State Library of Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 81 Autumn 2008


David McKitterick
The Hand in the Machine:
facsimiles, libraries and the politics of scholarship


In almost exactly twenty-four hours' time, the Premier of Victoria will open the largest exhibition of medieval illuminated manuscripts that has ever been shown in Australia. These manuscripts that will be on display at the State Library of Victoria to the middle of June have been drawn not just from Melbourne, but from other Australian collections as well. Further manuscripts have been brought from New Zealand. Besides these, so as to enlarge the contexts in which we see, learn about and judge medieval manuscripts and early book decoration, a substantial number have been borrowed from the University and colleges of Cambridge, in England. It is an ambitious undertaking, and such collaboration is very much to be welcomed. But it is an expensive one.
In a world of ever more powerful electronic resources, what is it that makes us invest in this way? In some major European libraries there are now highly successful websites that aim to provide full, cover to cover, scans of every page of their medieval manuscripts. There are other, more selective, surveys.1 Modern digital reproduction offers detail and quality on a scale that was unimaginable when we relied on photographs, on microfilms, on the unstable chemistry of colour photography. Libraries are now investing very large sums of money in digitisation programmes, and much of the money that has been raised for such programmes comes with the premise that by such programmes we are sharing these books with new audiences. There is not a little social engineering in all this, quite apart from what scholars are, increasingly, expecting.
And yet, here is an exhibition of originals. Why? There are many possible answers, but the first is the simplest and most widely shared, whatever the extent of our knowledge. The excitement of seeing originals is powerful, and often deeply emotional. A sense of dates helps. Any links that we can make between what confronts us and the activities of named individuals, or named localities, adds further to our immediate pleasures. But if we examine what we mean by these kinds of private and personal reactions, a sense of mingling with the past, we begin to reflect that only by seeing originals can we appreciate the many skills that go into the making of a manuscript: not just the scribe, the decorator, and the illuminator (often more than one in a single manuscript), but also the parchment-maker, the binder and, behind (or, perhaps better, before) all these people, the farmers who reared the sheep, cows and goats who provided the skins on which the books are written and often with which they are bound.
Besides this, it is difficult to understand the scale of books without seeing them, not
just the size of their pages, but also the thickness of the volume, the ways in which they depart from what we like to think of as the regularity of right angles in the shapes of books. Then there are matters of quality. How thick, or how white, is the parchment? Are the pages reasonably flat, or are they heavily cockled or crinkly? Why? For all the wonders of modern technology, in originals we can also see more clearly the physical surfaces of the manuscript—the hair and flesh sides of the membrane, the distinction between different kinds of gold, the different surfaces in different colours, some quite coarse, others ground much finer. What can we tell about the binding of the manuscript? Not just the current one, but also the previous binding campaigns, which may have involved even quite aggressive and destructive trimming of the leaves, leading to loss of text or image. Are the edges of the leaves decorated, and how? With colour? Gilt? Gauffered or otherwise decorated in some way? What about the colours of the manuscript, compared with reproductions not just in the catalogue in our hands, but also in the standard reference books? It is extremely rare for colours to be reproduced with absolute fidelity, however good the photographer and the many skills that we gather under the common head of printer. When the eighth-century Abbeville gospels were exhibited recently in Brussels, it was clear how difficult it is to represent in reproductions, the original being now what has developed into very dark gold on purple.2 Despite all the specialist papers that are now available, no printer and no machine can catch the three-dimensional quality of a written and painted page. Often, and despite all the advantages of modern technology, it is impossible to reproduce the original exactly or convincingly. The human eye still has the advantage as we try to judge the meanings, purposes and uses of these books.
I plan here to explore part of the way by which we have come to appreciate the look of illuminated manuscripts. In the course of doing so, I shall be looking at the manners in which appreciation of them has developed alongside changes and inventions in printing, first in black and white and then in colour. Where and how did our habits of looking develop? I shall also be glancing at the history of the public exhibition of such manuscripts in libraries and museums. Some of these enquiries lead us on, in turn, to further questions about our own policies, funding, priorities and lineaments of research today. In other words, and underlying all this, we are amidst a subject that has a very great deal to offer. Whether we approach these manuscripts as art historians, as social historians, as biographers, as historians of religion, as textual historians, as political historians, as linguists, as historians of the book trades, as historians of materials, or simply out of more general and perhaps less well defined curiosity, in practice we learn most by listening to each other.
The history of the appreciation of European illuminated manuscripts remains to be written. The late A.N.L. Munby took us a long way in his engaging and highly readable study of Connoisseurs and medieval miniatures, 1750-1850 (1972), but this was based on two series of lectures, and was inevitably brief. It was almost wholly concerned with the history of taste
in Britain (and England especially). Though he addressed such figures as the difficult and prickly Abbé Rive in the eighteenth century, and the domineering figure of Gustav Waagen, an insatiable and opinionated German tourist-bibliophile in the nineteenth, Munby left most of the Italian, French, German and other continental traditions aside. I cannot fill in these now, save to note the increasing interest currently being paid to the development of taste and markets for illuminated manuscripts in the aftermath of the French revolution and the European wars that followed.
This was not just a taste for manuscripts. It was a taste specifically for illuminations. And it was this that led to the cutting up of hundreds of codices for the sake of their pictures. I shall pass in a moment to considering complete manuscripts; but before doing so I want to dwell for a few moments on this interest in cuttings from illuminated manuscripts, which helps to focus on our own current preoccupations and viewpoints. We might adduce several reasons why today so much attention is being paid to such cuttings. It is partly because there are very few major illuminated codices now on the market, compared with even thirty years ago. It is partly, and more importantly, because the world is gradually realising that the relationship between artists of pictures for display and artists working in manuscripts can be the same people, and at the very least have a close working relationship with each other. The exhibition in 1988 of painting from Renaissance Siena in the Metropolitan Museum in New York both reflected the nature of artists' employment in Siena and confirmed this trajectory of taste, when panel paintings and paintings from books (principally large service books) were exhibited alongside each other.3 This shift in emphasis, and extension of enquiry, is partly thanks also to the existence of detailed catalogues of manuscript fragments, of which that by the late Francis Wormald and Phyllis Giles of those in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (1982) was similarly instrumental.4
It has certainly uncovered a very great deal that had been forgotten or neglected: the Cambridge Illuminations exhibition scored at least one triumph in temporarily reuniting leaves from an early fifteenth-century Venetian Gradual usually kept in the University Library and in the Fitzwilliam Museum, only twenty minutes' walk apart.5 Deplorably, in that it so often involves the destruction of codices simply for the purpose of selling leaf by leaf, the trade in such fragments seems to grow ever bigger, and (quite apart from the several booksellers who regularly issue catalogues of sometimes quite modestly priced leaves taken from books that they are breaking up) a visit to e-Bay will quickly lead you to dealers whose income depends on destroying the past.6
Leaving aside the questionable attractiveness of cutting up books for the sake of their pictures, there is a more serious question that tends to be forgotten. In this world of pictorial fragments, how do texts relate to images? That is a question for another time. Directly or indirectly, all these various activities, assumptions and values contribute to our developing sense of how to study illuminated manuscripts. And they have only varying amounts to do with the more obvious tasks and skills of art connoisseurship.


