2014 Symposium on “Recollections of the Past”

July 15, 2014 in Abstracts of Conference Papers, Bembino, Conference Announcement, Events

Recollections of the Past:
Editorial & Artistic Workshops
from Late Antiquity to Early Modernity & Beyond

Friday & Saturday 16 & 17 May 2014
138 Lewis Library
Princeton University

Save the Date Announcement for Symposium on "Recollections of the Past" (May 2015) in its completed version with border

“Save the Date” Announcement (complete)

RGME Symposium 2014 Program & Abstracts Page 1 with border

Symposium Program Page 1

Poster for "Recollections of the Past" Symposium (May 2014) with border

Symposium Poster


[First published on 15 July 2014, with updates.  And now with the corrected Program Booklet:
RGME Symposium 2014 Program & abstracts corrected]

The “Save the Date” Announcement (Save the Date 16-17 May 2014) set the stage by describing the intentions and scope of the subject.  To sum up:

This symposium explored the workings of workshops, as revealed through the traces of artists, craftsmen, scribes, authors, editors, printers, and patrons, across a wide range of subjects, regions, and materials, in transitions from classical antiquity and early Christianity through the long Middle Ages and thence to the early modern period and beyond. We seek to discern how these editorial agents of whatever kind shaped and reshaped materials — tangible and intangible — in transmitting the legacy of the past, often in the process to form works which perhaps seemed more viable in changing times, expectations, and systems of belief. Memory may hold a significant place among the materials, processes, and forces at work in the processes of collecting, shaping, and, in many cases, transforming complex bodies of evidence in a robust or precarious voyage from the past.

The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence warmly thank the Sponsors, Donors, and Contributors to the Symposium, which formed part of the celebrations for our 2014 Anniversary Year.  Other celebrations have included our Sessions at the 2014 International Congress on Medieval Studies in May, along with an Anniversary Reception.

Sponsors and Donors

Speakers and Moderators

Introductory Remarks

  • Mildred Budny (Research Group on Manuscript Evidence)

Session 1.  Inscribing, Measuring, Viewing

Moderator:  Sara S. Poor (Medieval Studies Program and Department of German, Princeton University)

  • Don C. Skemer (Firestone Library, Princeton University)
    “A Renaissance Erasable Notebook in the Old World and the New”
    [Note:  A fuller, collaborative, account of this artifact and its context was published
    online on 23 February 2015 in the Journal of the Institute of Conservation here or here.]
  • Frederic Clark (Department of History, Princeton University)
    “Dividing Time:  Collaboration, Conflict, and the Periodization of the Past in the Decades around 1700”
  • Paul Davis (Department of History, Princeton University)
    “The Domestic Grand Tour:  Observations from the Diaries of Caroline Lybbe Powys”
Robert Kaster at the podium at the "Recollections of the Past" Symposium (2014), with photography by James Heidere

Robert Kaster tells his tale

Session 2.  Chasing, Observing, Detecting

Moderator:  Helmut Reimitz (Department of History, Princeton University)

  • Martha E. Easton (Department of Communication and the Arts, Seton Hall University)
    “Medieval and Nineteenth-Century ‘Courtly Love’ Ivories and the Nature of Authenticity”
  • Karl F. Morrison (Department of History Emeritus, Rutgers University)
    “Witnessing Iconoclasm:  Some Recent Collaborative Studies”
  • Robert A. Kaster (Department of Classics, Princeton University)
    “Hunting a Textual Wild Man in Twelfth-Century England”

Session 3. Building, Shaping, Remembering

Moderator:  Henry Schilb (Index of Christian Art)

  • Thomas Jacoby (Research Group on Manuscript and Other Evidence),
    “Recovering the Evidence for Workshop Activities at Qal’at Sim’an”
  • Catherine Fernandez (Index of Christian Art)
    “Inventories, Altars, and Institutional Memory:
    Carolingian Patronage and the Sculptural ‘Program’ of Saint-Sernin of Toulouse”

Session 4.  Recollecting Losses and Analyzing Structures in Books of Hours

Moderator:  James H. Marrow (Department of Art & Archaeology Emeritus, Princeton University)

  • Adelaide Bennett (Index of Christian Art, Princeton University)
    “Recollections of a Dismembered French Book of Hours of the Early Fourteenth Century”
  • Gregory T. Clark (Department of Art & Art History, Sewanee: The University of the South)
    “Beyond Use:  A Digital Took for the Analysis of Late Medieval Manuscript Books of Hours”
Frederic Clark speaks at the "Recollections of the Past" Symposium (2014), with photography by James Heidere

Discourse In Course

Session 5.  Transmitting, Editing & “Reading” Complex Texts

Moderator:  Charles E. Barber (Department of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University)

  • Celia Chazelle (Department of History, The College of New Jersey)
    “Reading the Bible and Editing Bibles at Bede’s Monkwearmouth–Jarrow:
    The Codex Amiatinus and its ‘Sister Bibles’ “
  • Mildred Budny (Research Group on Manuscript Evidence, Princeton)
    “Unity & Diversity in Framing the Eusebian Canon Tables of Gospel Concordances:
    A Study Tool Illuminated”
  • Michael T. Davis (Princeton Theological Seminary)
    “What is the Syriac Cave of Treasures?  Issues of Genre, Text, and Transmission”

Session 6.  Reshaping Ecclesiastical and Institutional Histories

Moderator:  Giles Constable (School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study)

  • Helmut Reimitz (Department of History, Princeton University)
    “Recollections of Antiquity in the Carolingian Empire:
    The Creation of a New Church History in the Historiographical Workshop of Lorsch circa 800″
  • Madeline McMahon (Department of Classics, Columbia University)
    “Matthew Parker and the Practice of Church History:  Reading and Publishing ‘bokes of Antiquite’ “
  • Anthony Grafton (Department of History, Princeton University)
    “John Caius and the History of Cambridge University:  A Matthew Parker Product Restored”

Concluding Remarks

  • Giles Constable (School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study)
Participants at the end of the Symposium on "Recollections of the Past" (May 2014)

Photography by Mildred Budny


Symposium Poster, Program, and Abstracts

Here, along with the Symposium Poster, we publish the Symposium Program and Abstracts of the Papers, laid out as a booklet in our copyright RGME font Bembino.

The layout of the Poster and Booklet, like the font itself, is a donation to the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence.  We thank Adelaide Bennett for the images on the Poster and permission to reproduce them.  The font is available for free here:  Bembino.


Notes:  The online Calendar Archive for the Program in Medieval Studies at Princeton University records the event and posts both the Symposium Poster and an interim version (19 April 2014) of the Save the Date Announcement.

Karl F. Morrison’s Review Article, reflections upon which formed the subject of his Paper, appeared in print as “Witnessing Iconoclasm: Two Recent Books” in Studies in Iconography, Volume 35 (2015), 155–166.

Helmut Reimitz’s article on “Transformations of Late Antiquity: the writing and rewriting of church history in the monastery of Lorsch” was published in The Resources of the Past in Early Medieval Europe (2015), 262–282.

Antony Grafton’s lecture on “John Caius: History as Argument” formed Lecture 1 of his Sandars Lectures 2016 on Writing and reading history in Renaissance England: some Cambridge examples. Its audio is available here. It was exciting to have a preview at our Symposium.


[First published on our first website on *10 April 2014 and on this website on 16 July 2014, with updates]

Photographs by James Heidere and by Mildred Budny


Our next Symposium took place in March 2016 at Princeton University:

Future events are in preparation.  Please see our