website team. We officially launched the new site on August 28, and have been steadily adding content, features, and functionality since them.  Below is a summary of the Library website work accomplished in September. 

Patron-facing changes and enhancements:

Scripting the Sacred: Medieval Latin Manuscripts

September 26, 2012
by Astrid Johannah Smith

Digital Production Group takes great pride and pleasure in our role supporting the Library's many beautiful and informative exhibitions. The current exhibition is just that, displaying an array of startlingly colorful and detailed medieval manuscripts from the University's collection.

Please read more below, cross-posted from Special Collections.  See also the recent article in the Stanford University News, Medieval exhibition spotlights Stanford Libraries' manuscript collection.

Scripting the Sacred: Medieval Latin Manuscripts

Scripting the Sacred, part one of a two-part exhibition of Western European manuscripts and fragments, showcases the medieval experience of reading. The exhibition will open Monday, September 17, in the Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda of Green Library, and continue through January 6, 2013.

Studying these texts involved not only the absorption of knowledge, but also practices of interpretation, identification, and devotion. By focusing on the exercise of reading, this exhibition explores "scripting" in diverse forms: scribal activity, scripted performances, and inscribed divine things (res divinae).

Throughout the Middle Ages, the Bible remained the paradigmatic text for reading and studying. The exhibited biblical items highlight different preferences pertaining to legibility. Indeed, scribes designed manuscripts to guide, assist, and sometimes challenge readers, as medieval versions of biblical commentary and patristic works exemplify. The liturgical genres on display contain written and visual markers that instruct readers in the proper performance of the Mass, music, and specific feast days. The text portion of the liturgy helped stage the clergy's ceremonial duties. Liturgical fragments with musical notation assisted ritual actors in the memorization of stylized speech. Both components show how customized manuscripts promoted reading aloud. Miniature prayer books and books of hours demonstrate a late medieval trend toward privatized and personalized lay devotion.

Detail showing shape notes used in four-syllable fasola solmization, in The Easy Instructor (Albany, NY, 1808)

Early American tune books on display in the Music Library

September 24, 2012
by Ray Heigemeir

 

“To please the taste of the public”

Early American Tune Books

(1761 – 1808)

 

Five early American tune books and one facsimile edition are on display in the Music Library through December 2012. Items include William Billings' The Singing Master's Assistant (Boston, 1781); Andrew Law's The Art of Singing (Cheshire, Conn., 1794); and, Jeremiah Ingalls' The Christian Harmony (Exeter, 1805).

Scripting the Sacred exhibition opens today

September 17, 2012
by Christopher Matson

The first part of two-part exhibition Scripting the Sacred opens today, Monday, September 17, in Green Library's Peterson Gallery and Munger Rotunda. According to its website, the exhibition features "Western European manuscripts and fragments, showcases the medieval experience of reading."


From the exhibition's website: 

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