Let us return two or three centuries.
By the end of the eighteenth century, a taste for illuminated manuscripts was securely established among a small group of cognoscenti. In Britain, the eccentric and enormously learned antiquary Horace Walpole, the Glasgow medical authority William Hunter, Joseph Strutt (author of the Regal and ecclesiastical antiquities of England, 1773) and Thomas Astle (author of The origin and progress of writing, 1784) are some of the better-known names in the British tradition. Illuminated manuscripts, or at least some of the more obvious ones, were beginning to find their own niche in collecting, and—crucially—their own scale of artistic and financial values.
In this context, it is worth pausing not so much over a single book, as over a single binding. As so often, the way in which a book is treated tells you a great deal about the esteem in which it is held, and even why it is valued. The book in question is the Bedford Hours, created in France in 1423 for John Duke of Bedford and his wife Anne, and now in the British Library (MS Add.18850).7 In the late eighteenth century it was persistently and wrongly referred to as the Bedford Missal, a classic example of people being more taken with pictures than text, and not bothering to see even the quite obvious differences between two religious texts, one a book for the priest, the other a book for lay people.
In 1794 it was the subject of one of the first extended monographs on an illuminated manuscript, by the antiquary and collector Richard Gough. His study was published by the fashionable London bookseller Thomas Payne, and one copy was printed on vellum. Another copy was specially prepared with hand-coloured plates, and was entrusted to Roger Payne, widely considered one of the very best binders of his day, to be bound in a suitably elaborate style. Payne's bill for binding—not, note, the original manuscript, but a study of it—was characteristically detailed, not to say eccentric:
An account of the Bedford Missal with plates Illuminated. Bound in the very best manner a pict copy interleaved for Beating. Sewed with strong White Silk. No false Bands. The Back lined with Russia Leather, Morrocco Joints. Fine purple paper, & Fine Drawing paper Inside. Cutt remarkably Large. All the defects of the paper of the Copy putt to rights as much as possible. Such as knobs, in the paper, & Wrinckly. Bound in Venetian Antiq. Colourd Morrocco Finished in the highest Taste agreable to the Book as The Missal & having been the property of The Noble Duke of Bedford. In the Finishing I have endeavourd to keep the Dignity of its Noble owner and at the same time to keep to the proper Heraldry of both the Missal and The Ducal heraldry. Thus I have used The Ducal Trefoil Leaf of The Coronet For the Inside Borders. The Trefoil Ecclesiastical Ermine for the Borders outside instead of the common on [sic]. And St. George's Cross and The Cross Rose with Trefoil pointed Leaves alternatly. And The Lily Flower in the second Borders. On the Back Saint George's Cross. Trefoil leaves alternatly. Richly Studded with Gold & Roses, very small. Room in the Back to Work on. The Back very correctly Letterd. Paines on the outside with Embossed corners with a Pearl scollop Border.8
The invoice for binding what was but a secondary and descriptive work is as clear a reminder as we could hope of the esteem in which the original was held. Only one person could own the original; but others could count themselves among its admirers and those able to value and appreciate it.
In something of the same way, facsimiles have an attraction for book collectors that has blossomed in our own times. This is related to the international drive we now see to put more and more of our collections on-line, with high-quality colour images downloadable to anyone with access to the Web. It is also a response to connoisseurs, scholars or bibliophiles who, unable to own the originals, wish to be able to turn the pages of the world's treasures. It is not irrelevant that many of the finest facsimiles of medieval manuscripts to be made since the late nineteenth century have been made at the behest of members of the Roxburghe Club, a group of wealthy bibliophiles founded in 1812. In paying for facsimiles to be made (very often of their own possessions) they have shared their pleasures with others.9 Bibliophily and subsidised scholarship found a way to go hand in hand with the possibilities and limitations of commerce and the economics of publishing.
Photography has made this possible, but only since the third quarter of the nineteenth century. Prior to that, the eighteenth-century revolution in connoisseurship and in wider cultural values was enabled not least by the development of a large-scale engraving trade, linked to a publishing trade that drew on both private wealth and benefactions and on the more limited financial resources of the trade in books and prints, to make the circulation of images easy, if not necessarily cheap. The prolific, skilled and highly professional engraver George Vertue was employed by the Society of Antiquaries; and if his is the name best remembered, there were others as well whose abilities to translate paintings, drawings and other works of art into engraved or etched lines transformed the study of art history.10
But what was provided in the late eighteenth century for those who took up these early accounts of manuscripts that they often could not hope to see, let alone own, for themselves? The professional engravers of London and major centres on the continent were only a part of this world. In 1770, Michael Tyson, Fellow of Corpus Christi College Cambridge, and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, had printed for himself and his friends An account of an illuminated manuscript in the library of Corpus Christi College: the manuscript is now no.213 in M.R.James's catalogue.11 The account ran to a small pamphlet of just five pages of rather generously spaced text. Two years later, in January 1772, Tyson read the paper at the Society of Antiquaries, and it was printed with some modifications and a few footnotes in the Antiquaries' journal Archaeologia.12 Facing the title-page was an etching after the illustration that occasioned the pamphlet, of Jean de Galopes, the translator of the text, presenting his work to Henry V. Tyson was an amateur etcher in copper, one of a group of like-minded mid-century Cambridge friends. Though in 1770 the plate was unsigned, it bore his name when it was re-used, considerably worked over by a

