Session: An Analysis of an Unidentified Medieval Manuscript in the Grinnell College Libraries Department of Special Collections and Archives

Tad Boehmer, Grinnell College

Reported by Mary Iber, Cornell College

Presenter Tad Boehmer is a new graduate of Grinnell College and will be starting graduate school in library and information science at the University of Illinois in the fall. Tad talked about his senior project, which resulted in a 50-page paper. He described both in visuals and in words the process of solving the mystery of an undated manuscript of unknown origin or provenance. Analyzing the binding, watermarks, material found within the codex, script, manuscript hands, and textual evidence, he built his case, which was very convincing. He explained the process of analysis and his conclusions for each category of evidence in a way that captivated his audience. His conclusion that the 488-page codex was likely from a large city in Germany, possibly Cologne, around 1460, had its basis in thorough, and it seems thoroughly enjoyed, research. We are all hoping that Tad can get a grant to go to Germany and other relevant sites to continue his research, and to publish the results.