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Manuscript Studies
Medieval and Early Modern

Bibliography: Manuscript Production: Scribes and Scribal Practices


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Backhouse, Janet. The Illuminated Manuscript: The Craft of the Scribe. London: Phaidon Press, 1979. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; manuscript decoration and illustration (illumination); scribes and scribal practices *]

Beach, Alison I. Women as Scribes: Book Production and Monastic Reform in Twelfth-Century Bavaria. Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology 10. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. [* Subject heading: scribes and scribal practices (female); women; gender studies) *]

Beal, Peter. In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England. Lyell Lectures, 1995-1996. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices; manuscript culture (literary transmission); early modern manuscripts *]

Blakey, B. "The Scribal Process." in Medieval Miscellany presented to Eugène Vinaver. Ed. F. Whitehead, et al. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1965. Pp. 19-27. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices *]

Boge, Herbert. Grieschische Tachygraphie und Tironische Noten. Altertumswissenschaftliche Texte und Studien 2. Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1974. [* Subject heading: scribes and scribal practices; manuscript production; abbreviations (tachygraphy; Tironian notae [Tiro the scribe, notes], etc.) *]

Bühler, Curt F. The Fifteenth-Century Book: The Scribes, the Printers, the Decorators. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1960. [An (older) introduction to modes of production of late medieval manuscripts and early printed books.] [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices; early printed books; incunabula; history of printing; manuscript decoration and illustration (illumination); book illustration *]

Christianson, C. Paul. "A Community of Book Artisans in Chaucer's London." Viator 20 (1989): 207-218. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; manuscript culture (literary transmission); scribes and scribal practices (stationers; commercial scriptoria); Geoffrey Chaucer *]

Christianson, C. Paul. A Directory of London Stationers and Book Artisans, 1300-1500. New York: Bibliographical Society of America, 1990. [Includes short articles on John Shirley, John Multon, and many others.] [* Subject heading: manuscript production; manuscript culture (literary transmission); scribes and scribal practices (stationers; commercial scriptoria) *]

Christianson, C. Paul. "Evidence for the Study of London's Late Medieval Manuscript Book Trade." In Book Production and Publishing in Britain 1375-1475. Ed. Jeremy Griffiths and Derek Pearsall. Cambridge Studies in Publishing and Printing History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Pp. 87-108. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; manuscript culture (literary transmission); scribes and scribal practices (stationers; commercial scriptoria) *]

Craig, John. "Margaret Spitlehouse, Female Scrivener." Local Population Studies 46 (1991): 54-57. [Information about a female scrivener in Bury St. Edmunds in the 16th century.] [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices (female, woman, women) *]

Da Rold, Orietta. "The Significance of Scribal Corrections in Cambridge University Library MS Dd.4.24 of Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales.'" Chaucer Review 41.4 (2007): 393-438. [* Subject heading: manuscript culture; scribes and scribal practices; correction and annotation; Geoffrey Chaucer *]

Da Rold, Orietta. "Textual Copying and Transmission." In The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English. Ed. Elaine M. Treharne and Greg Walker. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 33-56. [* Subject Heading: Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; palaeography; manuscript copying; dissemination *]

Dahood, Roger. "Abbreviations, Otiose Strokes and Editorial Practice: The Case of Southwell Minster MS 7." In New Perspectives on Middle English Texts: A Festschrift for R. A. Waldron, . . . with a Personal Memoir by Derek Pearsall. Ed. Susan Powell and Jeremy J. Smith. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer / Boydell and Brewer, 2000. Pp. 141-149. [* Subject heading: scribes and scribal practices; manuscript production; abbreviations (tachygraphy; Tironian notae [Tiro the scribe, notes], etc.); textual criticism and editing *]

Doyle, A. I. "The Social Context of Medieval English Literature." In The Age of Chaucer. Ed. Boris Ford. Pelican Guide to English Literature 1. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1957. Pp. 85-105. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices *]

Finlay, Michael. Western Writing Implements in the Age of the Quill Pen. Wetheral: Plain Books, 1990. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; material production (writing implements); scribes and scribal practices *]

Gillespie, Alexandra. "Reading Chaucer's Words to Adam." Chaucer Review 42 (2008): 269-283. [A reply to Mooney, Linne R. "Chaucer's Scribe." Speculum 81 (2006): 97-138. Mooney identifies the scribe of the Hengwrt and Ellesmere manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales as Adam Pinkerton, who may also be the "Adam Scriven" of Chaucer's lyrical complaint against "Adam." Gillespie offers something of a challenge to this identification.] [* Subject Heading: Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; Chaucer; Adam Pinkhurst; palaeography; Chaucer's scribe; England *]

