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Hargrett Hours: Exploring Medieval Manuscripts

Alan Flurry

Our colleagues with the UGA Libraries share one of the many humanities research experiences made possible through the extraordinary resources on campus:

On display through Aug. 26 at the Special Collections Libraries, “The Hargrett Hours: Exploring Medieval Manuscripts” presents insights gained by UGA students while investigating medieval manuscripts in the collections of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

A Book of Hours is a handmade devotional book, popular in the Middle Ages before the advent of printing presses. These tomes often include text, prayers and psalms that were selected by a wealthy owner and written and illustrated by hand. One such book that is held at UGA, which is commonly referred to as the Hargrett Hours, dates back to 15th century Paris.

The “Hargrett Hours” exhibit includes original items from the collections, dating back centuries, as well as the findings from the students’ in-depth study through a course taught by Cynthia Camp, associate professor of English and inaugural member of the Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows program. The program partners archivists with faculty members in a variety of disciplines to engage students in the use of historical materials housed in the Special Collections vault.

“It’s inspiring to watch my students become passionate about their research and gain new skills and insights along the way,” Camp said (watch a video of her discussing the project with her collaborators). “A book may be 600 years old, but the knowledge about it is new and exciting, and many of my students have gone on to apply their research skills in their future work and in graduate school.

“I’m thankful to the Special Collections Libraries for helping craft and teach this course year after year.”

Visitors to the Hargrett Hours exhibit should check their symptoms via UGA’s Dawg Check tool. Masks are required and visitors must follow social distancing guidelines in the galleries. For more information about the exhibit, contact coordinator Jan Hebbardor visit the Hargrett website.

Image: Double frontispiece opens a collection of Persian Sufi poetry. The bright blue pigment on these pages is likely made from ultramarine, a pigment used frequently in illuminated eastern manuscripts, made up of ground lapis lazuli, which was mined in present day Afghanistan. (Photo by Camie Williams)

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