Sunday, 14 February 2016

Mappa Mundi

 A few years ago I collected all my Altered Books together and displayed them chained to a portable book shelf. I was trying to make them look a bit like a chained library, and had travelled to Lincoln Cathedral beforehand to see what one looked like. Unfortunately, we went all that way only to find the library was not accessible to us on that day, so I had to make my installation from imagination.

So, on a recent visit to Hereford Cathedral to see the Mappa Mundi (left) we were delighted to find they had one too, and it was open, and was wonderful!

 On the left, the larger book displayed is an original Wycliffe Bible on vellum. See how thick the pages are!

The books all had clasps (like the one on the right) originally, to help keep the pages flat.

These books are very old (medieval in some cases, very precious, and definitely not for altering!) but the urge to open one was overwhelming. Scholars can apparently access them, but not the likes of me!
 I thought the library must have been very popular as there are double benches and desks in front of each shelf, until it was pointed out to me that the books don't move, and if you want a different book, you have to do the moving, hence the long seats!

This is a modern stained glass window in a side chapel. Unfortunately, my image doesn't quite capture the vivid colours as the light streamed through the glass. They were very beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. I've read about these libraries but have never seen pictures to help with my imaginings of how they were set up & worked. Especially appreciate the close-up of the two books. I too would find the desire to take one down for a peek inside overwhelming.