Golob, Natasa, ed. Medieval Autograph Manuscripts: Proceedings of the XVIIth Colloquium of the Comité International de Paléographie Latine, held in Ljubljana, 7-10 September 2010. Bibliogia 36. Turnhout: Brepols, 2013. [Publisher's description: "What is an autograph? How is it possible to define it? And how can we distinguish the hand of the writer, scientist, or translator--that is, of the learned person setting down his thoughts--from the hand of a pupil or copyist trained in the same style? Autographs have long been an especially challenging area of research into medieval manuscripts, for the finished product is intimately linked to both the author's thought and his hand. Many well-known medieval authors had already been accorded scientific representations and became known as a result of these. They were joined by new names, a fact which widens the scope of research in the field of autographs and invites new questions."] [* Subject Heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices; medieval autographs; authorial copies (autographs, holographs) *]

Hanna, Ralph, III. "Pre-Fifteenth-Century Scribes Copying Middle English in More than One Manuscript." Journal of the Early Book Society 14 (2011): 179-193. [* Subject Heading: Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; book history; history of writing; Middle English scribes; book copying *]

Hanna, Ralph, III. "The Scribe of Huntington HM 114." Studies in Bibliography 42 (1989): 120-133. [Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; San Marino, CA, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, MS HM 114.] [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices *]

Horobin, Simon. "The Professionalization of Writing." In The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English. Ed. Elaine M. Treharne and Greg Walker. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 57-67. [* Subject Heading: Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; history of writing; scribal copying; book history; manuscript studies *]

Hussey, Matthew T., and John D. Niles, eds. The Genesis of Books: Studies in the Scribal Culture of Medieval England in Honour of A. N. Doane. Studies in the Early Middle Ages 9. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011. [A festschrift collection focused particularly on the Old English period.] [* Subject heading: Manuscript Production: scribes and scribal practices; Anglo-Saxon (Old English) manuscripts; palaeography; scribal culture *]

Jones, Leslie W. "Pricking Manuscripts: The Instruments and their Significance." Speculum 21 (1946): 389-403. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; material production (writing implements) *]

Keiser, George R. "Lincoln Cathedral Library MS. 91: Life and Milieu of the Scribe." Studies in Bibliography 32 (1979): 158-179. [On Robert Thornton, the Thornton MS, medieval education, fifteenth-century tastes in reading (especially romances), etc. On 15th c. as an increasingly written culture: "Among the many manuscripts still extant which testify to this new importance of the book for the middle class is Lincoln Cathedral Library MS. 91 . . ." (p. 159).] [* Subject heading: manuscript production; reading and readers; scribes and scribal practices *]

Ker, Neil R. "Copying an Exemplar: Two Manuscripts of Jerome on Habakkuk." In Miscellanea Codicologica F. Masai Dicata, MCMLXXIX. Ed. Pierre Cockshaw, et al. Pubs. de Scriptorium 8. Ghent: Story-Scientia, 1979. Pp. 203-210. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; manuscripts (codicological study); codicology; scribes and scribal practices *]

Laird, Charlton. "A Fourteenth Century Scribe." Modern Language Notes 55 (1940): 601-603. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices *]

Lendinara, P., L. Lazzari, and C. Di Sciacca, eds. Rethinking and Recontextualizing Glosses: New Perspectives in the Study of Late Anglo-Saxon Glossography. Textes et Études du Moyen Âge 54. Turnhout: Harvey Miller / Brepols, 2012. [Publisher's description: "Glossing was a scribal practice in use since antiquity, but it was in the Middle Ages that it acquired a wider meaning and a different role, becoming one of the most widespread forms of literacy in the Germanic West, including the British Isles."] [* Subject Heading: Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; Old English; Lexicography; 450-1100; Anglo-Saxon manuscripts *]

Lucas, P. J. "John Capgrave, OSA (1393-1464): Scribe and 'Publisher.'" Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 5 (1969): 1-35. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices; manuscript culture (literary transmission) *]

Mary, (Sister) Winnifred. "The Medieval Scribe." Classical Journal 48 (1953): 207-214. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices *]

Mentz, Arthur. Die tironischen Noten: Eine Geschichte der römischen Kurzschrift. [Berlin]: W. de Gruyter, 1944. [A standard history on the subject of Tironian notes and Latin shorthand.] [* Subject heading: scribes and scribal practices; manuscript production; abbreviations (tachygraphy; Tironian notae [Tiro the scribe, notes], etc.) *]

Mills, M. "A Mediaeval Reviser at Work." Medium Ævum 32 (1963): 11-23. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices *]

