Case study 12: Boston-Area Fragments

Houghton Typ 315, Praefatio in Ezram, 12th century

Case Study

Partner institution: Houghton Library, Harvard University

Financed by: Houghton Library/Fragmentarium Fellowship

Collaborator: Elena Iourtaeva, MA, Harvard University

Advisor: Dr. William Stoneman, Houghton Library, Harvard University

This case study focuses on the manuscript cuttings and fragments found in the Houghton Library and other Boston-area collections. Building on the intense collaboration among experts involved in the exhibition Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections (, the study aims to illuminate the dense interactions between manuscripts culture, trends in North American collecting, and the shifting role of manuscripts in creating cultural capital in American institutions.

Elena Iourtaeva (MA, Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, 2014) has extensive experience in both Information Technology and Manuscript Studies. As a medievalist, she has a particular interest in palaeography and codicology; she is eager to combine this interest with her experience as a professional photographer to develop how best to tell the story of these fragments. Her research focuses on the reception of Islamic treatises of natural philosophy in the West, and she is currently working on a Ph.D. in Art History under Professor Jeffrey Hamburger at Harvard University.

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