Who Knew Manuscripts Would be a Social Media Hit?

Being on the social media team meant I spent a lot of time on social media, scoping out similar accounts and related content to try and grow our online presence with people who would appreciate our content instead of bots and it is a whole different world out there. Academic Twitter or Medieval Twitter is an already established community where academics can collaborate and ask questions, or make funny jokes and it is a great space to be apart of. Instagram  (@medieval_book) is less of an academic space since most of your media is consumed through photographs and many people neglect to read the captions because of mindless scrolling. I was pleasantly surprised at how many medieval accounts are on Instagram and the mini community they have. Most of it is looking at interesting marginalia, or looking at beautiful manuscripts but one thing I found is that everyone in that community follows one another help try and grow the community. It kind of overlaps with the calligraphy community and the meme genre since you can make some great memes from marginalia or manuscripts.

I also found a lot of sellers form auction houses selling manuscripts on Instagram which I thought was an interesting thing to do on this platform, but it kind of made sense since it is such a photo based social media platform. By the time of our exhibit launch, our Instagram account grew to 168 followers and an average of 50 likes per post which is incredible engagement for such a niche community. The account is also only two months old so that is incredible growth. I wish we could keep the account running, and continue to post more to it in hopes we can gain more engagement and attract more people to medieval studies, and history in general because I do not want this field to die out.¬† I love history and hope our online presence continues to go and take over the world ūüėČ

Find Other People’s Work

When researching my manuscript, trying to narrow down where and when it is from makes me feel like a detective. Finding out where to start is always the hard part when starting anything. Where I started was looking at the type of script my manuscript was prominently written in, and seeing if there were any other markers in my manuscript to give me any clues.

My script pointed my in the direction of Northern Gothic which is around 14th century. Then I noticed my rubrication (writing and accents in red) was what I thought was French. Turns out I was on the right track! Then I turned to Google.

I looked up “14th Century French Manuscript” and what popped up shows a similar font to mine which was encouraging. During this time I was slowly transcribing my manuscript and searching phrases of it into Google getting very little results which was discouraging. A lot of the phrases in my manuscript are very common, but not common together in the searches I was producing.

Finally I figured it out with some help. With this mystery finally solved, I started looking up “Spirit of the Hours Manuscript” and the name Otto Ege kept popping up. I then found out about book-breaking and manuscripts thought to have been broken up and sold. I then found¬†https://manuscriptroadtrip.wordpress.com/category/otto-f-ege/

These site is on a journey to discover fragmented manuscripts and looking at the manuscripts they have found, they look really similar to mine. The text and illuminated letters look almost identical, but the decoration and floral design looks completely different. This gave me hope I was on the right track and helped me find others on an interesting journey to unfold the mysteries of medieval manuscripts.

Week 9: Codicology

Hello everyone and welcome to week nine with me, your host. Paige Bryenton. Codicology is the study of the physical manuscript and is apart of that process. When going over the material for this week, I did not realize how many different aspects go into the physical manuscript depending on its use. When looking over the readings for this week, Introduction to Manuscript Studies and Quick Guide to Liturgical Manuscripts, I found chapter 12 on manuscript genres in Clemens the most relevant to our course since most of us are dealing with liturgical texts and calendars. It is a good resource for more in-depth information on the the physical manuscript and what type of topics were written down. The Quick Guide to Liturgical Manuscripts is a useful tool in understanding more finer differences between different types of texts and is a great companion to Clemens.

The document


Some questions I would like to bring up is:

  1. When comparing the distinct letter forms discussed in the readings, which one was closest to letter forms we use today?
  2. a) What manuscript genre does yours fall under? b)What was its use? c) Is it a common document?
  3. Were the authentication methods used for charters effective?


About Me: Paige Bryenton

Hello, my name is Paige Bryenton and I am a 4th year History major with a minor in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Carleton University. My educational interests surround  relationships and sexuality in the medieval era. I am also interested in the Roman Empire and 18th century Britain.

In my fourth year, I am trying to narrow down what I would like to study and I would like to specialize in after my undergrad. I have narrowed my scope to the medieval era, specifically relationships and sexuality. I am taking a course called Digitizing Medieval Manuscripts which I think will help build my knowledge of this field and the possible careers that could be in store for someone with a History degree.

Some hobbies I have include playing board games. Some favourites include Settlers of Catan, Lords of Waterdeep, and Mysterium. I also play Dungeons & Dragons and enjoy the fantasy culture surrounding that which ties into my love of history quite well.