8:22 a.m., Jan. 24, 2011----The University of Delaware Library announces that Gabrielle Parkin, a doctoral candidate in the Department of English working on late medieval English literature with an interest in material culture studies, will present “Commercial Devotion to the Virgin: How to Use and Read a Medieval Book of Hours” at noon, Wednesday, Feb. 16, in the Class of 1941 Lecture Room in the Morris Library.
The presentation is part of the University of Delaware Assembly of Professional Staff (UDLAPS) “Scholar and the Library Series.”
The brown-bag luncheon program with light refreshments is open to the public.
Books of hours are often called the “medieval bestsellers.” One of the most common artifacts of the late middle ages, the book of hours could be an important tool in an individual's daily spiritual life.
Using the Special Collections' copy of a 15th-century Book of Hours, Parkin's research has concentrated on the materiality of the book and the way individuals incorporated such manuscripts into their daily routine.
The goal of her talk is to contextualize the production and use of the University of Delaware Library's book of hours to explain how and why someone might acquire such a manuscript.
In addition to a brief explanation of medieval paleography and the way a buyer might go about purchasing a manuscript, she will show pages from the library's book to illustrate how the book was used in both private daily devotions and public displays of faith in the parish church.