(Re)collecting the Archive: recovering medieval manuscripts destroyed During WWII

Krista Murchison (University of Leiden) @drkmurch

Thousands of medieval manuscripts, each an irreplaceable witness to history, were lost and destroyed during the Second World War. Yet fragments of these precious artifacts remain in the form of editions, photographs, and descriptions. Thanks to funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, I am embarking on a project to effectively recreate the destroyed manuscript collections of four European nations by gathering together multimedia fragments of lost manuscripts. As this paper will discuss, the project is aimed at recovering these documentary and literary artifacts for future generations while exploring the idea of a wholly immaterial archive—one that is not bound by geographical limits or material realities.

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