Rare medieval bookmark discovery in Leiden, the Netherlands


This video is called Rare medieval bookmark.

About this video, from Leiden university in the Netherlands:

Rare medieval bookmark found in Leiden University Library

A rare medieval bookmark emerged in Leiden University Library. Book historian Erik Kwakkel found the disk in an archive of manuscript descriptions called the Bibliotheca Neerlandica Manuscripta. It was likely put their [sic; there] in the early twentieth century by Willem de Vreese, who made the descriptions. The presence of the bookmark was not known to the library. Only thirty-five bookmarks of this type have been identified worldwide.

The bookmark concerns a disk with the numbers 1-4 written on it. Originally, it would have been fitted in a sleeve, which could be pulled up and down along a cord. The reader would turn the disk to indicate in what text column certain information was found, after which he pulled the sleeve to the relevant line. Page, column and line were thus marked. The specimen in Leiden is incomplete, as only the disk itself survived. However, this manuscript in Harvard’s Houghton Library illustrates how the bookmark works.

Although it is hard to determine the precise date of the bookmark, it was likely made in the thirteenth or fourteenth century. It appears to have been popular in learned books and it reflects how scholars from the thirteenth century began to use their books. No longer were the objects merely used to read from cover to cover, but an interest emerged to read particular sections. To facilitate such use, various aids became widely used, including the index, running titles, and detailed chapter titles. The rotating bookmark can be understood as yet another means to quickly and efficiently find your way to a particular passage. The thumbprints on the Leiden specimen suggests it was frequently used.

The bookmark has been moved to the manuscript collection and has been given the shelfmark BPL 3327. The find was first reported on Erik Kwakkel’s blog medievalbooks.nl and in De Volkskrant of 2 October, 2014.

Last Modified: 02-10-2014.

Medieval ship discovery


This video, recorded in Kampen town in the Netherlands, is about a reconstructed medieval cog ship.

About cog ships, from Wikipedia:

A cog (or cog-built vessels) is a type of ship that first appeared in the 10th century, and was widely used from around the 12th century on. Cogs were generally built of oak, which was an abundant timber in the Baltic region of Prussia. This vessel was fitted with a single mast and a square-rigged single sail. These vessels were mostly associated with seagoing trade in medieval Europe, especially the Hanseatic League, particularly in the Baltic Sea region.

In the eastern Netherlands, Kampen town was a Hanseatic League member.

Recently, Dutch archeologists announced the discovery of the wreck of a medieval cog in the IJssel river near Kampen.

Dutch NOS TV writes about it today:

At the end of the month it will be decided whether the wreck will be raised and whether it should go to a museum.

Replica

In the Netherlands, during the draining of the Flevo polders, already several wrecks of cogs have been found. One was restored with medieval wood. It sails since 1998 under the name Hanseatic Kampen Cog.

That is the ship in the video.

The wreck of a five-masted schooner built in 1903 was found in a marine sanctuary off Los Angeles: here.

Spain’s Jewish heritage, ages after expulsion


This video is called International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Toledo Sephardic Museum remembers Nazi victims.

From the New York Times:

TOLEDO, Spain: Spain has sometimes been slow to recognize its own treasures.

Miguel de Cervantes was slipping into obscurity after his death until he was rescued by foreign literary experts.

El Greco‘s paintings were pulled from oblivion by the French.

The Muslim palace of Alhambra had fallen into neglect before the American author Washington Irving and others wrote about it in the 1800s.

Now, more than 500 years after expelling its Jews and moving to hide if not eradicate all traces of their existence, Spain has begun rediscovering the Jewish culture that thrived here for centuries and that scholars say functioned as a second Jerusalem during the Middle Ages.

“We’ve gone from a period of pillaging the Jews and then suppressing and ignoring their patrimony to a period of rising curiosity and fascination,” said Ana María López, the director of the Sephardic Museum in Toledo, a hub of Jewish life before the Jews were expelled or forced to convert to Christianity in 1492 during the Inquisition.

Sephardic Jews and Muslims in Spain: here.

The Chuetas, a community of forced converts from a collection of islands off the coast of Spain, are embracing their Jewish roots. Many are looking to return to the fold but are finding obstacles along the way: here.

ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2011) — A well-known collection of historical texts, the Cairo Genizah is one of the most valuable sources of primary documents for medieval historians and religious scholars. The 350,000 fragments found in the Genizah include not only religious texts, but also social and commercial documents, dating from the 9th to 19th century. But the collection is scattered among 70 institutions worldwide, including libraries in Cambridge, Jerusalem, and New York City, and scholars are hampered by both the wide dispersal of the collection as well as their fragmentary condition: here.

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