Remaking the Book
June 13 and 14, 2005 University of Saskatchewan

General Information

Program

Registration

Scattered Leaves Exhibit and Lectures

Further Information

Scattered Leaves: The Otto Ege Medieval Manuscript Collection

Gordon Snelgrove Gallery, University of Saskatchewan

June 7-23, 2005

The Cleveland book collector Otto Ege put together fifty boxes, each titled “50 Original Leaves From Medieval Manuscripts, Western Europe XII – XVI Century,” of individual medieval manuscript leaves in the early part of the 20th century and sold them throughout North America and Europe. The Special Collections department of the University of Saskatchewan library purchased box #25 in 1957 through a donation of $750 from the local Walter Murray Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire. The contents of the box would now be worth several hundred times that amount.

The exhibit “Scattered Leaves” displays thirty-four leaves from the collection. The exhibit is designed to show the human labour and devotion that went into their preparation. The manuscripts on display reveal the process of their own creation (pinholes for line placement, erasures, guides for initial letter placement, for example), the different kinds of manuscripts in the collection and their intended purposes (bibles, breviaries, hymnals, missals, books of hours), the aesthetic qualities of many of the leaves, and the influence of the printing press on the manuscripts of the later 1400s and 1500s. Enlarged details of many of the manuscripts’ features offer a new perspective on the skill involved in their creation, and the materials and tools used to create the manuscripts are also displayed.

There will also be a day of public lectures on Monday, June 13 for those interested in learning more about the manuscripts and their collector.

View a virtual version of the exhibit.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada