How to Date and Place a Medieval Manuscript

This exhibit aims to provide researchers with tools and methods for determining the probable date and geographical origin of a medieval liturgical manuscript. The manuscript used here as a case study, Western MS 97 (housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University), is a gradual containing music notation. However, most of the methods discussed in the exhibit are applicable to any liturgical manuscript.

Each page in the exhibit will lead us down an investigatory avenue: musical analysis, paleographical analysis, and--particularly useful for Western MS 97--exploration of marginalia. 

The pages in this exhibit are intended to be read in order.


Russell O'Rourke, with help from and frequent consultations with Susan Boynton, Consuelo Dutschke, Dagmar Riedl, and Andre Laboy