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Nov16

Dragon Prayer Book Featured on News @ Northeastern

Posted by: Giordana Mecagni

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Photo cour­tesy of the North­east Doc­u­ment
Con­ser­va­tion Center

Rare book from Northeastern archives selected for ‘illuminated manuscripts’ display
November 15, 2016 by Thea Singer

A palm-​​size 15th-​​century book from Northeastern’s archives at Snell Library was selected to be part of the multi-​​venue exhibit “Beyond Words: Illu­mi­nated Man­u­scripts in Boston Col­lec­tions.” Described by its cura­tors as “the largest exhibit of pre-​​1600 man­u­scripts ever mounted in North America,” “Beyond Words” fea­tures more than 260 items span­ning the 9th to the 17th cen­turies donated by 19 Boston-​​area libraries and museums.

Northeastern’s con­tri­bu­tion is a Dominican Prayer Book of more than 500 pages, with text in Latin hand­written in the Gothic book­hand style. It has just a single illustration—a grotesque inside a large blue “R” on the first page—but red and blue text is sprin­kled throughout. The dec­o­ra­tions are what char­ac­terize it as “illu­mi­nated.” The man­u­script includes com­po­nents of a Book of Hours, prayers that were to be said at spec­i­fied hours of the day, and the prayer cycle Office of the Dead, among other devotions. Tiny tabs extending from the edges of cer­tain pages indi­cate where par­tic­ular sec­tions begin.

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Posted in: Archives and Special Collections, Serendipity

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