Annotated Bibliography

Abt, J & Fusco, M 1989, ‘A Byzantine scholar’s letter on the preparation of manuscript

vellum’, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 61-66,

viewed 7 July 2011,

This article comprises a brief explanation and translation of a letter that the scholar Planudes (ca. 1260-1330) sent to the monk Melchisedek in Akropolita asking for finely prepared vellum for the production of manuscripts. The article examines the translated letter to explain that thin, normal shaped, shiny vellum without an egg coating was desirable. This translation was well done and useful in illuminating the concerns faced by Planudes in obtaining a valuable material. [Alison Fraser]

Brown, K L & Clark, R J 2004, ‘Analysis of key Anglo-Saxon manuscripts (8–11th

centuries) in the British Library: pigment identification by Raman microscopy’, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, vol. 35: pp. 181–189, viewed 9 July 2011,

In this paper, the pigments used in 8-11th century Anglo-Saxon manuscripts are identified using Raman microscopy. The results are clearly laid out in a table at the end with the year of the manuscript and the pigments present. Some of the manuscripts have sufficient geographic and chronological proximity to the book of Durrow to give indication of pigments we may use, particularly India ink (carbon). [Devin Roberts]

Carver, M 2009, ‘Early Scottish Monasteries and prehistory: A preliminary dialogue’, The Scottish Historical Review, vol. 88, no. 2, pp. 332–351, viewed 9 July 2011,

The discussion of early Scottish monasteries in this article provides background information about the monks who produced manuscripts. This information gives us insight into a possible grounding for monastic culture in the 7th century, providing context for the Book of Durrow.

[Alicia Andrews]

Cisne, J L 2008, ‘Stereoscopic comparison as the long-lost secret to microscopically detailed illumination like the Book of Kells’, Perception, vol. 38, pp. 1087-1103, viewed 9 July 2011,

This article explains that some manuscripts, such as our chosen template, the book of Durrow, show greater detail than many other contemporary works. The authors postulate that the level of detail attained in these manuscripts is due to the use of meticulous template copying. We can use this technique in our reproduction to achieve uniformity in the patterns, especially in the frames of pages. [Alicia Andrews]

Clarke, M 2004, ‘Anglo-Saxon manuscript pigments’, Studies in Conservation, vol.

49, no. 4, pp. 231-244, viewed 7 July 2011,

An in depth scientific and historic analysis of the pigments used in Anglo-Saxon illuminated manuscripts produced between the 7th and 11th centuries is discussed. The author uses textual evidence, new scientific methods that measure the composition of pigments in manuscripts and indirect historical evidence that all refer to pigments that would have been used by the Anglo-Saxons. This is done in order to better understand Anglo-Saxon modes of manuscript production. Clear and concise the article concludes that a mix of inorganic and organic pigments would have been available in changing varieties ranging from simple in the 7th century to more complex in the 11th century. [Alison Fraser]

Stevick, R D 1986, ‘The Shapes of the Book of Durrow Evangelist-Symbol Pages’, The Art Bulletin, vol. 68, no. 2, p. 182, viewed 9 July 2011,

This paper looks at the size and shape of the frames for Illustrations in the book of Durrow. From information within, we should be able to accurately scale the drawings in our replication.

[Devin Roberts]

Werner, M 1969, ‘The Four Evangelist Symbols Page in the Book of Durrow’, Gesta, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 3-17, viewed 9 July 2011,

This article addresses the opening page of the Book of Durrow; a page involving four Evangelist symbols. The author questions the models which were available to the Hiberno-Saxon scriptoria in the 7th century due to the complexity of this image. The group aims to reproduce an opening page based on this description and analysis in addition to an online copy of the page itself. [Joanne Courneyea]

Werner, M 1990, ‘The Cross-Carpet Page in the Book of Durrow’, The Art Bulletin, vol. 72, no. 2, pp. 174-223, viewed 9 July 2011,

Werner explores the significance and production of the cross-carpet pages in the Book of Durrow. Based on the details and images provided in this article, the group will work to include a few examples in the proposed reproduction. [Joanne Courneyea]


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