So I meant to write about this last Friday, but forgot and then I had a crazy school week, so here it is: I got to handle a book that was from the early 1400's. It was so cool! For my Medieval lit class we took a trip to the special collections department of the BYU library, which has all the manuscripts and items that are too valuable and old to keep on the main floors. It was so cool to see different folios of old manuscripts, and actual items that were from centuries past. The book that I got to touch was a book written in Middle English from Toledo, Spain (the curators have no idea how it ended up in Spain) with the original leather bindings and gold-leafing. The pages were vellum (which is really thin animal skin), and on some of the pages you could see the remnant hairs from the fur. The book itself was at least 6 inches thick, though with time and wear it had become a little bit bigger than its original size. The subject of the book was a bishop's liturgy complete with almanacs and sundials on the front couple pages; the illustrations throughout the book were so detailed and small that it seemed like a Where's Waldo hunt. Some of the funnier illustrations included a dragon with a man's head, and a stork with a baby's head on it, which was quite humorous.
All I can say after taking that little fieldtrip is that I'm fast becoming a nerd when it comes to all things Medieval. Watch out Medieval club, here I come.