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Medieval Memoria Research


23 - 24 November 2018
Nijmegen, Radboud Universiteit; Museum Het Valkhof

Conference: Mary of Guelders – Her life and prayer book (ca. 1400)

Mary of Guelders’ richly illuminated prayer book (Berlin SBB-PK Ms germ qu 42 / Vienna ÖNB Cod. 1908), written by Helmich die Lewe and completed in 1415, is extraordinary for several reasons: it originally consisted of more than 600 folia, it is richly illuminated, it was written in the Lower Rhine vernacular, and it contains an unusual compilation of prayers, hours and components of a breviary. These past few years the book has been the focus of a research project spearheaded by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and Radboud University in Nijmegen. Their hard work has yielded enough noteworthy results to deserve its own exhibition which will open in Museum Het Valkhof on 13 October 2018 and will run until 6 January 2019. It will feature the research’s findings on the comprehensive and complex prayer book, the life of Mary, Duchess of Jülich and Guelders, and cultural developments in the duchies of Guelders, Jülich and Berg.

To mark the occasion of the exhibition entitled ‘I, Mary of Guelders. The duchess and her extraordinary prayer book’ Radboud University is organising a two-day conference in Nijmegen together with Museum Het Valkhof and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.

On Friday 23 November researchers of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and Radboud University will present the results of the work they have been doing these past few years on Mary of Guelders’ prayer book. They will talk about the latest discoveries on the codicological structure of the book, its textual and art-historical content and the latest findings regarding the material-technical aspects of the book. The lectures form an introduction to the elaborate scholarly publication that will appear on these topics in 2019/2020.

The plenary lectures will be spread over two days and will include contributions by the following keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Dr Kathryn Rudy (University of St Andrews, UK)
  • Prof. Dr Frank Willaert (University of Antwerp, Belgium)

See the call for papers for further information.