Fig. 1. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge MS 213, f.1 recto.
Reproduced by permission of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

professional engraver, in Archaeologia.13 The original etching has none of the professional skill of, for example, the London engraver George Vertue to whose authority the pamphlet alludes in its opening words.
To anyone who sets the etching and the original side by side (Figs 1, 2), one feature will be immediately obvious: the etched image is reversed, as if Tyson or whoever prepared the copper plate from which it is printed did not possess the elementary skill of cutting the plate itself in mirror-image. It is of course uncoloured. The etcher had only the most rudimentary skills in cross-hatching, and wisely did not attempt very much to distinguish different colours as a professional might have done. Accordingly, the King's scarlet robe is represented in the same way as the purplish robe of Jean de Galopes, the blue of the throne, the green of the person holding the mace, and the black of the two men in doctoral robes. The author made the best he could of this, explaining

Fig. 2. Copy by Michael Tyson of the presentation illustration in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge MS
213, reworked for Archaeologia, 1773. Reproduced by permission of Trinity College, Cambridge

It has been thought proper to give only an outline of the painting; for the figures being very small, any Shade would have confused them, and hurt them in the most valuable part, the resemblance to the great personages they represent. (p.5)
Instead, we are provided with the kind of verbal description that has become a tradition amongst art historians, a verbal description of a pictorial scene in which the reader is directed to particular features, and where (as usual) the order of the description, quite apart from the vocabulary and content, inevitably interprets as well as describes:
The King is seated on his Throne; which is of azure Blue fringed with Gold, and powder'd with the Gold Text-letter S.—This may perhaps mean Soverayne, as that word appears frequently on the Tomb of his Father at Westminster [recte Canterbury]. On his Head a Crown of nearly the same form as that on his Great Seal. His Hair is dark Brown, cut very close. His Surcoat or outward vest is Crimson, lined with white, with a falling Collar of white. He appears to have an under Garment of Green, which is discovered about his Neck. He has a kind of Collar of Gold, and a Girdle of the same round his Waist; to which hang appendant four Plates or medals. In his right Hand he seems to hold a Glove, and his left is supported on the Arm of his Chair of State. By an opening of his Surcoat, a Leg in Black appears, with the Order of the Garter under the Knee: his feet rest on a red Cushion ornamented with Gold. On his right Hand stand two Ecclesiastics … (pp. 5-6)
The words, evidently written with the manuscript alongside, directly contradict the inaccuracies of right and left in the reproduction, so that the ecclesiastics stand to his left in the etching, he holds the glove in his left hand, and the letters S that adorn the throne are all printed backwards. We need to set aside these inaccuracies, for the purpose of the description was evidently to describe an event, not the reproduction. Antiquarianism of this kind was not necessarily art history.
Though Tyson is named on the title-page of this pamphlet, it is not clear that he was entirely responsible for the text. Acknowledgement is made to 'a learned friend (to whom the Editor is obliged for many hints which illustrate this painting)', and it seems probable that this was another Cambridge antiquary, William Cole. Three years later, in 1773, Cole claimed in a letter to Horace Walpole to have written it out in half an hour. Perhaps there was some exaggeration in this. Certainly by now Cole was willing to call the pamphlet 'a little trumpery performance'. The same illustration, this time engraved by Joseph Strutt and printed in sepia, was included amongst the sixty reproductions from English illuminated manuscripts in Strutt's Regal and ecclesiastical antiquities of England published in the same year. On this occasion it was printed the right way round; but it was a far from accurate representation of the original picture, and seems to have been derived not from the manuscript, but from Tyson's etching. Strutt acknowledged Tyson's evidently considerable help with this and other Cambridge manuscripts, but added nothing new here.
Later on, after Tyson's death, Cole called the pamphlet 'an insignificant trifle'.14 And so in a sense it is. But it marked a break in British taste: the beginning of a tradition that was to take individual manuscripts and subject them to artistic, rather than literary, examination. The tradition of publishing facsimile plates of illustrations from manuscripts is in some ways a fairly recent one. Nothing seems to have come of one of the earliest schemes of all, to publish engraved facsimiles of the fifth-century miniatures in the Cotton Genesis, planned in 1618-22.15 The Plantin Museum in Antwerp still has the engraved plates used to illustrate the early eighth-century martyrology and Calendar of St Willibrord from Echternach printed in a few copies at Antwerp in 1660. Work had begun on this uncompleted project about forty years previously.16 Meanwhile in 1655—two centuries after the invention of printing in the west—Francis Junius included an engraving of a page from Caedmon's paraphrase of Genesis, now in the Bodleian Library (MS Junius 11).17 These incunabula of facsimiles proved to be the beginning of a pictorial revolution in print.
Among the greatest, perhaps the greatest of all, twelfth-century manuscripts is the vast copy of the Psalms made at Canterbury in about 1150-60 and now known as the Eadwine Psalter after the full-page picture of Eadwine, 'scriptorum princeps', prince of scribes (Fig. 3). It has been at Trinity College, Cambridge, since it was given to the College by Thomas Nevile, Master of the College and Dean of Canterbury, in 1612-13.18 No full colour facsimile has so far been published of this vast book, with its illustrations derived from the ninth-century Utrecht Psalter and with the text of the psalms written out in

Fig. 3. Portrait of Eadwine, 'prince of scribes'. From Trinity College MS R.17.1 (Canterbury, c.1150-60).
Reproduced by permission of Trinity College, Cambridge

Jerome's three Latin versions as well as in Old English and French. But the portrait of Eadwine has been the subject of study and curiosity since at least the late seventeenth century, when Humphrey Wanley, Anglo-Saxonist, palaeographer and librarian, made a careful pen copy for his so-called Book of Scripts, now at Longleat.19 By the time that the Eadwine portrait and the hardly less celebrated plan of the cathedral at Canterbury were published in Vertue's engraved facsimiles for the Society of Antiquaries in 1755 (Fig. 4), there was a distinct change of air in antiquarian circles. In France, Mabillon's De re