Mooney, Linne R. "Chaucer's Scribe." Speculum 81 (2006): 97-138. [Identifies the scribe of the Hengwrt and Ellesmere manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales as Adam Pinkhurst, who may also be the "Adam Scriven" of Chaucer's lyrical complaint against "Adam." Adam Pinkhurst, a member of the Scriveners' Company of London in the 1390s, son of a Surrey landowner. His signature in the Scriveners' Company's Common Paper (members' book of regulations) appears to be the same hand as that of the Ellesmere, Hengwrt and other early Chaucer manuscripts. Mooney's discovery was first announced at the 2004 meeting of the New Chaucer Society in Glasgow, then published in Speculum. Also see the reply to Mooney by Alexandra Gillespie, "Reading Chaucer's Words to Adam," Chaucer Review 42 (2008): 269-283.] [* Subject Heading: Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; Chaucer; Adam Pinkhurst; fourteenth-century; England; Hengwrt MS; Ellesmere MS *]

Mooney, Linne R., and Estelle Stubbs. Scribes and the City: London Guildhall Clerks and the Dissemination of Middle English Literature, 1375-1425. Manuscript Culture in the British Isles. Woodbridge, Suffolk, and Rochester, NY: York Medieval Press / Boydell and Brewer, 2013. [Publisher's description: "Geoffrey Chaucer is called the Father of English Literature not because he was the first author to write in English--he wasn't--but because his works were among those of his generation produced in sufficient numbers to reach a wider audience. He and his contemporaries wrote before the age of print, so the dissemination of his writings in such quantity depended upon scribes, who would manually copy works like The Canterbury Tales in manuscripts. This book is the first to identify the scribes responsible for the copying of the earliest manuscripts (including Chaucer's famous scribe, Adam). The authors reveal these revolutionary copyists as clerks holding major bureaucratic offices at the London Guildhall, working for the mayor and aldermen, officiating in their courts, and recording London business in their day jobs--while copying medieval English literature as a sideline. In particular, they contributed to the new culture of English as the language of not only literature, but government and business as well."] [Contents: Introduction; The Clerks of the London Guildhall; Richard Osbarn, Chamber Clerk 1400-1437; John Marchaunt, Chamber Clerk 1380-1399, Common Clerk 1399-1417; Adam Pinkhurst, Scrivener and Clerk of the Guildhall, c. 1378-1410; John Carpenter, Common Clerk 1417-1438; Other Scribes Associated with the Guildhall or its Clerks; Conclusions.] [* Subject Heading: Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; London guilds; manuscript and book production; Ellesmere manuscript; medieval clerks; Adam Pinkhurst *]

Nordenfalk, C. "An Early Medieval Shorthand Alphabet." Speculum 14 (1939): 443-447. [* Subject heading: scribes and scribal practices; manuscript production (monastic scriptoria); abbreviations (tachygraphy; Tironian notae [Tiro the scribe, notes], etc.) *]

Parkes, M. B. "Latin Autograph Manuscripts: Orthography and Punctuation." In Gli autografi medievali: Problemi paleografici e filologici; Atti del convegno di studio della Fondazione Ezio Franceschini, Erice, 25 settembre-2 ottobre 1990. Ed. Paolo Chiesa and Lucia Pinelli. Pref. Claudio Leonardi. Quaderni di cultura mediolatina 5. Spoleto: Centro Italiano di Studi Sull'alto Medioevo, 1994. Pp. 23-36. [That, just as one can learn much about a scribe's linguistic idiolect from patterns in a copied work, one can also identify scribes according to the idiosyncratic patterns evident in their spelling and use of marks of abbreviation and punctuation. This can be of particular interest in the case of autograph manuscripts, such as those of Petrarch, who seemed to be concerned with, and fairly consistent in his use of, punctuation marks.] [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices; history of punctuation; authorial copies (autographs, holographs) *]

Parkes, M. B. "Tachygraphy in the Middle Ages: Writing Techniques Employed for Reportationes of Lectures and Sermons." Medioevo e Rinascimento 3 (1989): 159-169. [* Subject heading: scribes and scribal practices; manuscript production; abbreviations (tachygraphy; Tironian notae [Tiro the scribe, notes], etc.) *]

Parkes, M. B. Their Hands Before Our Eyes: A Closer Look at Scribes; The Lyell Lectures Delivered in the University of Oxford, 1999. Farnham, Surrey, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008. [Publisher's description: "Following on from his acclaimed study of punctuation, Pause and Effect, this new book by Malcolm Parkes makes an equally fundamental contribution to the history of handwriting. Its purpose is to focus on the writing of scribes from late antiquity to the beginning of the sixteenth century, and to identify those features which are a scribe's personal contribution to the techniques and art of handwriting. Handwriting is a versatile medium that has always allowed individual scribes the opportunity for self-expression, despite the limitations of the pen and the finite number of possible movements. The book opens with three chapters surveying the various environments in which scribes worked in the medieval West. The following five, based on the author's Lyell lectures at the University of Oxford, then examine different aspects of the subject, starting with the basic processes of handwriting and copying. Next come discussions of developments in rapid handwriting, with its consequent influence on new alphabets; on more formal 'set hands'; and on the adaptation of movements of the pen to produce elements of style corresponding to changes in the prevailing sense of decorum. The final chapter looks at the significance of some customized images produced by handwriting on the page."] [Contents: Part I Scribes and Their Environments: Before 1100; 1100-1540 Religious orders in England; 1100-1500 Secular scribes in England: clergy, scholars, professional and commercial scribes. Part II Scribes at Work: Which came first reading or writing? The function and processes of writing and the problems of copying; The hasty scribe; cursive handwriting in antiquity and the Middle Ages; Set in their own ways: scribes and book hands c.800-1200; Features of fashion: scribes and style c1200-1500; Through the eyes of scribes and readers: handwriting as image; Notes; Glossary, indexes and list.] [* Subject Heading: Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; England; scriptoria; paleography; manuscripts *]

