Richard and Mary Rouse History of the Book Lectures

The History of the Book Lecture series, established in 1993 through the efforts of Richard and Mary Rouse, provides an annual venue for internationally recognized authorities on medieval and Renaissance books to present their expertise at UCLA. The lecture’s focus alternates each year between medieval manuscripts and Renaissance books. Among the topics explored in past lectures were: book and manuscript illustration, the development of printing, early book printers and sellers, the book trade, and medieval and Renaissance book and manuscript collections.

2024 – Professor Ilse Sturkenboom (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen)
“On the Introduction of Chinese Decorated Paper to Iran and How it Revolutionized Manuscript Production in the Islamic World”

2022 – Professor Denva Gallant (Department of Art History, University of Delaware)
“Illustrating the Vitae patrum: The Rise of the Eremitic Ideal in Fourteenth-Century Italy”

2021 – Dr. Andrea M. Achi (Assistant Curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York)
“A Library of Memories: Textual Preservation at the Monastery of St. Michael in Egypt”

2020 – Professor Joshua Calhoun (English, University of Wisconsin, Madison)
“Hydrophilic Archives: Early Handmade Paper in Unstable Environments”

2019 – Professor Sarah J. Pearce (Art and Science, New York University)
“‘This is What I Have on My Bookshelf’: Jewish Autobiography and Descriptive Bibliography in the Islamic West”

2018 – Prof. Emine Fetvaci (History of Art and Architecture, Boston University)
“From Provincial Chronicle to Grand Imperial Manuscript: The Making of the ‘Nusretname'”

2017 – Prof. Erik Kwakkel (Leiden University)
“Not for Keeps: The Ephemeral in Medieval Manuscript Culture”

2016 – Prof. Jessica Brantley (English, Yale University)
“The Book of Hours in Literary History”

2015 – Prof. Ann Blair (History, Harvard University)
“In the Workshop of the Mind: Amanuenses and Authorship in Early Modern Europe”

2014 – Sylvie L. Merian (Reader Services Librarian, The Morgan Library & Museum)
“Protection Against the Evil Eye? Votive Offerings on Armenian Manuscript Bindings”

2013 – Prof. Robert Somerville (Religion, Columbia University)
“Papal Councils, Papal Records, and the First Crusade: the Council of Benevento in 1113”

2012 – Prof. Kathryn Kerby-Fulton (English, University of Notre Dame)
“The Clerical Proletariat and Manuscript Production in Late Medieval England”

2011 – Prof. John Van Engen (History, University of Notre Dame)
“Scribes at Home: Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life and In-House Books”

2010 – Dr. Elizabeth Morrison (Senior Curator, Department of Manuscripts, J. Paul Getty Museum) “Searching for the Origins of Secular Imagery in 13th-Century France”

2008 – Dr. William Noel (Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, The Walters Art Museum) “Archimedes in Bits: The Digital Presentation of a Write-Off”

2008 – Prof. James Carley (English , York University, Toronto)
“‘A notable & famous librarie in the Archbishop of Canterburies house’: John Whitgift, Richard Bancroft, and the Foundation of Lambeth Palace Library”

2007 – Mary Rouse (Associate, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies)
“Christine de Pizan and the Chapelet des vertus

2007 – Prof. William Sherman (English, University of York)
“The Pointing-Hand: A Pervasive Symbol in the History of Texts”

2007 – Fr. Justin Sinaites (St Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai, Egypt)
“The Library of St Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai: A Resource of Continuing Significance”

2006 – Prof. Christopher Page (Faculty of English, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University)
“Copying Books in a Gradual Fashion, 1025-1125: The Wanderings of Two Monks and the Making of the Western Musical Tradition”

2005 – Prof. Nigel F. Palmer (Medieval German, Oxford University)
“Blockbooks and the Fifteenth-Century Media Revolution”

2004 – Dr. Roger S. Wieck (Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, The Pierpont Morgan Library)
“Trial by Fleur: The Master of Walters 219 and the Trés Riches Heures

2003 – Dr. Sylvia Huot (Pembroke College, Cambridge University)
“Reading and Meditation in Late Medieval Devotional Manuscripts”

2002 – Dr. Christopher de Hamel (Donnelley Fellow Librarian, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University)
“The Imaginary Library of Archbishop Theodore”

2001 – Dr. Peter Blayney (English, University of Toronto)
“England’s First Widow Printer: The Life, Times, and Kin of Elizabeth Pickering Jackson Redmond Cholmeley Cholmeley”

2000 – Dr. Myra D. Orth (Curator, Getty Research Institute)
“French Renaissance Manuscripts: Elegant Survivors”

1998 – Dr. Jenny Stratford (Department of Manuscripts, British Museum)
“John Duke of Bedford (1389-1435): Royal Patron and Collector”

1998 – Prof. Walter Cahn (History of Art, Yale University)
“The ‘Portrait’ of the Prophet Muhammad in the Toledan Collection”

1997 – Fr. Leonard E. Boyle, O.P. (Prefect, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana)
“The Vatican Library and the Beginnings of the Printed Book”

1996 – David S. Zeidberg (Special Collections, UCLA Young Research Library)
“Selling Italy’s First Books: The Marketing Strategies of Swynheym and Pannartz”

1995 – Prof. A. R. Braunmuller (English, UCLA)
“Dead People and Real Places: Fact, Imagination, and Names in Shakespeare’s Plays”

1994 – Prof. Richard H. Rouse (History, UCLA)
“Geoffrey of St. Leger, Gerard of Montaigu and the Roman de Fauvel