Fig. 4. Engraved copy of the portrait of Eadwine, published by the Society of Antiquaries in 1755.
Reproduced by permission of Trinity College, Cambridge

diplomatica (1681) had shown how engraved facsimiles could be used in the study of palaeography. Montfaucon had published engravings of illuminated manuscripts in his Monumens de la monarchie françoise.20 At Tegernsee, Gottfried Bessel had substantially extended the idea of the facsimile to illuminated manuscripts, with his publication of the Chronicon Gotwicense in 1732. In Italy, the Vatican Terence had appeared in facsimile in 1736. The Antiquaries had themselves published plates from the Cotton Genesis in 1744. In other words, art history, palaeography and the historical sciences more generally were in the
midst of unprecedented change in the ways by which historical artefacts, and manuscripts in particular, were to be examined, recorded and compared. Detailed facsimiles, engraved to new standards, made new disciplines possible.
The crucial difference in these printed facsimiles compared with earlier manuscript copies was that they allowed widespread distribution. To copy a manuscript in the early middle ages was to try to ensure that this or that particular text survived. The extent to which copyists treated their exemplars as models, rather than simply as texts to be written out new, and in a more up to date hand, is not an easy question to answer. The ninth-century Utrecht Psalter is an obvious example of copying an earlier artistic style. 21 Few other early manuscripts can be demonstrated so straightforwardly, though by the fifteenth century examples of direct copying and imitation are legion.
More generally, and importantly, any kind of copy, manuscript, printed or computer-based, is an interpretation. If this is most obvious in hand-made copies, it is no less true with photography or with scanning. Every process involves choices and decisions that in themselves rely on the means to hand, be it quill pen, graver, tracing ink or computer equipment. We shall return to this issue later.


For generations, good facsimiles have been expensive. But in the last few years we have seen initiatives, based on new technology, that have brought down the published costs of some of these dramatically. Many famous books seem destined to remain beyond publication in this way, either because they are too large or because it is thought unlikely that there will be sufficient customer demand for long print-runs on which this combination of low prices and high quality still depends. We may take just two examples of this new, and most welcome, development. Taschen Books, based in Cologne but with world-wide marketing, have provided reasonably priced facsimiles of both manuscripts and early printed books. The size of their market can to some extent be guessed by their practice of publishing accompanying commentaries both in German and English. In Britain, the Folio Society, working in collaboration with the British Library, has in the last few years produced outstanding value, beginning with the 10th-century Benedictional of St Ethelwold, more recently with the 14th-century Luttrell Psalter and the 14th-century Holkham Bible picture book (all previously only available in black and white facsimiles).22 Projects such as the Luttrell Psalter would have been unthinkable for a general market even ten years ago.
All this extends opportunities for reading, teaching and learning. It may, also, change attitudes to originals among parts of the population for whom such books had previously been little more than hearsay. The chance given to large numbers of people to be able to examine and reflect on books as a whole, and not simply as represented in the single opening available in an exhibition showcase, or the odd reproduction in a book, is not to be underestimated in terms of public opinion—and, therefore, public support. But these
facsimiles, like their more expensive relatives, raise an issue that is central to library management of special collections—printed books as well as manuscripts. How far can a surrogate, a facsimile, serve for an original? To return to our opening question: what exactly do we value in original artefacts? At the Bibliothèque Nationale de France it has long been staff preference to produce microfilms when you ask for manuscripts—unless you can demonstrate that you wish to address questions codicologiques. What else is missing, on film or on screen? I mentioned some at the beginning, and by no means all the problems are codicological. Colour is an obvious issue. Scanned images on screen do not necessarily give a true representation of colour, not least (but not only) because screens differ. Delivery mechanisms are as important in a computer environment as any original scanning and storage. In this environment it can be even more difficult to judge, or guess, how the artefact and its surrogate relate to one another.


I want to turn now from the publication of manuscripts in facsimile, with all the opportunities and challenges they provide for seeing at one remove, by proxy, to the public exhibition of manuscripts themselves. We have become accustomed to seeing showcases of manuscripts on display in major libraries. They figure in guidebooks (if not as much as paintings in art galleries), and they are very much a part of tourist itineraries. But masstourism is not a very long tradition. In London, the general public learned of the pleasures of exhibition-going in 1851, when over six million visitors passed through the Great Exhibition between May and October. The Great Exhibition had its predecessors, if nothing on such a scale. That year, other public places in London saw their visitor figures rise dramatically: the British Museum from 720,000 in 1850 to over two million.23 In that crowded summer, the Museum mounted what was intended to be a temporary display of some of its manuscripts. It did so only in the face of considerable internal dissent, for the Keeper of Manuscripts, Sir Frederic Madden, was far from eager. He objected to the public walking through his department (which he jealously regarded as his own personal domain). Some of his worst fears must have been answered when he contemplated the unprecedented quantities of dirt that were brought in by the public, with their unwashed clothes and their muddy feet: extra staff were needed to clean up at the end.
With or without Madden's support, this temporary display proved popular, and it reminded everyone that whereas other parts of the Museum, such as the classical antiquities, anthropological collections from Joseph Banks, Captain Cook and a host of others, and the stuffed animals and other specimens of natural history, were easy to view, the public was given hardly any access to see—not as readers but as casually curious—the wealth of the nation's richest collection of manuscripts and early printed books. There was some delay in preparing the exhibition of manuscripts in 1851, and they were not ready until August—the printed books having been on display since May. Eventually, it was not
until the end of 1857, and after several further internal disputes, that there was, at long last, a permanent exhibition of manuscripts and early printed books for the public to view without formality.24
The importance of this innovation was not lost on the Trustees, who pressed the change. It brought the library collections into the ordinary public domain, and it established the status of books as objects worthy of viewing, and not only to be read. There was, naturally, an emphasis on the landmarks of British history, but there were also other forces at work: the history of handwriting, attention to individuals of the past (the Victorian taste for heroes was not far distant) and, most pertinently for us today, the history of art. Questions of how texts related to images were for the future.
The 1851 exhibition made a profit, and from it grew the South Kensington Museum, later the Victoria and Albert Museum. This opened in 1857, and it seems not to have been until 1862 that illuminated manuscripts were exhibited: the collections of the museum, based heavily on those of 1851, did not include such things. But, apart from exhibits of mechanical engineering, patents, food and animal products, architectural fragments and building materials, one of its primary purposes was art education. The public's appetite for art, and specifically paintings and sculpture, was demonstrated in the Manchester art treasures exhibition of 1857. In the following year plans were begun for a loan exhibition of medieval, renaissance and more recent work of art at South Kensington. A new gallery was built—just in time for the opening in 1862—and hundreds of exhibits were crammed into the showcases; it was estimated that one showcase alone contained 600 jewels, cameos and medals. The catalogue of over eight thousand exhibits, borrowed from over 450 institutions and private individuals, records the profusion. It gives only a hint of the lack of real planning, besides the confusion and lack of order in the displays. The exhibition, named 'The art wealth of England', was generally welcomed even if the lack of order was a serious drawback.25
This loan exhibition was important for our purposes because it provided a further opportunity for Londoners to see medieval illuminated manuscripts not simply in facsimile, but as originals. The massive catalogue, priced at one shilling and 'under revision' according to the title-page, ran to 721 pages, with specialists contributing to the different parts devoted to sculpture, furniture, porcelain, ecclesiastical vestments, plate borrowed from the City of London livery companies and from Oxford and Cambridge, armour, snuff boxes, locks and keys, and much more: even the catalogue broke down on occasion, and had to resort to a heading that merely said 'miscellaneous objects'.26 The section on early Irish and Anglo-Saxon art was especially admired. Towards the end, in part V, section 30, came the heading 'Illuminations and illuminated manuscripts' and a section organised by Richard Holmes of the British Museum. All had been borrowed, from the Stonyhurst Gospels (still at Stonyhurst) and the Luttrell Psalter (still in the possession of the Weld family) to a series of twenty framed fragments of mostly Italian manuscripts lent by Robert
Holford. Lichfield Cathedral lent the St Chad Gospels and the Duke of Devonshire lent the Benedictional of St Aethelwold. Walter Sneyd's loans included a series of Italian manuscripts. In keeping with the rest of the exhibition, there were no loans from the British Museum.
It was against this background that the new Public Library was founded at Melbourne in 1853. Many of the ideas that helped form its collections in the first years can be traced to those that were working also for the new museum in South Kensington. For this was much more than a collection of books. Beneath the new library on the first and second floors of the new building on Swanston Street was a Museum of Art, on the ground floor: the sculpture room to the left, and the fine art room to the right. The Catalogue of the casts, busts, reliefs, and illustrations of the school of design and ceramic art, of the museum of art, at the Melbourne Public Library published in 186527 shows how much had been achieved on a very small budget. Most of the annual income went on books, normally £3000 a year since 1853 and more than that in some years. Just £2000 had been allocated for the purchase of works of art in 1859, and in 1862 cash donations amounted to £800. With these tiny sums, the authorities had acquired casts of some of the most notable sculpture in Rome, Paris and elsewhere; 78 casts of portrait busts, and facsimiles or casts of an assortment of medieval European antiquities—including so-called treasure book covers. Many of these copies were readily available on the open market, but the parallels with the casts and other facsimiles displayed at South Kensington are striking. Besides all this there was a large collection of works on paper: the chromo-lithographed facsimiles of pictures published by the Arundel Society, a small collection of engravings, nineteen volumes of photographs depicting topographical views and works of art, and an extensive range of other photographs, including some published by the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company and about fifty from the South Kensington Museum itself. The collection of coins, medals and seals, including two Anglo-Saxon coins and a number of Roman ones, but mostly of recent date, had been presented by various individuals, along with a large collection of impressions of seals. The catalogue of these, and the rest of the collection, concluded with a list of fifteen paintings.
In all this, it is especially worth noting how much depended on copies, on facsimiles, on proxies. It was not just manuscripts that had to be looked at in facsimile. In the 1860s, just as now, most people depended for most of their knowledge not on seeing originals, but on seeing copies. There is a substantial overlap in the assumptions brought to seeing different kinds of artefacts.
The collection of photographs assembled at Melbourne was a noteworthy justification for the very considerable investment that had been made in this medium, both privately and commercially, by Henry Fox Talbot and his successors. By the mid-1860s, the collection of books on the subject in the Library was remarkable, and shows evidence of especial attention being paid to the subject.28 But, for the depiction of illuminated
manuscripts, the world still relied on older processes, and particularly on chromolithography, where the originals were copied by hand (often traced), and where each colour had to be printed separately, or—in the more expensive books—added by hand. The result were often spectacular, in the hands of artists such as Owen Jones or Henry Shaw, but their qualities were of a different order from those achieved in the originals.
For most people—in Europe as in Australia—wishing to learn about manuscript illumination, or to pursue an interest in palaeography, the only route was in effect through facsimiles. I have already alluded to some of the earliest attempts. Many of the most interesting technical advances were made in nineteenth-century France. But here I wish to concentrate mostly on the English tradition, since this was best represented in the Melbourne collections by the early 1860s, the date of the arrival of photography as a medium for large-scale facsimile making. By 1861 the new Public Library had acquired the works of several of the main authorities: Thomas Astle's History of the origin and progress of writing in the edition of 1803, Henry Shaw's Encyclopaedia of illuminated ornaments (1833), and two recent books: Henry Noel Humphreys' Origin and progress of the art of writing and the much larger Grammar of ornament by Owen Jones (1857). In a different vein, dealing with more modern figures, there was C.J.Smith's Historical and literary curiosities, consisting of facsimiles of documents and autographs, published in parts between 1835 and 1840. Most magnificently, there was Joseph Balthazar Silvestre's Paléographie universelle, a survey in four folio volumes seeking to cover the history of writing throughout the world and published at Paris in 1839-41 and lauded by Sir Frederic Madden, Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum, as being unequalled: the Library did not possess Madden's corrected English translation. This was an expensive book, published originally at 30 francs a part, and there were 51 parts. In the next few years the Library added J.O.Westwood's Palaeographia sacra pictoria; being a series of illustrations of ancient versions of the Bible copied from illuminated manuscripts between the fourth and the sixteenth centuries (1843) and Matthew Digby Wyatt's Art of illuminating, as practised in Europe from the earliest times (1860).
By the time that the 1861 catalogue of the new Public Library was published, these books, and others of similar intent, were about to become very obviously things of the past. Their production methods were outdated. Everything changed when it became possible to bring photography to large-scale printing. The discovery at much the same time, in Australia by James W.Osborne (who had arrived from Ireland in Victoria in 1852, and was by 1859 working as a photographer with the Crown Lands Department) and in Britain by Colonel Sir Henry James, of a way of marrying lithography to photography, held the potential to eliminate the need for hand copying in facsimile work.29 Osborne concentrated on maps, and later made a further reputation in America. James made his process familiar across England thanks to a series of county-based facsimiles of the Domesday Book, published at the extraordinarily low price of a few shillings each. Although many of the
early claims to exact verisimilitude in representing originals can easily be shown to have been overstated, the introduction of photography into the commercial manufacture of facsimiles takes us into a world with which we are familiar.
As James, an energetic self-publicist, was ever ready to point out, photozincography was cheap. It was cheaper than making prints from negatives, and it was cheaper to make books in this way, since the amount of hand-work was drastically reduced. It made mass-production of facsimiles commercially realistic. More generally, the advent of photography as a widely used medium for the reproduction of manuscripts had several revolutionary results. First, it made manuscripts more familiar than they had ever been previously. Never before had the reading public had the chance to see so much of what was customarily held in libraries, and could only be partially exhibited. Photography was capable of being used in exactly the same way by the many dealers in London, in tourist centres throughout Britain and Europe, and across the world, who held stocks of thousands of negatives depicting scenes, buildings, etc. from which prints could be readily made and sold. Second, it made unprecedented accuracy possible. Third, it made it possible for scholars to compare manuscripts in quite different parts of the world, with a confidence that had never existed previously in a discipline that had depended on hand-copying. In a very real and practical sense it made new branches of art history possible. The study of illuminated manuscripts, the identification of schools and workshops, the gradual creation of a frame of reference that attributed work to this or that master, and the more confident attribution of work to particular areas, were but some parts of a new world where for the first time there was an accessible body of evidence in which to compare, find contexts, and offer suggestions. The study of other art forms enjoyed a similar renaissance.30


In conclusion, I want to turn to broader issues.31 We have seen how facsimiles of illuminated manuscripts have developed, depending always on the available technology, from copper etching and engraving to digital scans. We have seen how they have encouraged taste, supported and provoked scholarship, and enlarged public understanding and enjoyment. We have seen, also, how they complement originals. We have seen something of the use of facsimiles in other works of art. But when we speak of facsimiles as surrogates (which they manifestly are), or insist on the primacy of the original artefact, we need to keep our wits about us. For we are not simply making a case for the importance of originals as witnesses to the past: I shall return to this in a moment. We are also in territory where the surrogate can be of immense value—scholarly, social, political, financial, conservationist, and managerial, for a start. Vitally, the merits of each, original and surrogate, need to be recognised and acknowledged. It is not a case of choice between one and the other.
Therein lies part of the difficulty for libraries, not just in the management of obvious treasures like illuminated manuscripts, but in the management of all kinds of materials. Costs of acquisition, handling, staff employment and storage are but some aspects of the
crisis in library funding that has exploded in our faces in little more than a decade. In particular, the extraordinary and largely unforeseen scale of the costs of acquiring and, more particularly, maintaining and making accessible, electronic resources, have directly attacked the money available for what we might call traditional materials, whether paper, film or recorded sound.32 In this world, budgets force us to make choices. There is far too little of the extra money required to manage libraries that have been obliged to extend their collecting and reader responsibilities in worlds that, on the one hand, have both brought more than was ever expected thirty years ago, and on the other have involved far more in costs than in savings. It seems to be all too little understood that, just as printing did not bring an end to the world of manuscripts, but that the two continued side by side, complementing each other, so also in the electronic revolution the computer has by no means ousted established methods of communication and record. The late Harold Love, at Monash University, showed many years ago how in the English-speaking world the advent of printing did not displace manuscript cultures: indeed, faced with a choice between the two, many people in the seventeenth century and later—long after printing had become ubiquitous—preferred to write or copy out, rather than resort to print. Poetry, plays, religion, politics, gossip and even novels circulated in manuscript, a form only to be challenged eventually by the advent of the typewriter, the office copier and more recent innovations. He was concerned with English-speaking cultures, but the same is true, often on a larger scale, in others as well.33
Faced with demands on physical space and from electronic resources, original materials are ever more under threat. In this world, there is both disappointingly little of anything that can be called a serious extended debate, and a natural anxiety at the scale of what is being cast out from the libraries on which we have depended as guardians and providers of the evidence for our past. Sometimes this anxiety gives way to fury. The problem is a feature of the whole of the developed world, though it can be expressed and explained in different ways, some having more to do with social than bibliographical ends. All libraries, even national ones, have to discard materials: that has always been true. But we need to look much more carefully at what we discard, and to consider to what extent we are prepared, not as library managers but as historians, to be content (for example) with so-called copies of last resort, where all other copies of this or that book or periodical have been destroyed, and where access may become all but entirely restricted to electronic substitutes.
The meaning of a document—any document—depends partly on its form. It seems sometimes to be suggested that the principal people who will insist on seeing originals rather than substitutes will be historians of the book.34 That this is irresponsible nonsense should be obvious enough. Put at its very simplest, original documents—books, manuscripts or electronic files—are different kinds of evidence. They are warranties. And no reputable historian, of any subject, can work without evidence. Are books different? Some years ago, G.Thomas Tanselle asked the obvious question, in stating that 'Architectural
historians, art historians, and anthropologists know that they cannot accept reproductions in their work'. Or, we might add on this occasion, historians of illuminated manuscripts. Tanselle then went on to deplore the reality of libraries: 'Literary scholars and librarians, on the other hand, present no such unified front in recognizing the limits of reproduced texts'.35 That means being able to evaluate not simply the sequences of letters or lines, words or images on a page or screen, but also how they came to be there and how they stand in relation to other similar documents. In other words, historians constantly employ what we call bibliographical evidence—the evidence of the artefact. Just as no witness in court would be thought reliable if he or she could produce only surrogates and facsimiles of exhibits, so too with all historical scholarship. The public responsibilities of libraries to ensure not just that words and images are preserved, but also that they are preserved in such a way that their original form can be understood, and that, further, they can be understood in context, should also be obvious enough in this respect. In this, libraries are trustees of the past.
The critical question is how far library planners and those responsible for library budgets are willing to acknowledge these fundamental responsibilities of trusteeship, expressed in artefactual terms. For we are dealing not just with access, a word loaded with all the dangers of current—and often transient—political preoccupations, but also with what we are prepared to acknowledge as responsibilities both to our past (expressed as historical evidence) and to future generations. How far are we prepared to abandon our reputations for responsible curatorship of the history of our society?
I have remarked elsewhere that it is only natural that we tend to think of different ways of collecting, preserving and sharing the past and present in separate compartments, whether in their demands for financial investment or in the ways in which they can be delivered to what, in the absence of better terms, tend to be called customers, or end-users.36 We work with libraries and museums, with art galleries and concert halls, with departments of manuscripts, of maps, of printed books, with budgets for e-resources and for media that have been with us longer. Unless we appreciate that all these are inter-related, and that they are affected not just by how much money, staff or space is allocated to each, but also by how we use each inter-dependently, we are in danger of losing sight of the much greater question: how can we best husband and exploit our investments?
Reading and research habits, as well as publishing practices, differ greatly between disciplines, but there is a clear trend towards electronic publishing in the humanities and social sciences.37 At present, these look unlikely to embrace the electronic environment to the same extent as in the sciences, and the costs are on the whole unlikely to be as high. It is customary to anguish over the decline in budgetary attention to printed books, and blame it on increasing demands from electronic resources. And the latter have an apparent advantage, in that they do not require expensive buildings and shelf-room. Readers can also fetch things to their screens for themselves.
But electronic resources face difficulties with which we have scarcely started to
grapple. The delivery end is poor: not just because it can be slow, but also because we do not always think in the same way as is provided by the software that we are using. Definition on screen can be poor, often because of poor page design. There is much uncertainty about the stability of the very large files that we now use daily: who is to fund their continued existence, and how they are to be kept up to date. And, as every user knows, more results do not mean better, and often mean worse.
Thus, the means at our command to improve access, both in a general public way and in the mechanisms for comparisons that we can offer to detailed scholarship, are compromised both by financial exigencies and by limitations of the new media. In all this, it is important to remember that we are not, in fact, dealing with straightforward alternatives. We decide to use finite library and scholarly finances differently, by investing in e-resources rather than in print, and thus make a decision based not on need, but on necessity. It requires us to set aside one fundamental and defining truth. Artefacts, originals, whether they are of printed books, newspapers or illuminated manuscripts, all benefit from being studied and shared in an electronic environment. Thanks to digital scanning, we have indexes to print on a scale never before thought possible. We can see details of illuminators at work, and we can call up high-quality images of manuscripts from across the world. But just as the image of print on screen is only partially trustworthy, in (for example) lack of scale, lack of evidence of material vehicles (quality and colour of paper or parchment, for example), lack of that three-dimensionality that is a fundamental feature of any book, and lack of codicological context, so in practice we need both artefact and surrogate. Evidence can only benefit from such demands.
Hence the importance of this exhibition. Not just as a celebration of the riches of the collaborating libraries and museums. Not just as a triumph of inter-state and international co-operation. Not just as an opportunity for public and private enjoyment. Not just as a display of skills, materials and ideas of several hundred years ago. But also as a demonstration and a reminder: of how much more we can learn by looking at originals, and how, notwithstanding all the other advantages, no facsimile or surrogate can ever be completely adequate.


