Medieval bookmarks

A fascinating short video on book reading in the Middle Ages, focusing on an unexpected instrument that we now use on a regular basis: the bookmark. Erik Kwakkel of Leiden University showcases a Norman manuscript from the late 11th century and a newly discovered bookmark (12th c. judging by the numerals?). The round piece of parchment has numerals I-IV to indicate the column the reader was on before he closed the book. This discovery enriches our picture of medieval devices of textual navigation (chapter lists, rubrics, headings, running titles, quire numbers, marginalia).

More on medieval bookmarks on


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