A Special Kind of Stowaway: Piecing together our Fragmented Heritage

Saturday 26 November 2022
10:30am - 3:30pm
Treasures of the Brotherton
Lectures and seminars
General public

When medieval manuscripts were no longer useful they were torn apart. What happened next? Join us as we uncover our fragmented heritage

Special Collections at the University of Leeds looks after the rare library books of Ripon Cathedral in North Yorkshire. Hidden inside are fragments of older medieval manuscripts, “stowaways” from the past. They are covered in text, decorated initials, music, doodles and annotations.

What are they? Where did they come from? Why are they there? What is their purpose? What can they tell us? And what, if anything, should we do with them?

Hear from the curator of the collection, experts in medieval history and manuscripts, and an artist who has been invited to respond to this material to help us better understand and interpret these curious stowaways from the Middle Ages.

You will have the chance to look at some of these fragments up close and join in on the discussion about future plans for these fascinating and curious remnants.

There will also be an opportunity to learn more about how books were made, and how fragments such as these were put to use, in an afternoon bookbinding demonstration.

The project team

  • Emma Cayley and N. Kıvılcım Yavuz (University of Leeds)
  • Leonardo Costantini (University of Bristol)
  • Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis (Brotherton Special Collections)
  • Rhian Isaac (Leeds Libraries)
  • Alice Fox (Artist)
  • Linette Withers (Anachronalia Bookbinding)
  • Quinty (Institute for Medieval Studies, Leeds)

This unique day of workshops and talks at the University of Leeds is sponsored by Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute (LAHRI) as part of the Sadler Seminar Series, ‘Click Here to Enter: Interdisciplinary Interventions in the Brotherton Special Collections’.

The series consists of unusual collaborations between academics and practitioners around a set of precious objects, run by Emma Cayley, Rhiannon Lawrence-Francis, and Tom Jackson from the University of Leeds.

For the full timetable and to book your place visit Eventbrite.