Sonderforschungsbereich 950

Manuscript Cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe

01/2017manuscript of the month

MS U860.F46 1450, fol. 27r

Return of the Gladiators

In the middle of the twentieth century, a manuscript vanished without a trace from a library in Central Germany. It only surfaced again when it happened to be found among a deceased collector’s possessions decades later in New Haven, Connecticut. In the period between its disappearance and rediscovery, the manuscript was sold, auctioned, taken apart and put back together again. It describes mediaeval armed combat between two opponents each wearing a suit of armour and contains numerous accompanying illustrations. The carefully drawn pictures still serve their original purpose, informing interested readers about styles of combat, but they are also useful as reference material for the modern re-creation of mediaeval martial arts.


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A manuscript researcher is the new fellow at the Maimonides Centre in Hamburg

Ronny Vollandt, Professor of Jewish Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, is currently a fellow at the Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies at Universität Hamburg. His research focuses on the Arabic versions of the Bible and biblical exegesis in the Arabic language, more broadly, medieval Christian- and Judaeo-Arabic literature. Professor Vollandt is a renowned expert for manuscript studies and will stay in Hamburg until August 2018.

New volume of the series Studies in Manuscript Cultures (SMC)

The contributions to the volume Manuscripts and Archives — Comparative Views on Record-Keeping (SMC 11), edited by von Alessandro Bausi, Christian Brockmann, Michael Friedrich and Sabine Kienitz, explore the complex topic of the archive in a historical, systematic and comparative context and view it in the broader context of manuscript cultures by addressing questions like how, by whom and for which purpose archival records were produced, and if they differ from literary manuscripts regarding materials, formats, and producers (scribes).

New Petra Kappert Fellow in February 2018

Dr. Dick van der Meij, Leiden, is a philologist and specialist in the languages and cultures of Indonesia. His current research focuses on palm-leaf manuscripts from Bali and Java. Dr. van der Meij will stay at CSMC until the end of March 2018.

Arcadia Fund grant for digitising Southeast Asian manuscripts - DREAMSEA

Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin – has awarded a grant to a five-year Programme to establish the ‘Digital Repository of Endangered and Affected Manuscripts In Southeast Asia (DREAMSEA)’. This Programme has been initiated by Prof. Dr Jan van der Putten at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures of the University of Hamburg and Prof. Dr Oman Fathurahman at the Center for the Study of Islam and Society of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta. The Programme is designed to preserve the immense cultural diversity of Southeast Asia by digitising physically and culturally highly endangered manuscripts in both mainland and insular Southeast Asia. All digitised manuscripts will be put online and available for research and other use. DREAMSEA will be a milestone for the preservation of Southeast Asian manuscripts, and for the first time ever it will join manuscripts from the whole region into one repository that will be open to everyone. It will open new vistas for the exploration of the rich web of cultural linkages and enhance efforts to preserve cultural diversity of the region.

Honorary doctorate awarded to a member of CSMC

On 17 November 2017 Prof. Dr. Cécile Michel, Assyriologist and member of CSMC, was awarded the honorary doctorate of the University of Copenhagen for her long-standing dedication to interdisciplinary collaboration with the Centre for Textile Research. The CSMC congratulates her on this honour!


24 April 2018 6pm | Informal Talk
Dr Hendrik E. Niemeijer and Gerard Mulder
MAIS archival systems & De Ree archiefsystemen, Groningen
Towards Digital History & Culture in Southeast Asia - Preservation Imaging and Digital Archival Systems as the Cornerstones of Manuscript Preservation and Public Access in the DreamSea Programme
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

25 April 2018 5pm | Viva Voce
Jonas Buchholz, M.A.
University of Hamburg
Tiṇaimālai Nūṟṟaimpatu: Text and Tradition
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 2002

4 May 2018 | Workshop

Handbooks and Personal Copies
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 2002

7 - 10 May 2018 | Conference
Manuscript Cataloguing in a Comparative Perspective:
State of the Art, Common Challenges, Future Directions

Details and Registration
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

16 - 18 May 2018 | Workshop
80 Years since Nordenfalk.
The Canon Tables in a Comparative Perspective.

Details and Registration
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

31 May 2018 6pm | Lecture
Prof. Dr. Paul Dilley
The University of Iowa
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26, room 0001

1 June 2018, 2-6pm | Open Day
The Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (CSMC) opens its doors to the public.
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

7 - 8 June 2018 | Workshop
Publishing Manuscripts
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26

12 - 13 June 2018 | Workshop
OpenX for Interdisciplinary Manuscript Research
CSMC, Warburgstraße 26