See for example the website of the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel: For the ambitious project at St-Gallen, see The more general Digital Scriptorium ( currently contains records for 5,300 manuscripts and for 24,300 images of medieval manuscripts from North American libraries.


Abbeville, Bibliothèque Muncipale MS 4; Roland Recht and others Le grand atelier no. II. 2.


Keith Christiansen and others, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420-1500 (New York: Metropolitan Museum, 1988). 'Virtually all of the great Sienese painters were active as miniaturists' (p.23).


Francis Wormald and Phyllis Giles, A descriptive catalogue of the additional manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum 2 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).


Fitzwilliam Museum MS Marlay cutting It.18 and Cambridge University Library MS Add.4165 (10): see Paul Binski and Stella Panayotova (ed.), The Cambridge illuminations: ten centuries of book production in the medieval west (London: Harvey Miller, 2005), no.60 (note by Stella Panayotova). Many more fragments of this manuscript are known elsewhere.


See for example the account of the trade in fragments conducted by Otto Ege, of Cleveland, Ohio, in the mid-twentieth century: A.S.G.Edwards, 'Scattering the leaves: the melancholy legacy of Otto F. Ege, book collector and book destroyer', Times Literary Supplement, 8 November 2007, pp. 13-14, which should be read in conjunction with A.C. de la Mare, 'A Livy copied by Giacomo Curlo dismembered by Otto Ege', in Linda L.Brownrigg and Margaret M.Smith (ed.), Interpreting and collecting fragments of medieval books (Los Altos Hills, California: Anderson-Lovelace, 2000), pp. 57-88. The topic has been addressed more generally by, for example, Roger S.Wieck, 'Folia fugitiva: the pursuit of the illuminated manuscript leaf', Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 54 (1996), pp. 233-54, Christopher de Hamel, 'Selling manuscript fragments in the 1960s', in Brownrigg and Smith (ed.) Interpreting and collecting, pp. 47-55, and Christopher de Hamel Cutting up manuscripts for pleasure and profit (Charlottesville, Va: Book Arts Press, 1996).


Published in facsimile (Luzern: Faksimile Verlag, 2007); See also, most recently, Eberhard König, The Bedford Hours (London: British Library, 2007).


The Rothschild library 2 vols (Cambridge: privately printed, 1954), no.2715.


Nicolas Barker, The publications of the Roxburghe Club, 1814-1962 (Cambridge: Roxburghe Club, 1964). Easily the most important figure in the long series of distinguished facsimiles published by members of the club was M.R.James: see R.W.Pfaff, Montague Rhodes James (London: Scolar Press,1980). For more general accounts of facsimiles see for example the exhibition catalogues, Carl Nordenfalk, Color of the middle ages (Pittsburgh: University Arts Gallery, 1976), and Claudine Lemaire and Elly Cockx-Indestege, Manuscrits et imprimés anciens en facsimilé de 1600 à 1984 (Brussels: Biblothèque Royale Albert 1er, 1984). See also the fuller articles by Johann-Christian Klamt, 'Zur Reproduktionsgeschichte mittelalterlicher Schriftformen und Miniaturen in der Neuzeit. Teil I. Das 17. und 18. Jahrundert' Quaerendo 29 (1999), pp. 169-207 and 'Teil II: Die erste Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts', ibid, pp. 247-74.


Some of these issues have been addressed in, for example, Susan Lambert, The image multiplied; five centuries of printed reproductions of paintings and drawings (London: Trefoil, 1987). For experimental work in aquatint and other media to reproduce works of art in the eighteenth century, see most recently Christiane Wiebel, Aquatinta, oder "Die Kunst mit dem Pinsel in Kupfer zu stechen" (Coburg: Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, 2007).


M.R.James, A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge 2 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912). The presentation scene in the manuscript is illustrated in colour in Christopher de Hamel, The Parker Library; treasures from the collection at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (Cambridge: the College, 2000), p.60.


