Collegium | Uncertainty and the Handmade

This is an Archive of a Past Event

Join us for a Collegium (the sixth for Stanford Text Technologies) investigating the handmade book through discussion of manuscripts, artists’ books, and digital aspects of—and data about—the handmade.

The Collegium begins with a reception hosted by the Library, from 4:00-5:00 PM, and curated tours of “The Handmade Book” exhibition. This will be followed by a keynote lecture by scribe and artist Joumana Medlej in the Bender Room. See here for further details and to RSVP.

The activities on Thursday, January 26, and Friday, January 27 will take place in CESTA on the top floor of Wallenberg Hall (Building 160). Registration is required.

View and download full program

Visit this website for more information

About the Series

It is notoriously difficult to provide definitive data about manuscripts when information about origin, date, and attribution of production and provenance is often absent. For artists’ books, while such metadata is usually available, their variability and creativity of form make them difficult to describe and display in a static environment; and their discoverability is compromised by the categories required to catalogue them.

How do the academic and artistic worlds describe their objects of investigation, seek to represent those objects, and explain their processes of exploration and interpretation? What opportunities might AI present here? In this Collegium, scholars are paired in sessions to consider manuscripts and artists’ books from the perspectives of making/producing, categorizing/describing, displaying/representing, information/data. We’ll explore interdisciplinary frameworks of analysis for the study of the relationship between handmade books and their physical nature and phenomenology, while appreciating the opportunities and challenges of the digital aspects of a tangible, often kinaesthetically-activated object.

Text Technologies and Stanford Libraries’ (collectively Stanford Manuscript Sciences) international Collegia foster intensive and friendly scholarly exchange over two days. All talks are plenary, and colleagues attend all papers. Sessions allow for thorough presentations with time for questions. The Collegium is attended by guests from the Stanford community, but the focus at the table is on the invited speakers, who, this year, are all international book scholars and artists representing various outlooks and approaches. We make a record of key elements of discussion as the Collegium proceeds, and we shall be publishing suitable papers.


Related Events

  • Tuesday, January 24 from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM: Calligraphy workshops with scribe Cheryl Jacobsen, in Building 260, Room 216. RSVP to, stating early workshop (9-10:30) or later (10:30-12).
  • Tuesday, January 24 at 6:15 PM: Medieval Matters in the Terrace Room in the Department of English (History Corner, Building 200, Room 002). The featured speaker is Dr. Amy Jeffs, an art historian, artist, print maker, and author who will be talking about “The Wilderness and the Early Medieval Mind.” Dr. Jeffs has recently published two bestselling books (Storyland and Wild) about British history and mythology.