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Archive: 2023 (30 Posts)

January Brings the Siren: An Illuminated Manuscript for the New Year

Posted by: Marianna Stell

Is that mermaid holding a mirror? No, and yes. The lower border of the January calendar page from this fifteenth-century illuminated Book of Hours contains a Siren, who is holding a mirror. What is a Siren? Why it is in this Book of Hours? Learn more in this New Years post.

The scene of the Annunciation in the Edith Book of Hours surrounded by border illuminations and two frolicking rabbits below.

Immensity and Smallness in the Edith Book of Hours

Posted by: Marianna Stell

The Edith Book of Hours from the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection is the smallest medieval manuscript at the Library of Congress. Created in Paris in the fourteenth century in the style of miniature painter and manuscript illuminator, Jean Pucelle, this tiny book offers researchers an experience like no other in the collection. Recently digitized, the Edith Book of Hours is now available for remote viewing for the first time. This blog post offers observations about the size of this manuscript in the hopes of providing remote researchers with a sense of its physical presence.

Image of text with large letters that read "MUNCEY LANGAGUE" across the top.

“In Our Own Language”: Lenape Hymnals in the Rare Book Collection

Posted by: Marianna Stell

Among the resources on the Lenape language in the holdings at the Library of Congress are two hymnals, published in 1847 and 1874 respectively. Printed at a time when governmental policies in Canada and the United States were actively attempting to destroy tribal languages, these hymnals provided a way for Lenape communities to remain connected to their language even amongst attempted erasure. The Halfmoon hymnal includes new translations into Munsee, a Lenape language that is rarely the focus of such linguistic preservation. Guest post by Meg Nicholas, Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center.