Archaeologia 2 (1773), pp. 194-7.


On Tyson, see the Oxford dictionary of national biography; David Alexander Amateurs and printmaking in England 1750-1830: a loan exhibition 13th June-9th July, 1983 … Wolfson College … Oxford (Oxford: Wolfson College, 1983). For the more general background to eighteenth-century
British antiquarianism, see Rosemary Sweet, Antiquaries; the discovery of the past in eighteenth-century Britain (London: Hambledon, 2004).


William Cole to Horace Walpole, 15 November 1770 and 19 March 1773: Horace Walpole, Correspondence with the Rev. Willliam Cole, ed W.S.Lewis and A.Dayle Wallace. 2 vols (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1937) 1, pp. 199, 302-3.


A guide to a select exhibition of Cottonian manuscripts (London: British Museum, 1931), p. 17.


MS BNF lat.10837. P.Cockshaw, 'A propos de [sic] plus ancien facsimilé', in Miscellanea codicologica F.Masai dicata 2 vols (Ghent: Story-Scientia, 1979), 2, pp. 535-40. See most recently Robert Godding and others, Bollandistes, saints et légendes; quatre siècles de recherche (Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 2007), p.29 and fig. 27.


Caedmon, Paraphrasis poetica Genesios ac praecipuarum sacrae paginae historiarum, ed. Francis Junius (Amsterdam, 1655); N.R.Ker, Catalogue of manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1957) no.334; E.Temple, Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, 900-1066 (A survey of manuscripts illuminated in the British Isles 2) (1976) no.58.


Trinity College, Cambridge MS R.17.1. See Margaret Gibson, T.A.Heslop and Richard W.Pfaff (ed.), The Eadwine Psalter; text, image, and monastic culture in twelfth-century Canterbury (London: MHRA, 1992). On the following, see in particular, David McKitterick, 'The Eadwine Psalter rediscovered', ibid, pp. 195-208.


MS Longleat 345. I am grateful to Simon Keynes for his help with this.


McKitterick, 'The Eadwine Psalter rediscovered', at pp. 199-204.


Koert van der Horst and others (ed.), The Utrecht Psalter in medieval art; picturing the Psalms of David ('t Goy, 1996); Roland Recht and others (ed.) Le grand atelier; chemins de l'art en Europe Ve-XVIIIe siècle (Brussels: Fonds Mercator, 2007), pp. 76-81, 268.


The Benedictional of Saint Aethelwold; a masterpiece of Anglo-Saxon art. A facsimile, introduced by Andrew Prescott (London: British Library, 2002); The Luttrell Psalter: a facsimile, commentary by Michelle P.Brown (London: British Library, 2006); The Holkham Bible picture book: a facsimile, commentary by Michelle P.Brown (London: British Library, 2007).


Hermione Hobhouse, The Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition; art, science and productive industry (London: Athlone, 2002), p.69. Edward Edwards, Lives of the founders of the British Museum 2 vols (London: Trübner,1870), 2 p.599, gives the total for 1851 as 2,527,216, including 78,211 visits to the Reading Room. According to Edwards, the largest number recorded on a single day was over 42,000, admitted on Boxing Day 1858.


P.R.Harris, A history of the British Museum Library, 1753-1973 (London: British Library, 1998), pp. 195-7.


Anthony Burton, Vision & accident; the story of the Victoria ad Albert Museum (London: V & A Publications,1999), pp. 65-8. Elizabeth James, The Victoria and Albert Museum; a bibliography and exhibition chronology, 1852-1996 (London: Fitzroy Dearborn in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1998), pp. 18-19.


J.C.Robinson (ed.), Catalogue of the special exhibition of works of art of the medieval, renaissance, and more recent periods, on loan at the South Kensington Museum, June 1862 (London, 1862). The much more ambitious selection of photographs from the exhibition did not include any manuscripts: J.C.Robinson, The art wealth of England; a series of photographs, representing fifty of the most remarkable works of art contributed on loan to the special exhibition at the South Kensington Museum, 1862 (London: P. & D.Colnaghi, Scott & Co., 1862).


The copy presented to Trinity College, Cambridge by the Council of the University of Melbourne in 1872 is now in the College library. For a few of the influences and connections between Cambridge and the University of Melbourne in its formative years, see R.J.W.Selleck, The shop; the University of Melbourne, 1850-1939 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2003).


For some of the more general attention paid to photography in mid nineteenth-century Australia, see for example Alan Davies and Peter Stanbury, The mechanical eye in Australia; photography 1841-1900 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1985).


For the wider background in art-history disciplines, see Anthony J. Hamber, "A higher branch of the art": photographing the fine arts in England, 1839-1880 (Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach, 1996). For Osborne, see the Australian dictionary of biography, and A.S.Kenyon, 'Photolithography—a Victorian invention', Victoria Historical Magazine 11 (1926-8), pp. 175-8; for James, see the Oxford dictionary of national biography, with further references.


See the several contributions to Helene E.Roberts (ed.), Art history through the camera's lens (Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach, 1995).


For further aspects of the following, see G.Thomas Tanselle, Literature and artifacts (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998). The difficulties facing scholarship and libraries are still greater today.


The figures are alarming. For example, of the ten most expensive journal subscriptions currently taken by Cambridge University Library, all are above £10,000 (approaching AUS$ 22,000) per annum. Nine of them are published by the same publisher. None of them is in the humanities or social sciences (Cambridge UL Readers' Newsletter 37 (October 2007)).


Harold Love, Scribal publication in seventeenth-century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). For French practices, see for example François Moureau, La plume et le plomb; espaces de l'imprimé et du manuscrit au siècle des lumières (Paris: Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2006).


'We must, however, also recognise the continuing high demand for physical books and journals in our reading rooms. In some subject areas, such as the history of the book, the physical properties may well be the subject of study themselves.' The British Library's content strategy; meeting the knowledge needs of the nation (London: British Library, 2006), para.2.4.4.


Tanselle, Literature and artifacts, p.xvii.


David McKitterick, 'New needs in libraries' The Book Collector 56 (2007), pp. 11-30.


The development of electronic resources is changing publishing, readers' expectations, and demands on libraries (to say nothing of authors' interests or of copyright questions) so fast that it seems foolish to claim the latest word. For some of the earlier background to changes over the past four or five years, see John B.Thompson, Books in the digital age; the transformation of academic and higher education publishing in Britain and the United States (Cambridge: Polity, 2005).