A Pilgrim’s Progress

November 27, 2014 in Research Journeys

St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 51: Irish Evangelary from St. Gall (Quatuor evangelia) via https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/csg/0051.

St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Codex Sang. 51, page 6, via https://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/csg/0051.

A Traveler’s Thanks-Giving

[Posted on 27 November 2014, with updates adding images in April 2020 .]

For the celebration of Thanksgiving, I offer a true story, from the point of view of a Pilgrim.  In this case, the pilgrimage concerns the devoted study of medieval manuscripts in person.  Way before the development of the internet and its promulgation of online digital facsimiles.  Travel was an essential, and integral, part of the process.

Years ago, after college in the United States, I embarked on postgraduate research on early medieval manuscripts in, from, or inspired by, the British Isles — conveniently called ‘Insular Manuscripts’, without having to give preference to cases from, or perhaps from, Anglo-Saxon England, Pictland (now Scotland), Wales, or Ireland.  My quest centered upon examination of the original sources, as much as possible in the presence of the objects themselves.  The real thing, really and truly.  This research progressed for years while I was based in London, first for the M.A. and then the Ph.D. Long story, from which this story happily emerges.

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