Saturday, September 16, 2023

Manuscript Anatomy for the Beginner Scribe

 Over the last year or so, our family has immersed ourselves in the wonderful world that is the SCA (Society of Creative Anachronisms)!  We've jumped in with both feet with all the garb creation, archery, thrown weapons, armoring, sword fightings, arts and sciences, and (my favorite) scribal! But researching manuscripts is a whole new world that felt completely overwhelming.  There's a lot of information out there and much of of it is misinformation.  

Next week I'm gathering a group of scribes together to learn and grow together.  I couldn't be more excited!  They'll be coming from all artistic background and skill levels, so I'm trying to gather helpful info for them.  This morning I put together this little zine of terms and concepts that were new to me last year.  I'm hoping is will be useful!  What would you add?  References below.  Click on image to enlarge.

1. "A Beginner's Guide to Working With Manuscripts" ( ) Wordsworth Collections.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from'H27sGuidetoWorkingWithManuscripts

2.Doyle, Lovett ( ) "How to Make a Medieval Manuscript."  British Library.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from

3. Hindman (June 3, 2021) "A Beginner's Guide to Medieval Manuscripts." Abe Books.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from

4. Kwakkel, (Sep. 7, 2018) "The Architecture of the Medieval Page." Medieval Books.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from

5. Ray, (Sep. 27, 2021) "Reading the Manuscript Page: Design Features of the Medieval Book." Trinity College, Dublin.  Last Viewed 9-15-23 from

6. Getty Museum, (Jan. 27, 2009).  "The Structure of a Medieval Manuscript."  Getty Museum.  Last viewed 9-14-23 from



  1. Our family has fully immersed itself in the fascinating realm of the Society of Creative Anachronisms (SCA) for the past year or so We've delved into activities like sword fighting, armoring archery thrown weapons arts and sciences and of course my personal favorite scribal. Exploring these diverse pursuits has been both exciting and enriching. However amid our adventurous journey I encountered a significant challenge when it came to delving into the world of manuscript research. The vast amount of available information often comes with a downside misinformation is prevalent. Navigating through this intricate web of data proved to be overwhelming. It's like being asked to do my class online for me in a subject with an abundance of information and sources. Yet within this challenge lies an opportunity for learning and growth as we unravel the complexities of manuscript research within the SCA.

    1. So true! I hope this helps in some small way!