Continue to the content

Mmmonk School

Mmmonk and the Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies (Ghent University) proudly present Mmmonk School: a free webinar series on the medieval book, with introductions by experts from various disciplines.

Mmmonk School offers an interdisciplinary practice-focused programme about medieval Flemish manuscripts. In 8 lessons, spread over four Fridays experts demonstrate methods and skills specific to their expertise. The lessons are online, free and open for everyone. The lessons use different IIIF applications, implicitly demonstrating the possibilities of IIIF for educational purposes.

This course is aimed at everyone who wants to analyse and describe the medieval book as a whole and cross the boundaries of their own expertise, for example conservators, curators, educators, researchers, students, heritage enthusiasts, …

Mmmonk School 2022

The first edition of Mmmonk School took place in November and December 2022, with sessions by Susan Boynton (Columbia University), Diane Reilly (Indiana University Bloomington), Evelien Hauwaerts (Bruges Public Library), Anne van Oosterwijk (Museums Bruges), Hanno Wijsman (IRHT), Steven Vanderputten (Ghent University), Mark Vermeer (KU Leuven), Sofie Veramme (Werkplaats Immaterieel Erfgoed) and Astrid Beckers (independent book conservator). Find out more about the programme and the speakers here.

Mmmonk School – An Introduction to Medieval Liturgical Manuscripts

Dr. Diane Reilly (Indiana University Bloomington) and Dr. Susan Boynton (Colombia University New York) discuss some remarkable liturgical medieval manuscripts in the collections of the Mmmonk abbeys.

Mmmonk School – An Introduction to Medieval Reading Culture: Boethius’ De consolatione philosophiae

Dr. Evelien Hauwaerts (Bruges Public Library) offers an introduction to medieval reading culture in Flanders and the study of reception history. As a case study, she presents copies of the Consolation of philosophy by Boethius from the Mmmonk abbeys. A comparison between these manuscripts demonstrates how the Consolation was used in different environments and what the impact of that was on the layout of the book. Reading between the lines, this session also provides a short summary of Boethius’ masterpiece.

Mmmonk School – An Introduction to the Analysis of Medieval Miniatures

Anne van Oosterwijk (Musea Brugge) demonstrates how a trained art historian approaches a work of art and describes it in a scholarly manner, with examples from manuscripts from four Flemish abbeys. She zooms in on iconic representations, such as Crucifixion scenes, on complex compositions based on the texts they accompanied, and on the interaction between miniatures and decorated borders.

Mmmonk School – An Introduction to Medieval Heraldry

Dr. Hanno Wijsman (Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes - CNRS) offers an introduction to medieval coats of arms. He discusses the historical use by various groups in society and explains the basics of heraldic analysis, with examples from medieval manuscripts from the Mmmonk abbeys and other collections. The heraldic terminology is presented both in French and in English.

Mmmonk School – An Introduction to Medieval Religious Communities in Flanders

Many medieval manuscripts in Flemish cultural heritage institutions come from religious institutions such as abbeys and chapters. It can be a challenge to describe those communities and to identify the setting in which the manuscripts were acquired. In this session, Dr. Steven Vanderputten (Ghent University) offers an introduction to the correct terminology and helps us to understand important phases in the development of religious communities in the medieval Southern Low Countries.

Mmmonk School – An Introduction to Medieval Dates

Medieval manuscripts often contain dating clauses based on various reference points, e.g. ‘ab initio mundi’, the birth of Christ, the reigns of secular and religious rulers, religious feasts, etc. Add the various year styles, e.g. Circumcision style vs. Nativity style, to the equation, and you can see why it could be confusing to interpret a medieval dating clause. In this session, Dr. Mark Vermeer (KU Leuven) offers an introduction to the most common ways dates were indicated in medieval manuscripts and discusses useful tools to translate medieval dating clauses into modern style dates.

Mmmonk School – An Introduction to IIIF in Education and Research

In this introduction, which requires no technical knowledge, Sofie Veramme (Werkplaats Immaterieel Erfgoed) explains what IIIF is and how end users working with digital images can benefit from it in research, education and public outreach.

Mmmonk School – An Introduction to Medieval Bookbindings

Astrid Beckers, codicologist and experienced book conservator, offers an introduction to medieval bindings, using examples from medieval manuscripts from four Flemish abbeys. She presents an exhaustive terminology for the description of bindings, points out evolutions and trends, and teaches us how to find traces of lost components on the remaining binding.

Why does Mmmonk organise this online course?

Each component of a manuscript is important: the binding, the text, the language, the illumination, the script, the materials, the traces of use, … To be able to appreciate a manuscript as a whole, it is necessary to study each component individually and in relation to one another. But this is a tall order, even for the most hardened medievalist. Thankfully a lot can be achieved by interdisciplinary cooperation. To encourage an interdisciplinary approach, Mmmonk School gathers specialists from various fields to offer a peek under the hood of their respective disciplines. The aim is not to create new specialists, but to offer insight in the basic methodology and reference points of various disciplines, to remove any fear of the unknown and to stimulate further collaboration and exploration.