Exhibit: “Hour by Hour: Reconstructing a Medieval Breton Prayerbook”

Exhibit: “Hour by Hour: Reconstructing a Medieval Breton Prayerbook”
Event on 2013-01-21 00:00:00
On July 5, 2011 a fifteenth-century Book of Hours (private prayer book) was auctioned by Sotheby's in London. Lot 113 of their Western Manuscripts and Miniatures sale sold for a modest price to an anonymous buyer.

Lot 113 found its way to Germany, where it was cut apart so its leaves could be sold individually, a practice called book breaking. By October, numerous individual leaves from the manuscript were put up for auction on eBay in several countries by a dealer in Leipzig, Germany.

Because the purchase of individual leaves encourages book breaking, the Hesburgh Library does not usually buy single leaves. In significant cases, as with Breton manuscripts, exceptions are made. This is one of those cases!

Visit the exhibit that shares the fascinating tale that started with a peculiar calendar for auction on eBay in February 2012. The Curator's (David T. Gura) initial intent — to preserve an extremely rare fifteenth-century calendar — turned into a quest to discover and reconstruct an entire medieval manuscript. Little did he know that scholarly knowledge and modern technology would lead him on a virtual path around the world to preserve this unique treasure.

Rare Books and Special Collections
102 Hesburgh Library (Concourse West)

Open to the public
9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday


Hesburgh Libraries Special Collections
Phone: (574) 631-0290

at University of Notre Dame
N Notre Dame Ave
South Bend, United States

Leave a Reply