Perkins, Nicholas. "Writing, Authority, and Bureaucracy." In The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English. Ed. Elaine M. Treharne and Greg Walker. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. 68-89. [* Subject Heading: Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; book history; history of writing *]

Pitman, Isaac (Sir). A History of Shorthand. 4th ed. London and New York: Isaac Pitman and Sons, 1918. [* Subject heading: scribes and scribal practices; manuscript production; abbreviations (tachygraphy; Tironian notae [Tiro the scribe, notes], etc.) *]

Robinson, P[amela] R., and Rivkah Zim, eds. Of the Making of Books: Medieval Manuscripts, Their Scribes and Readers; Essays Presented to M. B. Parkes. Aldershot, Hants., and Brookfield, VT: Scolar Press / Ashgate Publishing, 1997. [Contents: 1. Origin and Provenance of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: the Case of Cotton Tiberius A.III / Helmut Gneuss -- 2. Mixed Blessings: a Twelfth-Century Manuscript from Waverley / Jean F. Preston -- 3. 'Quaderni simul ligati': Recherches sur les manuscrits en cahiers / Jean Vezin -- 4. Twelfth-Century Scriptrix from Nunnaminster / P. R. Robinson -- 5. Stephen Dodesham of Witham and Sheen / A. I. Doyle -- 6. Geoffrey Spirleng (c.1426-c.1494): a Scribe of the Canterbury Tales in his Time / Richard Beadle -- 7. Testimonye of Verye Ancient Tyme?: Some Manuscript Models for the Parkerian Anglo-Saxon Type-Designs / Peter J. Lucas.] [* Subject heading: manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices; reading and readers *]

Schulz, Herbert C. "Thomas Hoccleve, Scribe." Speculum 12 (1937): 71-81. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices; authorial copies (autographs, holographs) *]

Seymour, M. C. "The Scribe of Huntington Library MS HM 114." Medium Ævum 43 (1974): 139-143. [Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; San Marino, CA, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, MS HM 114.] [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices *]

Wattenbach, Wilhelm. Das Schriftwesen im Mittelalter. 4th ed. Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1896. [Rpt. Graz: Akademische Druck, Univ. Verlagsanstalt, 1958.] [Still one of the best descriptions available of medieval writing implements.] [* Subject heading: manuscript production; material production (writing implements); scribes and scribal practices *]

Windeatt, Barry A. "The Scribes as Chaucer's Early Critics." Studies in the Age of Chaucer 1 (1979): 119-142. [* Subject heading: manuscript production; scribes and scribal practices; reading and readers; Geoffrey Chaucer *]



Bibliography: [ Some basic resources ] | [ General bibliography ] | [ History of the book ] | [ Literacy and education, medieval and early modern (readers and reading) ] | [ Archival research ] | [ Forgeries / bibliographic fraud ] | [ Dictionaries (historical) ] | [ Early printed books and incunabula: Early Modern book culture ] | [ Early printed books and incunabula: production ] | [ Early printed books and incunabula: catalogues ] | [ Early printed books and incunabula: facsimiles ] | [ Diplomatics: the study of historical documents ] | [ Printing, history of ] | [ Publishing, history of ] | [ Libraries and repositories, history of; book collecting ] | [ Manuscript culture ] | [ Manuscript culture: patronage ] | [ Manuscripts: codicology ] | [ Manuscripts: paleography ] | [ Manuscript production ] | [ Manuscript production: scribes and scribal practices ] | [ Manuscript production: decoration and illustration ] | [ Manuscript production: material culture (paper, bindings, etc.) ] | [ Manuscripts: catalogues and finding aids ] | [ Manuscripts: facsimiles and facsimile editions ] | [ Sigillography (the study of seals) ] | [ Textual criticism and editing ] | [ Keyword search of entire bibliography ]


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© 1998, 2015 Stephen R. Reimer
English; University of Alberta; Edmonton, Canada
All rights reserved.
Created: 29 Oct. 1998; Last revised: 28 July 2015

email: Stephen.Reimer@UAlberta.Ca
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