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About this collection

Vellum leaf from 15th century Book of Hours, featuring illuminated capitals, gold leaf, and floral bordersThe Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections at Ohio University Libraries owns over 700 manuscript and printed leaves dating from the 8th to 20th century. The product of 19th and 20th century "bookbreakers," dealers who dismembered historic texts to sell the component pages individually or in portfolios, these leaves reveal techniques and conventions of handmade book production from across the world.

 

The first collection to be added to this digital assemblage comes from Otto F. Ege, a Cleveland-based museum curator and art history professor, who began cutting apart medieval manuscripts in the early-to-mid 20th century in order to distribute examples of fifty pages each to universities around the country. Ohio University owns set no. 5 of a total of 40 produced. These illuminated leaves, all hand-lettered on vellum, come from Western Europe and were produced over a span of 400 years. 

 

Future additions to the Manuscripts and Printed Leaves digital collection will include over 500 items from the Gilbert and Ursula Farfel Collection of Inunable and Manuscript Leaves and 154 items from Pages from the Past, a four-volume set of portfolios assembled by the New York-based Society of Foliophiles between 1927 and 1964. 

 

 

Browse all manuscript and printed leaves.

 

 

 

 
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