Designing English at the Bodleian

Designing English

This exhibition, curated by the English Faculty's Professor Daniel Wakelin, will illustrate the graphic design of handwritten manuscripts and inscriptions for the first thousand years of English, across the Middle Ages.

Showcasing the Bodleian Library's rich holdings of medieval manuscripts in English, ranging from Old English picture books or notes scratched into herbals, through fragments of medieval songs scribbled on spare pages, to masterpieces framed with illustrations and gold, or new page designs for practical tasks, such as manuals for handling swans. It will cover the experiences of both the makers and the users of writing: how craftspeople planned and made books, and how readers responded to their designs.

To show the likeness to modern craft, Designing English will be shown for the first two months alongside Redesigning the medieval book: a display of contemporary book arts inspired by the exhibition, through a workshop and competition.

The exhibition will run from 1 December 2017 to 22 April 2018 at the ST Lee Gallery, Weston Library. For further information, please see the Bodleian Library website.