1st Edition

New Approaches to the Archive in the Middle Ages Collecting, Curating, Assembling

Edited By Emily N. Savage Copyright 2024
    272 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume brings together scholars of history, manuscript studies, and art and architectural history to examine in conversation the varieties of medieval archival acts, the heterogeneity of collections, and the motivations of collectors. It is united by the historically flexible concept of the archive, and contributors examine material from Seville to Prague, from the early Christian period through the Reformation.

    Premodern collections and archival practices are increasingly becoming the subject of academic inquiry. Chapter authors investigate how institutional, communal, and familial identity accrued to material culture, including illuminated manuscripts, ecclesiastic vestments, ancient sarcophagi, and reliquaries. Others examine the social impulses behind the documentation of such collections, namely through the creation of inventories, but also in the production, management, and use of parchment records, including cartularies, estate records, and legal documents. Finally, contributors question how medieval people evaluated historical age and outmoded artistic styles; shaped and promoted collective memory through preservation, display, and ritual; and attached value, both monetary and symbolic, to their collections.

    The volume is cross-disciplinary and will appeal to a variety of readers, both in and out of academia. Curators, librarians, and archivists working with medieval collections will find it valuable, as will heritage professionals and charities involved in the care of properties which presently or formerly contained medieval treasuries, libraries, and archives.


    Emily N. Savage


    Part I

    Historical Inquiry


    Chapter 1

    History in the Making: Categories, Techniques and Chronology in Church Collections, c. 800–1400

    Erik Inglis


    Chapter 2

    Reflecting a Golden Age: The Material Composition of History in Mosan Treasuries c. 1500

    Elizabeth Rice Mattison


    Chapter 3

    Collecting, Curating, and Remembering in the Cathedral of Seville: A Portable Written Archive from the Fifteenth Century

    Diego Belmonte Fernández


    Part II

    Use, Management, and Intervention


    Chapter 4

    The “B-side” of the Parchment: Two Mediaeval Religious Archives from the Kingdom of Leon in Spain

    Rafael Ceballos-Roa and María del Carmen Rodríguez-López


    Chapter 5

    The Locus Credibilis and the Making of Urban Authority: Preserving the Written Word in Metz (Fourteenth to Fifteenth Centuries)

    Amélie Marineau-Pelletier


    Chapter 6

    Almost Sacred? How Bolognese Notaries Shaped the Meaning of Archives, 1289–1294

    Sarina Kuersteiner



    Chapter 7

    Appropriating the Archive: Promoting Legitimacy and Shaping Historical Memory through the Library of John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford

    Orly Amit


    Part III

    Building the Archive


    Chapter 8

    The Records of Medieval St Andrews in the University of St Andrews Library

    Rachel Hart


    Chapter 9

    The Ties That Bind: Alliance, Remembrance, and Resilience Gathered in a Flemish Widow’s Psalter

    Kathleen Wilson Ruffo


    Chapter 10

    The Afterlives of Funeral Palls: Notes from the Sacristy of St. Thomas, Prague, c. 1410

    Juliette Calvarin


    Chapter 11

    A Late Medieval Inventory from St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich (BL Stowe MS 871): Register, Record, Teaching Resource

    Zachary Stewart


    Emily N. Savage is an Associate Lecturer in the School of Art History, University of St Andrews. She received her PhD from the same institution in 2017 and also holds degrees from the University of York and New York University. Her research and teaching encompasses, broadly, the material culture of late medieval devotion, and she has previously published on the object lives of devotional manuscripts. She is currently leading the development of a new postgraduate program at the intersection of digital humanities and art history for St Andrews.