Sonderforschungsbereich 950

Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe

12/2014manuscript of the month

Salvation of the soul and prudery
Censoring a 15th-century German-language manuscript

Codex germanicus 1, fol. 98v/99r

In the Hamburg State and University Library, there is a late mediaeval manuscript in German language consisting of a series of very varying texts, two of which were censored, with individual words being deleted. The censor was so thorough in his work that even using the most up-to-date technology, it is still not possible to read these words. What were the reasons for such interventions, and what remains hidden even today?


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New Scholarships

Within the 'Graduate School Scholarship Programme', the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has once more granted scholarships for the structured PhD program 'manuscript cultures' which is being offered in the integrated research training group of the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC) in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Current call for PhD scholarships
Application deadline: 31 March 2015

New Publications

Three new CSMC publications are now available. Two new volumes were published by De Gruyter in the series Studies in Manuscript Cultures: Volume 1 Manuscript Cultures: Mapping the Field and Volume 3 Manuscript, Print and Memory - Relics of the Cankam in Tamilnadu. There is also the new issue no. 5 of the open access journal manuscript cultures, which is available as a free download. Articles in this issue cover manuscript cultures from ancient Greece, China, West Africa, the Middle East and India, as well as natural sciences in manuscript analysis.

Guardian of the Manuscripts from Timbuktu visited CSMC

Dr. Abdel Kader Haїdara visited CSMC on 7-8 October 2014 to discuss further measures for safeguarding the famous Manuscripts from Timbuktu. Dr. Haїdara arrived from Berlin, where the Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier had presented him the German Africa Award of the renowned German Africa Foundation in recognition of his tremendous and continuing efforts for the rescue of this important West African cultural heritage. During his visit Dr. Haїdara not only met with researchers from the centre, but also with the Hamburg Senator for Science and Research, Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, and the Honorary Consul of Mali in Hamburg, Mrs. Bettina Rhensius-Krohn.
Press release of 1.10.2014
Article from the Uni HH Newsletter October 2014

CSMC Awarded a Million Euros for Timbuktu Project

Having successfully completed a 12-month pilot phase, CSMC’s project entitled ‘Safeguarding the Manuscripts from Timbuktu’ is to be funded for five more years with the support of the German Foreign Office and the Gerda Henkel Foundation. CSMC has come to an agreement with Dr Abdel Kader Haïdara, chairman of the NGO 'SAVAMA-DCI' and the person who rescued the manuscripts, which also envisages close co-operation with other financiers and donors such as the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library. The prime objective of the international effort is to rescue the manuscripts from new threats caused by completely different climatic conditions and problematic storage conditions: they need to be taken out of the densely packed boxes in which they were transported to Bamako, and to be stored in an appropriate building in accordance with conservationists’ standards. The project will continue to be run by Dr Dmitry Bondarev, who is currently its scientific co-ordinator.


29-30 April 2015 | Workshop
Old Mande Manuscript Workshop
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

15-16 May 2015 | Workshop
Understanding Paratexts from Texts.
Orality. Commentaries. Genres.

CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

21 May 2015 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Susan Rankin
University of Cambridge
capturing sound, designing notation, writing music
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

22 May 2015 10am | Lecture
Prof. Dr. David Ganz
University of Cambridge
A Carolingian Copy of Virgil
The Hamburg State and University Library
Carl von Ossietzky
Von-Melle-Park 3

4 June 2015 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Nalini Balbir
Sorbonne Nouvelle (University of Paris-3)
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

5 June 2015, 2-6pm | Open Day
The Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC) opened its doors to the public.
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26