Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Student Projects Shed Light on the Dark Ages

<lass="page" title="Page 1">

In the throngs of ninth week, it is difficult to avoid the Libe. Upon entering the fourth floor, you may notice something unusual: an exhibition of medieval illuminated manuscripts.

Process of Illumination: Word, Image & the Scribal Imagination in the Middle Ages is an exhibit of illuminated manuscripts in the library created by students in Bill North’s HIST 137 class: Early Medieval Worlds.

Creating the exhibit was a central part of the course, and it involved lots of work in curation, an unfamiliar field for many. If that weren’t enough of a challenge, the students also participated in an outreach program with local fourth grade students.

To facilitate this project, Nora Katz, a junior History major and Medieval & Renaissance Studies concentrator, worked with the class as the Student Exhibition Assistant.

“I worked as a liaison between the different moving parts of this process, and I used my experience with museum work to coach the students on various aspects of the process: writing object labels and text panels, building an exhibition narrative, and communicating with an audience. I’m incredibly proud of the students for all of the work that they have put in throughout this process. Building an exhibition is not an easy task, and it was quite foreign to many of the students, but they handled it with a lot of grace,” said Katz.

Lindsay Brandt, a sophomore student in the class, reflected on her experience building the exhibit. “It was really cool to do something with history that wasn’t just writing a paper. We had to think about making the information accessible to everyone, from fourth graders to college students and beyond. Since we worked on it in small groups, it was amazing to see all the parts come together into a full exhibition.”

Katz had two goals for the exhibit: first, for the students to learn about, and hopefully become interested in the process of curatorial work, and second, to show the Carleton community a selection of the immensely valuable manuscript facsimiles in Carleton’s Special Collections.

“If this exhibition makes one person more interested in early medieval art, writing, or society, I think that we’ve done our job,” said Katz.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *