Scribal Culture in Italy Workshop: 8 May

Scribal Culture in Italy, 1450-1650:
Material Culture and the Production of Manuscripts

A Half-Day Workshop

Seminar Room A, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Friday, 8 May 2009

What were the material objects related to writing and how did they shape the ways in which writing was possible? Where and how easily could one write? How did private houses allow individuals to concentrate on writing? What main styles of handwriting and decoration were used? Building on recent interest in manuscript as a means of communication in early modern France, Great Britain and Spain, this workshop is one of a series of AHRC funded events that are planned to shed light on the still under-researched topic of scribal culture in Italy.

This workshop will be of interest to all those interested in the histories of the book and material culture, by historians, art historians, curators and palaeographers.


14.00 Introduction

Chair: Professor Evelyn Welch (Queen Mary, University of London)

14.05 Dr Flora Dennis (Sussex): ‘Studying and writing in the domestic environment’

14.35 Dr Rowan Watson (V&A) ‘Earning salvation: the demand for books of hours in Italy around 1500’

15.05 Discussion

15.30 Dr Kirstin Kennedy, Nick Humphrey, and Peta Motture (V&A): presentation of objects associated with writing (inkstands; pounceboxes; portable writing desks; pen/knife cases; document cases; book/missal cases; spectacle cases; ink well cases; other small objects in metalwork and ceramic). Further discussion.

16.30 Dr Robyn Adams (Queen Mary, University of London): presentation of the AHRC funded Centre for Editing Lives and Letters’ work on the diplomatic correspondence of Thomas Bodley (1585-88): ‘Matching manuscripts and electronic knowledge transfer’. Further discussion

The workshop is open to all. There is no charge for attendance but space is limited. To reserve a place or for more information, please contact Filippo de Vivo or Brian Richardson.

For more information see

For more workshop events in this series see: