Dirty Books: Quantifying Patterns of Use in Medieval Manuscripts Using a Densitometer

Full-page miniature depicting the Mass of Saint G, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27. The edges of theÊAdoro teÊare heavily discolored

Early users of medieval books of hours and prayer books left signs of their reading in the form of fingerprints in the margins. The darkness of their fingerprints correlates to the intensity of their use and handling. A densitometer — a machine that measures the darkness of a reflecting surface — can reveal which texts a reader favored. This article introduces a new technique, densitometry, to measure a reader’s response to various texts in a prayer book.

DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2010.2.1.1

Acknowledgements

I heartily thank the Caroline Villers Foundation for supporting this research while I was a fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2009-10. I also thank Julia Brungs, my research assistant, for maintaining the data and generating the graphs. I am grateful to Eef Overgaauw at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; Rowan Watson at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; Kathleen Doyle at the British Library; Stella Panayotova at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge; Caspar Cammeraat, Ed van der Vlist, Tanja de Boer, and Henk Porck at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague; Micha Leeflang and Kees van Schooten at the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht; and Michiel Verweij at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I in Brussels. Wim Hüsken kindly provided the dimensions of the besloten hofje. The Alexander Willem Byvanck Archive and Database were useful in assembling the materials for this study, and I thank the members of the Byvanck Society who contributed to these resources. I thank paper chemist Joan Zalonis for donating an X-Rite 418 densitometer to this study, and physicist Nicholas Mee for help in interpreting the logarithmic scales of the densitometer readings and for generating the image explaining the math behind the densitometer.

Folio of a prayer book (fol. 14r), showing discol,  ca. 1475-85,  University Library, Luik
Fig. 2 Folio of a prayer book (fol. 14r), showing discoloration from handling. Prayer book in Latin, Eastern Netherlands (near Arnhem), ca. 1475-85, tempera and gold on vellum, 107 x 70 (67 x 39) mm, 17 lines, littera hybrida. Luik, University Library, Ms. 2091B (Photo: Byvanck archive; artwork in the public domain).
Folio (fol. 2r) from a calendar, showing discolor,  ca. 1490-1500,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 3 Folio (fol. 2r) from a calendar, showing discoloration from water damage. Book of hours, South Holland (Leiden), ca. 1490-1500, brown, red, and blue ink on vellum, 196 x 130 (105 x 75) mm, 20 lines, littera textualis. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 E 12 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Stereomicrophotograph of fol. 222r,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 4 Stereomicrophotograph of fol. 222r, The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Stereomicrophotograph of fol. 90r,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 5 Stereomicrophotograph of fol. 90r, The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of a prayer to the Sacrament (fol. 153r),,  ca. 1510,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 6 Incipit of a prayer to the Sacrament (fol. 153r), with a historiated initial depicting an Augustinian canoness venerating the Sacrament. Book of hours, Southern Netherlands, ca. 1510, black and red ink, tempera and gold on vellum, 155 x 105 mm, 17 lines, littera textualis. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
Rubric for a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of t,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 7 Rubric for a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of the Virgin (fols. 66v-67r), with some discoloration in the lower margin. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of t,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 8 Incipit of a prayer to the “Seventy-two Names of the Virgin” (fols. 67v-68r), with strong discoloration in the lower margin. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
End of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of the V,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 9 End of a prayer to the “Seventy-two Names of the Virgin” (fols. 68v-69r), with strong discoloration in the lower margin. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of t,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 11 Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of the Virgin (fols. 67v-68r), held open at corners. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of t,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 12 Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of the Virgin (fols. 67v-68r), held open near gutter. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 15. The math behind densitometry.
Fig. 15 The math behind densitometry.
Fig. 16. Spreadsheet with densitometry data, taken from The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35.
Fig. 16 Spreadsheet with densitometry data, taken from The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35.
Fig. 17. Densitometry graph from The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35.
Fig. 17 Densitometry graph from The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35.
End of the Hours of the Cross (fol. 58v) and back,
Fig. 18 End of the Hours of the Cross (fol. 58v) and back of the inserted miniature with the Last Judgment (fol. 59r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
The Last Judgment prefacing the Penitential Psalm,
Fig. 19 The Last Judgment prefacing the Penitential Psalms (fols. 59v-60r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13. The densitometer spikes at the litany. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Praying angel prefacing a suffrage to one’s per,
Fig. 20 Praying angel prefacing a suffrage to one’s personal angel (fols. 83v-84r) and Saint Sebastian prefacing a suffrage to Saint Sebastian (fols. 89v-90r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13. Dirt at the lower corners corresponds to spikes on the densitometry graph. (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
The face of Christ on an inserted miniature facin,
Fig. 21 The face of Christ on an inserted miniature facing the prayer Salve sancte facies (fols. 161v-162r: Netherlandish artist, ca. 1480). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Three openings from the part added to the manuscr,
Fig. 22 Three openings from the part added to the manuscript ca. 1480 (fols. 142v-143r, fols. 143v-144r, and fpls. 144v-145r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13 (Photos: author; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Long Hours of the Cross with histo,  ca. 1470-80,  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Fig. 24 Incipit of the Long Hours of the Cross with historiated initial depicting Christ as the Man of Sorrows (fol. 13r). Book of hours, Delft painters and copyist, ca. 1470-80, black and red ink, tempera, and gold on vellum, 173 x 120 (91 x 58) mm, 19 lines, littera textualis, Middle Dutch. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6 (Photo: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; artwork in the public domain).
Rubric announcing indulgences for a prayer to be ,
Fig. 25 Rubric announcing indulgences for a prayer to be said in the presence of the Holy Face of Christ, with the incipit of the prayer, and a historiated initial with the face of Christ (fol. 138r).. From Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6; see fig. 24 (Photo: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; artwork in the public domain).
End of the rubric announcing indulgences for the ,
Fig. 26 End of the rubric announcing indulgences for the prayer Adoro te in cruce pendentem and a historiated initial with the Arma Christi (fol. 132r). From Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6; see fig. 24 (Photo: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; artwork in the public domain).
Patron in prayer, with an indulgenced rubric and ,  ca. 1500–10,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 27 Patron in prayer, with an indulgenced rubric and prayer (fol. 62r). Prayer book, painter and scribe from the Southern Netherlands (Mechelen?), probably made for a female Augustinian in Mechelen dedicated to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (the gasthuiszusters Augustinessen?), ca. 1500–10, black and red ink, tempera, and gold on vellum, 156 x 110 (100 x 67) mm, 17 lines, littera hybrida, Latin and Dutch. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Patron in prayer with her guardian angel (fol. 79,
Fig. 28 Patron in prayer with her guardian angel (fol. 79v). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Suffrage to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, with a mi,
Fig. 29 Suffrage to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, with a miniature depicting the saint aiding a paraplegic boy, inside a full flower border (fol. 101r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Besloten hofje with Saints Elizabeth, Ursula, and ,  ca. 1500-25,   Openbaar Centrum voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn, Mechelen
Fig. 30 Besloten hofje with Saints Elizabeth, Ursula, and Catherine with painted wings depicting donors, Gasthuiszusters Augustinessen from Mechelen (central cabinet) and professional painters from Mechelen (painted wings), ca. 1500-25, oak cabinet, oil paint, and mixed media, including silk flowers, polychromed and gilt sculptures, parchment labels, and relics, 134.5 x 97.5 x 22.2 cm (dimensions of central cabinet). Mechelen, Openbaar Centrum voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn (Photo: KIKIRPA; artwork in the public domain).
Folio (fol. 58v) showing that the manuscript has ,
Fig. 31 Folio (fol. 58v) showing that the manuscript has two different areas of discoloration in the lower margin, one at the outer corner, and the other centered between the vertical bounding lines. From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 32. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53, showing two measurements taken from each recto.
Fig. 32 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53, showing two measurements taken from each recto.
Incipit of the Seven Penitential Psalms, with min,
Fig. 33 Incipit of the Seven Penitential Psalms, with miniature depicting David in penance, inside a full flower border (fol. 16r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature depicting the Mass of Saint G,  Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27. The edges of theÊAdoro teÊare heavily discolored
Fig. 34 Full-page miniature depicting the Mass of Saint Gregory, facing the Adoro te (Verses of Saint Gregory), with indulgences, inside a full flower and textile border (fols. 32v-33r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27. The edges of the Adoro te are heavily discolored. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Prayer to the Trinity, with historiated initial (,
Fig. 35 Prayer to the Trinity, with historiated initial (fol. 46r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature with the Lamentation, and a d,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 36 Full-page miniature with the Lamentation, and a donor with a coat of arms in the outer margin, to mark the incipit of a prayer to Jesus (fols. 112v-113r). Prayer book with a calendar for Liège, painter and scribe from the diocese of Liège, second half of the fifteenth century, black and red ink, tempera, and gold on vellum, 138 x 103 (80 x 60) mm, 17 lines, littera hybrida, Middle Dutch. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature with the Virgin and Child, an,
Fig. 37 Full-page miniature with the Virgin and Child, and a coat of arms in the outer margin, to mark the incipit of a prayer to Mary (fols. 14v-15r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10; see fig. 36 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 38. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10.
Fig. 38 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10.
Full-page miniature depicting the Trinity, to mar,
Fig. 39 Full-page miniature depicting the Trinity, to mark the incipit of a prayer to the Trinity (fols. 147v-148r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10; see fig. 36. The verso bears an inscription that may be the owner's motto. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Prayer called the Colnish Pater Noster added to t,
Fig. 40 Prayer called the Colnish Pater Noster added to the blank vellum at the end of the calendar (fols. 12v-13r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10; see fig. 36. The added text shows very high usage. (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Text accompanying the calendrical tables for calc, 1456,  Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht
Fig. 41 Text accompanying the calendrical tables for calculating Easter, with a date of 1456 (fols. 16v-17r: scribe from Delft). Book of hours made in Delft, 1456, dark brown, red, and blue ink on vellum, 122 x 85 (75 x 46) mm, 20 lines, littera textualis, Latin. Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Opening of the Hours of the Cross, with red and b,
Fig. 42 Opening of the Hours of the Cross, with red and blue penwork characteristic of Delft (fol. 25r: scribe and artists from Delft). From Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64; see fig. 41 (Photo: Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 43. Densitometry graph for Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h 64.
Fig. 43 Densitometry graph for Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h 64.
Opening of the Vigil for the Dead, with character,
Fig. 44 Opening of the Vigil for the Dead, with characteristic Delft penwork and a praying monk (fols. 104v-105r: scribe and artists from Delft). From Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64; see fig. 41 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Last folio of the manuscript, with notes of owner,
Fig. 45 Last folio of the manuscript, with notes of ownership by the Oem family of Dordrecht (fol. 167v: various scribes, probably members of the Oem family of Dordrecht). From Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64; see fig. 41 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Opening with a long rubric that has been scraped ,
Fig. 46 Opening with a long rubric that has been scraped away (fols. 93v-94r: scribe and artists from Delft). From Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64; see fig. 41 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 47. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19.
Fig. 47 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19.
Diagram showing the manuscript openings that corr,
Fig. 48 Diagram showing the manuscript openings that correspond to the spikes on the densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature with the Annunciation and hal,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 49 Full-page miniature with the Annunciation and half-page miniature depicting the martyrdom of Saint John the Evangelist to preface the Gospel reading for John (fols. 25v-26r). Book of hours, 1490s (before 1498), with a calendar for the county of Utrecht made for an unidentified patron pictured on fol. 5r, Netherlandish artist, 113 x 81 (72 x 47) mm, 18 lines, littera textualis, Latin. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Miniature depicting the martyrdom of Saint Erasmu,
Fig. 50 Miniature depicting the martyrdom of Saint Erasmus to preface a suffrage to that saint (fols. 140v-141r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19; see fig. 49 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Historiated initial with the Visitation, within t,
Fig. 51 Historiated initial with the Visitation, within the Hours of the Virgin (fols. 47v-48r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19; see fig. 49 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Opening with a prayer to Christ and a full-page m,
Fig. 52 Opening with a prayer to Christ and a full-page miniature depicting the patron kneeling before Saint Jerome, who is kneeling before a crucifix and beating his chest with a rock (fols. 4v-5r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19; see fig. 49 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 53. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 128 G 33.
Fig. 53 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 128 G 33.
Folios corresponding to two of the peaks in the g,  ca. 1500-1510,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 54 Folios corresponding to two of the peaks in the graph: David at Prayer prefacing the Penitential Psalms, and a small miniature depicting Saint Sebastian prefacing a suffrage to that saint (fols. 54v-55r and fol. 88r). Book of hours from Bruges, illuminator from Bruges, ca. 1500-1510, 97 x 65 (52 x 32) mm, 13-14 lines, littera hybrida, Latin. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 128 G 33 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Saint Apollonia holding a tooth in pliers (fol. 9,
Fig. 55 Saint Apollonia holding a tooth in pliers (fol. 99r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 128 G 33; see fig. 54 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Rubricated refrain from the Hundred Articles of t,
Fig. 60 Rubricated refrain from the Hundred Articles of the Passion (fols. 93v-94r: scribe from the diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Text page of the Hundred Articles of the Passion ,
Fig. 61 Text page of the Hundred Articles of the Passion (fols. 109v-110r: scribe from the diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Short Hours of the Cross (fols. 12,
Fig. 62 Incipit of the Short Hours of the Cross (fols. 129v-130r: scribe from the diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).,
Hand-painted woodcut by a German (?) artist, Chri,
Fig. 63 Hand-painted woodcut by a German (?) artist, Christ in Agony, pasted onto fol. 64v to preface the Seven Penitential Psalms (fols. 64v-65r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page image by an artist from Brabant (?), de,
Fig. 64 Full-page image by an artist from Brabant (?), depicting the Virgin of the Sun, inserted to preface a prayer to the Virgin's body parts (fols. 196v-197r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Opening of Heer Bethlem's guide to virtual pilgri,
Fig. 67 Opening of Heer Bethlem's guide to virtual pilgrimage, with indulgences, printed in 1517. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 231 G 22 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Several scribes from North Holland, birth and dea,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 68 Several scribes from North Holland, birth and death notices added to a family book of hours in the empty space after the calendar (fols. 10v-11r). Book of hours from Enkhuizen, ca. 1500-1510, red and brown ink on vellum, 167 x 125 mm. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 79 K 6 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Adoro te, with a historiated initi,  ca. 1490-1500,  Theologische Faculteit, Tilburg
Fig. 70 Incipit of the Adoro te, with a historiated initial depicting Christ as the Man of Sorrows, on a page which has been heavily handled and then subsequently trimmed (fol. 75r). Prayer book from the diocese of Liège, scribe and artist from the diocese of Liège, ca. 1490-1500, ink and tempera on paper, ca. 120 x 90 (90-110 x 60-68) mm. Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit, Ms. TFK 10 (Photo: Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Golden Litany of the Passion, whic,  Theologische Faculteit, Tilburg
Fig. 71 Incipit of the Golden Litany of the Passion, which has been heavily handled and then subsequently trimmed (fol. 48r). From Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit, Ms. TFK 10; see fig. 70 (Photo: Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit; artwork in the public domain).
Binding, with rings used to hang the book from on,
Fig. 72 Binding, with rings used to hang the book from one's arm, sixteenth century. From Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit, Ms. TFK 10; see fig. 70 (Photo: Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature depicting, inter alia, a woma, 1477,  Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Codex Vindobonensis 1857
Fig. 73 Full-page miniature depicting, inter alia, a woman holding a manuscript prayer book through a chemise; the miniature faces the prayer Gaude flore virginali, written by Saint Thomas â Becket (fols. 14v-15r). Hours of Mary of Burgundy, 1477, 230 x 160 mm. Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Codex Vindobonensis 1857 (Photo: Graz, Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt; artwork in the public domain).
Fols. 31v-32r: Masters of the Gold Scrolls. Book ,  ca. 1450,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 74 Fols. 31v-32r: Masters of the Gold Scrolls. Book of hours, from the Southern Netherlands, with borders overpainted in the nineteenth century, ca. 1450, 144 x 104 (90 x 65) mm, 23 lines, littera hybrida, Latin. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 130 E 17 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Arrest of Christ (fols. 68v-69r: Masters of the De,  ca. 1440-50,  Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Fig. 75 Arrest of Christ (fols. 68v-69r: Masters of the Delft Grisailles and scribe and artist from South Holland). Book of hours from South Holland, ca. 1440-50, pen and wash, red and brown ink, gold and tempera on vellum, 180 x 124 (103 x 65) mm, 18 lines, littera textualis, Middle Dutch. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Text opening with candle wax dripped on the page ,
Fig. 76 Text opening with candle wax dripped on the page (fols. 30v-31r: scribe and artist from South Holland). From Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32; see fig. 75 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 77. Taking densitometry readings on London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32.
Fig. 77 Taking densitometry readings on London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32.
Fig. 78. Densitometry graph for London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32.
Fig. 78 Densitometry graph for London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32.
Canon page from a missal (fol. 149v), showing dam,  ca. 1400-10,  Stadsbibliotheek, Haarlem
Fig. 1 Canon page from a missal (fol. 149v), showing damage where the priest repeatedly kissed it. Missal of the Haarlem Linen Weavers Guild, North Holland (Haarlem?), ca. 1400-10, tempera and gold on vellum, 349 x 270 (265 x 179) mm, 2 columns, 32 lines, littera textualis, Latin. Haarlem, Stadsbibliotheek, Ms. 184 C 2 (Photo: Byvanck archive; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature depicting the Virgin and Chil,  ca. 1440,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 10 Full-page miniature depicting the Virgin and Child (fol. 116v: Masters of the Delft Grisailles) facing the incipit of the Obsecro te (fol. 117r: scribe and illuminator(s) from Delft). Book of hours, made by the Sisters of St. Agnes in Delft, ca. 1440, ink, tempera, and gold on vellum, 155 x 110 (92 x 62) mm, 20 lines, littera textualis. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 21696 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
Six openings from a book of hours made in three s,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 13 Six openings from a book of hours made in three stages, ca. 1460 (inserted full-page miniatures), ca. 1470 (text of original quires), and ca. 1480 (added quires). Book of hours, Masters of the Delft Grisailles and South Holland illuminators, black and red ink, tempera and gold on vellum, 115 x 85 (80 x 54) mm, 17 lines, littera hybrida, Latin. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
The densitometer in use on The Hague, Koninklijke,
Fig. 14 The densitometer in use on The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35 (Photos: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 23. Densitometry graph for Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6 (broken into two halves).
Fig. 23 Densitometry graph for Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6 (broken into two halves).
Opening at the incipit of the Hours of the Virgin,  ca. 1440-60,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 56 Opening at the incipit of the Hours of the Virgin, with a full-page miniature depicting the Virgin and Child (fol. 17v: illuminator from Utrecht or South Holland) and a historiated initial depicting the Annunciation fol. 18r: Illuminator and scribe from South Holland). Book of hours, made in South Holland with added miniatures, ca. 1440-60, 154 x 114 (88 x 58) mm, 21 lines, littera textualis, Middle Dutch. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 E 17 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Hundred Articles of the Passion (f,  ca. 1450-1500,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 57 Incipit of the Hundred Articles of the Passion (fols. 92v-93r: scribe and artist from the diocese of Liège). Book of hours, from the diocese of Liège (Tienen?), ca. 1450-1500, 138 x 98 (95 x 62) mm, 17 or 19 lines, littera hybrida, Middle Dutch. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 58. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2.
Fig. 58 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2.
Rubric and incipit for a prayer to the Virgin (fo,
Fig. 59 Rubric and incipit for a prayer to the Virgin (fols. 220v-221r: scribe from the diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57. Something, presumably an image, was formerly glued to fol. 220v (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Rubric and incipit of the Adoro te in Middle Dutch,
Fig. 65 Rubric and incipit of the Adoro te in Middle Dutch, where the stub from an image formerly facing fol. 250r appears in the gutter (fols. 249v-250r and 250v-251r: scribe from the Diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Maculature in a binding from the sixteenth centur,
Fig. 66 Maculature in a binding from the sixteenth century, used as the front pastedown and first flyleaf of a psalter from Delft, 150 x 108 mm (book block). The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 G 26 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Christ preaching to the doctors in the Temple, wi,  ca. 1475-1500,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 69 Christ preaching to the doctors in the Temple, hand-colored woodcut, with added family notes dated in the seventeenth century (fol. 47v). Book of hours from Delft, Netherlandish (?) printer, ca. 1475-1500, ink, tempera and gold on vellum, 153 x 107 mm. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. IV 142 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
  1. 1. My assumption is that a single reader holds his book in the same manner each time he picks up his book to perform devotions. In some of the case studies described below, I detected two different areas of dirt on the page and considered that these might have been deposited by two separate readers who held the book differently. In all of these cases, however, the densitometrical values point to one reader who left two areas of dirt rather than two readers who each left one area of dirt. The two areas of dirt, when measured and graphed, merely reiterated each other, suggesting that they came from a single user who touched the book with two fingers from each hand. For other manuscripts that clearly had multiple readers, as indicated by layers of added prayers and notes of ownership from the fifteenth century, such as London, British Library, Harley Ms. 2966, it may be possible to distinguish the various readers’ signs of wear using DNA analysis. However, DNA analysis exceeds the scope and budget of the current project.

  2. 2. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078, book of hours, in Latin and Middle Dutch. Manuscript, 167 ff on parchment; 155 x 105 mm, probably made ca. 1510 for an Augustinian canoness dedicated to Saint Margaret. See the reference on fol. 38r to “nri augustini” and extra prayers to Saint Margaret, as well as prayers for the sisters, including fols. 45v-47v (“voer dei susteren die buten sijn”) and f. 149r (“Dese letanie lestmen als een suster licht om sterven”). Furthermore, Augustine is listed first among the confessors and Margaret first among the virgins in the litany. The manuscript bears an ex libris: Lysbette van t and Huerne (from the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century).

  3. 3. Valentina Izmirlieva, All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2008), esp. 117-31.

  4. 4. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 21696, book of hours in Latin, French, and Middle Dutch, made in Delft by the Augustinian canonesses of Saint Agnes. Manuscript, 151 ff on parchment, with 22 added full-page miniatures by the Masters of the Delft Grisailles, 154 x 108 (93 x 63) mm, 20 lines, ca. 1440. See The Golden Age of Dutch Manuscript Painting, introduction by James H. Marrow; catalogue by Henri L. M. Defoer, Anne S. Korteweg, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld, exh. cat. Utrecht, Rijksmuseum het Catharijneconvent, and New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library (Stuttgart: Belser Verlag, 1989), no. 53.

  5. 5. Written in painted microscript within the twisting border decoration, the inscription states: “Iste liber scriptus et illuminatus est in monasterio Vallis Josaphat” (This book was written and illuminated in the monastery of the Valley of Josaphat). The canonesses regular in Delft dedicated to Saint Agnes (regularissen) called their convent Sint Agnes in het dal van Josaphat.

  6. 6. I thank Michiel Verweij at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I in Brussels for helping me photograph this opening. I made the hand-held documentation photographs in this essay with a Panasonic DMC-F27 camera. Conservationists do not recommend the use of white gloves for handling manuscripts, as they reduce sensitivity and dexterity, thereby increasing the likelihood of damage to the manuscript. Furthermore, white gloves pick up dirt and spread it elsewhere in the manuscript. See Cathleen A. Baker and Randy Silverman, “Misperceptions about White Gloves,” International Preservation News 3 (2005): 4-16.

  7. 7. I thank photographer Casper Cammeraat of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague for informing me of the existence of the densitometer, which was designed to be used in the graphic design industry for measuring, for example, ink saturation, the brightness of paper stock, or the color saturation of a given image.
    The densitometer I used to measure the manuscripts at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague was a Heiland electronic Wetzlar, model TRD 2, made in Germany. This model has a zeroing feature and measures values only along a gray scale. The densitometer I used to measure all the other manuscripts was an X-Rite 418; although this is a color densitometer, I used it on a gray-scale setting. The X-Rite 418 does not have a simple zeroing feature, so I therefore took one reading from a clean area of vellum on each recto and entered it in Column A of my spreadsheet, then took a second reading from the worn area of the same folio and entered it in Column B. I subtracted Column A from Column B to account for the vicissitudes of the uneven darkness of the individual sheets of vellum and entered those values in Column C, then graphed the results.

  8. 8. Because vellum is a natural material manufactured one sheet at a time, each sheet differs somewhat in color. Zeroing the scale on a clean part of the vellum of each folio allows the background color of the vellum to be subtracted from the value of the dirt. Furthermore, some pages are simply darker and dirtier, not because of handling, but because, for example, they fall at the end of one quire and the beginning of the next; manuscripts in loose bindings that have not been protected in a box often allow dust and dirt to settle into the small gaps between quires, thus darkening the entire opening, often quite evenly. Zeroing the scale helps to account for this type of incidental darkening. Furthermore, the hair side and the flesh side of the vellum often have different surfaces and trap dirt at different rates. A velvety surface traps more dirt and becomes darker before a smoother surface does. See the discussion below around The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 E 17.

  9. 9. The actual values given by the densitometer in units of lux cannot be read across different manuscripts, i.e., Manuscript A with a darkened corner of densitometer value 29 has not necessarily been read and handled to the same extent as the darkened corner of Manuscript B with the same value. There are many reasons for this. Some vellum is more velvety and therefore traps more dirt, which makes it darken more quickly with handling. Some readers might have worked on the garden immediately before performing their prayers and have handled their books with especially dirty hands. The densitometer graphs might allow us to say that “both the owner of Manuscript A and the owner of Manuscript B favored the Penitential Psalms, and also intensely handled the prayer to Saint Erasmus.” The results will not allow us to state that “the owner of Manuscript A read the Penitential Psalms every day for forty years,” nor that “the owner of Manuscript A read the Penitential Psalms exactly as often as did the owner of Manuscript B.”

  10. 10. See Carlo Bertelli, “The Image of Pity in Sancta Croce in Gerusaleme,” in D. Fraser et al., eds., Essays in the History of Art Presented to Rudolf Wittkower (London: Phaidon, 1967), 40-56; and Uwe Westfehling, ed., Die Messe Gregors des Grossen: Vision, Kunst, Realität, exh. cat. (Cologne, Schnütgen Museum, 1982).

  11. 11. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6, book of hours in Dutch, made in Delft, ca. 1470-80, dark brown and red ink, tempera and gold on vellum, 173×120 (91×58) mm, 1 column, 19 lines, littera textualis, Dutch. The manuscript contains a calendar for the county of Utrecht, adjusted for Delft, including feasts in red for Saint Hippolytus (August 13), Saint Jeroen (August 17), Saint Francis (October 4), the eleven thousand virgins (October 21), and Saint Barbara (December 4). Saint Ursula is listed first among the virgins in the litany. These features, along with the script, layout, and textual selection are consistent with a group of manuscripts probably produced at the convent of female Franciscan tertiaries of Saint Ursula in Delft (founded ca. 1454).

  12. 12. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6, fol. 145r-146v, rubric: “Soe wie dit ghebet alle sonnendaghes ynnichliken leest mit berouwe des herten die sel god voersien van allen dien dat hem behoefliken is ende hi en sel niet sterven quader doot noch sonder biecht. Ende hi sel dat heilige sacrament ontfanghen ende die heilige oly. Ende hi sel oec van alle sinen vianden gevrijdt worden. Ende sel hondert ende xl dagen oflaets hebben”; incipit: “O, heilighe ende gloriose maertelaert xpi, sinte herasme, die opten sonnendach ter doot gheoffert wordes…”

  13. 13. The best literature on this subject is Paul Vandenbroeck, Hooglied: De Beeldwereld van Religieuze Vrouwen in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden, vanaf de 13de eeuw, exh. cat. (Brussels, Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, 1994), 91-104. See also Camille Poupeye, “Les Jardins Clos & leurs rapports avec la sculpture malinoise,” Bulletin du Cercle archéologique littéraire et artistique de Malines 22 (1912): 51-114, who discusses the symbolism of the hortus conclusus, relates the Mechelen hofjes to those in other places, and discusses the pipe-clay stamped medallions; Paul Dony, “Les ‘Jardins Clos’,” Ecclesia 98 (May 1957): 119-26; and Stefan Vandenberghe, “Besloten Hofjes,” in 800 jaar Onze-Lieve-Vrouwegasthuis: Uit het erfgoed van Mechelse gasthuiszusters en het OCMW, exh. cat. (Mechelen, Hof van Busleyden, 1998), 49-57.

  14. 14. The inscription seems to read “JENECRAMBIER [or Fenecza(m)bier] // J de Baldere(n) // Silberkamer.” The first term may be the ownerís motto. I thank Klaas van der Hoek and Ed van der Vlist for detangling this inscription. Ed van der Vlist also pointed out that a Silberkämmerer is probably someone at a German court charged with the care of silver work. The owner has not yet been identified.

  15. 15. <obijt anno 1485> Dit buek hoert toe Jacop Oem Tielman zoen te Dorderecht wonende teghenden
    hoppen bier steighert
    ende nv toe behoert Daniel Oem syn soen
    ende nw <1463> toe behoert Herman Oem syn soen
    ende nu toe behoert Daniel Oem zijn soen 1554.
    nu toebehoert Maria Oems Daniels dr. 1602.
    Nu toebehoert Henrick Hoynck haren soon 1603.
    Ende nu toebehoort Anthonis Oem Hermanzoon 1660.
    Nu toebehoort Herman Oem Janssoon 1678.
    I offer my thanks to Ed van der Vlist for deciphering the inscription on fol. 167v and for tracking down the members of the Oem family of Dordrecht. For further references, see http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/aa__001biog17_01/aa__001biog17_01_0062.php.

  16. 16. For a fuller discussion of prayer books after the Reformation, see Eamon Duffy, Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers 1240-1570 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006), esp. Chapter 9, “To Break with Rome.”

  17. 17. José van Aelst, “Het gebruik van beelden bij Suso’s lijdensmeditatie,” in Geen povere schoonheid: Laat-middeleeuwse kunst in verband met de Moderne Devotie, Kees Veelenturf, ed. (Nijmegen: Uitgeverij Valkhof Pers, 2000), 86-110; and José van Aelst, Passie voor het lijden: De «Hundert Betrachtungen und Begehrungen»van Henricus Suso en de oudste drie bewerkingen uit de Nederlanden (Leuven: Peeters, 2005).

  18. 18. I suspect that at this saturation, increased handling would not result in increased darkness. This manuscript, therefore, tested some of the limits of the method. To make finer distinctions between the degrees of handling of these saturated areas, a different method of measurement may be necessary—for example, to measure the total area of the discoloration of each folio. This could be difficult to objectify, however, as the dirty area has no definitive border.

  19. 19. I owe this suggestion to Dr. Susie Nash.

  20. 20. Images from the Vienna Hours of Mary of Burgundy have been published countless times. The manuscript was included in one of the first studies of the reception of books of hours: John P. Harthan, Books of Hours and Their Owners (1977; repr. New York and London: Thames and Hudson, 1982). See also Michael Clanchy, “Images of Ladies with Prayer Books: What Do They Signify?” in The Church and the Book: Papers Read at the 2000 Summer Meeting and the 2001 Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society, ed. R. N. Swanson, Studies in Church History 38 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2005), 106-12.

  21. 21. Nicholson Baker, “Discards,” New Yorker, April 4, 1994, 83ñ84. I thank Mark Meadow for bringing this article to my attention.

Aa, A. J. van der. Biographisch woordenboek der Nederlanden. Vol. 14: http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/aa__001biog17_01/aa__001biog17_01_0062.php

Aelst, José van. “Het gebruik van beelden bij Suso’s lijdensmeditatie.” In Geen povere schoonheid: Laat-middeleeuwse kunst in verband met de Moderne Devotie, edited by Kees Veelenturf, 86-110. Nijmegen: Uitgeverij Valkhof Pers, 2000.

–––– Passie voor het lijden: De “Hundert Betrachtungen und Begehrungen” van Henricus Suso en de oudste drie bewerkingen uit de Nederlanden. Leuven: Peeters, 2005.

Baker, Cathleen A., and Randy Silverman. “Misperceptions about White Gloves.” International Preservation News 3 (2005): 4-16.

Baker, Nicholson. “Discards.” New Yorker, April 4, 1994, 83-84.

Bertelli, Carlo. “The Image of Pity in Santa Croce in Gerusaleme.” In Essays in the History of Art: Presented to Rudolf Wittkower, by D. Fraser et. al., 40-56. London: Phaidon, 1967.

Clanchy, Michael. “Images of Ladies with Prayer Books: What Do They Signify?” In The Church and the Book: Papers Read at the 2000 Summer Meeting and the 2001 Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society, edited by R. N. Swanson, 106-12. Vol. 38 of Studies in Church History. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2005.

Defoer, Henri L. M., et al. The Golden Age of Dutch Manuscript Painting. Introduction by James H. Marrow, catalogue compiled by Henri L. M. Defoer, Anne S. Korteweg, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld. Exh. cat. Rijksmuseum het Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, and The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Stuttgart: Belser Verlag, 1989.

Dony, Paul. “Les ‘Jardins Clos’.” Ecclesia 98 (May 1957): 119-26.

Duffy, Eamon. Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers 1240-1570. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Harthan, John. Books of Hours and Their Owners. 1977. Repr.; New York: Thames and Hudson, 1982.

Izmirlieva, Valentina. All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Poupeye, Camille. “Les Jardins Clos & leurs rapports avec la sculpture malinoise.” Bulletin du Cercle archéologique littéraire et artistique de Malines 22 (1912): 51-114.

Vandenberghe, Stefan. “Besloten Hofjes.” In 800 jaar Onze-Lieve-Vrouwegasthuis: Uit het erfgoed van Mechelse gasthuiszusters en het OCMW, 49-57. Exh. cat. Mechelen, Hof van Busleyden, 1998.

Vandenbroeck, Paul. Hooglied: De Beeldwereld van Religieuze Vrouwen in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden. Exh. cat. Brussels, Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, 1994.

Westfehling, Uwe, ed. Die Messe Gregors des Grossen: Vision, Kunst, Realität. Exh. cat. Cologne, Schnütgen Museum, 1982.

List of Illustrations

Folio of a prayer book (fol. 14r), showing discol,  ca. 1475-85,  University Library, Luik
Fig. 2 Folio of a prayer book (fol. 14r), showing discoloration from handling. Prayer book in Latin, Eastern Netherlands (near Arnhem), ca. 1475-85, tempera and gold on vellum, 107 x 70 (67 x 39) mm, 17 lines, littera hybrida. Luik, University Library, Ms. 2091B (Photo: Byvanck archive; artwork in the public domain).
Folio (fol. 2r) from a calendar, showing discolor,  ca. 1490-1500,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 3 Folio (fol. 2r) from a calendar, showing discoloration from water damage. Book of hours, South Holland (Leiden), ca. 1490-1500, brown, red, and blue ink on vellum, 196 x 130 (105 x 75) mm, 20 lines, littera textualis. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 E 12 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Stereomicrophotograph of fol. 222r,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 4 Stereomicrophotograph of fol. 222r, The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Stereomicrophotograph of fol. 90r,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 5 Stereomicrophotograph of fol. 90r, The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of a prayer to the Sacrament (fol. 153r),,  ca. 1510,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 6 Incipit of a prayer to the Sacrament (fol. 153r), with a historiated initial depicting an Augustinian canoness venerating the Sacrament. Book of hours, Southern Netherlands, ca. 1510, black and red ink, tempera and gold on vellum, 155 x 105 mm, 17 lines, littera textualis. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
Rubric for a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of t,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 7 Rubric for a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of the Virgin (fols. 66v-67r), with some discoloration in the lower margin. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of t,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 8 Incipit of a prayer to the “Seventy-two Names of the Virgin” (fols. 67v-68r), with strong discoloration in the lower margin. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
End of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of the V,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 9 End of a prayer to the “Seventy-two Names of the Virgin” (fols. 68v-69r), with strong discoloration in the lower margin. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of t,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 11 Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of the Virgin (fols. 67v-68r), held open at corners. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of t,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 12 Incipit of a prayer to the Seventy-two Names of the Virgin (fols. 67v-68r), held open near gutter. From Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078; see fig. 6 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 15. The math behind densitometry.
Fig. 15 The math behind densitometry.
Fig. 16. Spreadsheet with densitometry data, taken from The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35.
Fig. 16 Spreadsheet with densitometry data, taken from The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35.
Fig. 17. Densitometry graph from The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35.
Fig. 17 Densitometry graph from The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35.
End of the Hours of the Cross (fol. 58v) and back,
Fig. 18 End of the Hours of the Cross (fol. 58v) and back of the inserted miniature with the Last Judgment (fol. 59r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
The Last Judgment prefacing the Penitential Psalm,
Fig. 19 The Last Judgment prefacing the Penitential Psalms (fols. 59v-60r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13. The densitometer spikes at the litany. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Praying angel prefacing a suffrage to one’s per,
Fig. 20 Praying angel prefacing a suffrage to one’s personal angel (fols. 83v-84r) and Saint Sebastian prefacing a suffrage to Saint Sebastian (fols. 89v-90r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13. Dirt at the lower corners corresponds to spikes on the densitometry graph. (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
The face of Christ on an inserted miniature facin,
Fig. 21 The face of Christ on an inserted miniature facing the prayer Salve sancte facies (fols. 161v-162r: Netherlandish artist, ca. 1480). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Three openings from the part added to the manuscr,
Fig. 22 Three openings from the part added to the manuscript ca. 1480 (fols. 142v-143r, fols. 143v-144r, and fpls. 144v-145r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35; see fig. 13 (Photos: author; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Long Hours of the Cross with histo,  ca. 1470-80,  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Fig. 24 Incipit of the Long Hours of the Cross with historiated initial depicting Christ as the Man of Sorrows (fol. 13r). Book of hours, Delft painters and copyist, ca. 1470-80, black and red ink, tempera, and gold on vellum, 173 x 120 (91 x 58) mm, 19 lines, littera textualis, Middle Dutch. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6 (Photo: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; artwork in the public domain).
Rubric announcing indulgences for a prayer to be ,
Fig. 25 Rubric announcing indulgences for a prayer to be said in the presence of the Holy Face of Christ, with the incipit of the prayer, and a historiated initial with the face of Christ (fol. 138r).. From Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6; see fig. 24 (Photo: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; artwork in the public domain).
End of the rubric announcing indulgences for the ,
Fig. 26 End of the rubric announcing indulgences for the prayer Adoro te in cruce pendentem and a historiated initial with the Arma Christi (fol. 132r). From Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6; see fig. 24 (Photo: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; artwork in the public domain).
Patron in prayer, with an indulgenced rubric and ,  ca. 1500–10,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 27 Patron in prayer, with an indulgenced rubric and prayer (fol. 62r). Prayer book, painter and scribe from the Southern Netherlands (Mechelen?), probably made for a female Augustinian in Mechelen dedicated to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (the gasthuiszusters Augustinessen?), ca. 1500–10, black and red ink, tempera, and gold on vellum, 156 x 110 (100 x 67) mm, 17 lines, littera hybrida, Latin and Dutch. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Patron in prayer with her guardian angel (fol. 79,
Fig. 28 Patron in prayer with her guardian angel (fol. 79v). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Suffrage to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, with a mi,
Fig. 29 Suffrage to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, with a miniature depicting the saint aiding a paraplegic boy, inside a full flower border (fol. 101r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Besloten hofje with Saints Elizabeth, Ursula, and ,  ca. 1500-25,   Openbaar Centrum voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn, Mechelen
Fig. 30 Besloten hofje with Saints Elizabeth, Ursula, and Catherine with painted wings depicting donors, Gasthuiszusters Augustinessen from Mechelen (central cabinet) and professional painters from Mechelen (painted wings), ca. 1500-25, oak cabinet, oil paint, and mixed media, including silk flowers, polychromed and gilt sculptures, parchment labels, and relics, 134.5 x 97.5 x 22.2 cm (dimensions of central cabinet). Mechelen, Openbaar Centrum voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn (Photo: KIKIRPA; artwork in the public domain).
Folio (fol. 58v) showing that the manuscript has ,
Fig. 31 Folio (fol. 58v) showing that the manuscript has two different areas of discoloration in the lower margin, one at the outer corner, and the other centered between the vertical bounding lines. From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 32. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53, showing two measurements taken from each recto.
Fig. 32 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53, showing two measurements taken from each recto.
Incipit of the Seven Penitential Psalms, with min,
Fig. 33 Incipit of the Seven Penitential Psalms, with miniature depicting David in penance, inside a full flower border (fol. 16r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature depicting the Mass of Saint G,  Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27. The edges of theÊAdoro teÊare heavily discolored
Fig. 34 Full-page miniature depicting the Mass of Saint Gregory, facing the Adoro te (Verses of Saint Gregory), with indulgences, inside a full flower and textile border (fols. 32v-33r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27. The edges of the Adoro te are heavily discolored. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Prayer to the Trinity, with historiated initial (,
Fig. 35 Prayer to the Trinity, with historiated initial (fol. 46r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 71 G 53; see fig. 27 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature with the Lamentation, and a d,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 36 Full-page miniature with the Lamentation, and a donor with a coat of arms in the outer margin, to mark the incipit of a prayer to Jesus (fols. 112v-113r). Prayer book with a calendar for Liège, painter and scribe from the diocese of Liège, second half of the fifteenth century, black and red ink, tempera, and gold on vellum, 138 x 103 (80 x 60) mm, 17 lines, littera hybrida, Middle Dutch. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature with the Virgin and Child, an,
Fig. 37 Full-page miniature with the Virgin and Child, and a coat of arms in the outer margin, to mark the incipit of a prayer to Mary (fols. 14v-15r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10; see fig. 36 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 38. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10.
Fig. 38 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10.
Full-page miniature depicting the Trinity, to mar,
Fig. 39 Full-page miniature depicting the Trinity, to mark the incipit of a prayer to the Trinity (fols. 147v-148r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10; see fig. 36. The verso bears an inscription that may be the owner's motto. (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Prayer called the Colnish Pater Noster added to t,
Fig. 40 Prayer called the Colnish Pater Noster added to the blank vellum at the end of the calendar (fols. 12v-13r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 D 10; see fig. 36. The added text shows very high usage. (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Text accompanying the calendrical tables for calc, 1456,  Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht
Fig. 41 Text accompanying the calendrical tables for calculating Easter, with a date of 1456 (fols. 16v-17r: scribe from Delft). Book of hours made in Delft, 1456, dark brown, red, and blue ink on vellum, 122 x 85 (75 x 46) mm, 20 lines, littera textualis, Latin. Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Opening of the Hours of the Cross, with red and b,
Fig. 42 Opening of the Hours of the Cross, with red and blue penwork characteristic of Delft (fol. 25r: scribe and artists from Delft). From Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64; see fig. 41 (Photo: Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 43. Densitometry graph for Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h 64.
Fig. 43 Densitometry graph for Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h 64.
Opening of the Vigil for the Dead, with character,
Fig. 44 Opening of the Vigil for the Dead, with characteristic Delft penwork and a praying monk (fols. 104v-105r: scribe and artists from Delft). From Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64; see fig. 41 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Last folio of the manuscript, with notes of owner,
Fig. 45 Last folio of the manuscript, with notes of ownership by the Oem family of Dordrecht (fol. 167v: various scribes, probably members of the Oem family of Dordrecht). From Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64; see fig. 41 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Opening with a long rubric that has been scraped ,
Fig. 46 Opening with a long rubric that has been scraped away (fols. 93v-94r: scribe and artists from Delft). From Utrecht, Museum Catharijneconvent, BMH h64; see fig. 41 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 47. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19.
Fig. 47 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19.
Diagram showing the manuscript openings that corr,
Fig. 48 Diagram showing the manuscript openings that correspond to the spikes on the densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature with the Annunciation and hal,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 49 Full-page miniature with the Annunciation and half-page miniature depicting the martyrdom of Saint John the Evangelist to preface the Gospel reading for John (fols. 25v-26r). Book of hours, 1490s (before 1498), with a calendar for the county of Utrecht made for an unidentified patron pictured on fol. 5r, Netherlandish artist, 113 x 81 (72 x 47) mm, 18 lines, littera textualis, Latin. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Miniature depicting the martyrdom of Saint Erasmu,
Fig. 50 Miniature depicting the martyrdom of Saint Erasmus to preface a suffrage to that saint (fols. 140v-141r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19; see fig. 49 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Historiated initial with the Visitation, within t,
Fig. 51 Historiated initial with the Visitation, within the Hours of the Virgin (fols. 47v-48r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19; see fig. 49 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Opening with a prayer to Christ and a full-page m,
Fig. 52 Opening with a prayer to Christ and a full-page miniature depicting the patron kneeling before Saint Jerome, who is kneeling before a crucifix and beating his chest with a rock (fols. 4v-5r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 135 G 19; see fig. 49 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 53. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 128 G 33.
Fig. 53 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 128 G 33.
Folios corresponding to two of the peaks in the g,  ca. 1500-1510,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 54 Folios corresponding to two of the peaks in the graph: David at Prayer prefacing the Penitential Psalms, and a small miniature depicting Saint Sebastian prefacing a suffrage to that saint (fols. 54v-55r and fol. 88r). Book of hours from Bruges, illuminator from Bruges, ca. 1500-1510, 97 x 65 (52 x 32) mm, 13-14 lines, littera hybrida, Latin. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 128 G 33 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Saint Apollonia holding a tooth in pliers (fol. 9,
Fig. 55 Saint Apollonia holding a tooth in pliers (fol. 99r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 128 G 33; see fig. 54 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Rubricated refrain from the Hundred Articles of t,
Fig. 60 Rubricated refrain from the Hundred Articles of the Passion (fols. 93v-94r: scribe from the diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Text page of the Hundred Articles of the Passion ,
Fig. 61 Text page of the Hundred Articles of the Passion (fols. 109v-110r: scribe from the diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Short Hours of the Cross (fols. 12,
Fig. 62 Incipit of the Short Hours of the Cross (fols. 129v-130r: scribe from the diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).,
Hand-painted woodcut by a German (?) artist, Chri,
Fig. 63 Hand-painted woodcut by a German (?) artist, Christ in Agony, pasted onto fol. 64v to preface the Seven Penitential Psalms (fols. 64v-65r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page image by an artist from Brabant (?), de,
Fig. 64 Full-page image by an artist from Brabant (?), depicting the Virgin of the Sun, inserted to preface a prayer to the Virgin's body parts (fols. 196v-197r). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Opening of Heer Bethlem's guide to virtual pilgri,
Fig. 67 Opening of Heer Bethlem's guide to virtual pilgrimage, with indulgences, printed in 1517. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 231 G 22 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Several scribes from North Holland, birth and dea,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 68 Several scribes from North Holland, birth and death notices added to a family book of hours in the empty space after the calendar (fols. 10v-11r). Book of hours from Enkhuizen, ca. 1500-1510, red and brown ink on vellum, 167 x 125 mm. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 79 K 6 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Adoro te, with a historiated initi,  ca. 1490-1500,  Theologische Faculteit, Tilburg
Fig. 70 Incipit of the Adoro te, with a historiated initial depicting Christ as the Man of Sorrows, on a page which has been heavily handled and then subsequently trimmed (fol. 75r). Prayer book from the diocese of Liège, scribe and artist from the diocese of Liège, ca. 1490-1500, ink and tempera on paper, ca. 120 x 90 (90-110 x 60-68) mm. Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit, Ms. TFK 10 (Photo: Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Golden Litany of the Passion, whic,  Theologische Faculteit, Tilburg
Fig. 71 Incipit of the Golden Litany of the Passion, which has been heavily handled and then subsequently trimmed (fol. 48r). From Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit, Ms. TFK 10; see fig. 70 (Photo: Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit; artwork in the public domain).
Binding, with rings used to hang the book from on,
Fig. 72 Binding, with rings used to hang the book from one's arm, sixteenth century. From Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit, Ms. TFK 10; see fig. 70 (Photo: Tilburg, Theologische Faculteit; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature depicting, inter alia, a woma, 1477,  Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Codex Vindobonensis 1857
Fig. 73 Full-page miniature depicting, inter alia, a woman holding a manuscript prayer book through a chemise; the miniature faces the prayer Gaude flore virginali, written by Saint Thomas â Becket (fols. 14v-15r). Hours of Mary of Burgundy, 1477, 230 x 160 mm. Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Codex Vindobonensis 1857 (Photo: Graz, Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt; artwork in the public domain).
Fols. 31v-32r: Masters of the Gold Scrolls. Book ,  ca. 1450,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 74 Fols. 31v-32r: Masters of the Gold Scrolls. Book of hours, from the Southern Netherlands, with borders overpainted in the nineteenth century, ca. 1450, 144 x 104 (90 x 65) mm, 23 lines, littera hybrida, Latin. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 130 E 17 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Arrest of Christ (fols. 68v-69r: Masters of the De,  ca. 1440-50,  Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Fig. 75 Arrest of Christ (fols. 68v-69r: Masters of the Delft Grisailles and scribe and artist from South Holland). Book of hours from South Holland, ca. 1440-50, pen and wash, red and brown ink, gold and tempera on vellum, 180 x 124 (103 x 65) mm, 18 lines, littera textualis, Middle Dutch. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Text opening with candle wax dripped on the page ,
Fig. 76 Text opening with candle wax dripped on the page (fols. 30v-31r: scribe and artist from South Holland). From Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32; see fig. 75 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 77. Taking densitometry readings on London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32.
Fig. 77 Taking densitometry readings on London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32.
Fig. 78. Densitometry graph for London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32.
Fig. 78 Densitometry graph for London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Ms. Reid 32.
Canon page from a missal (fol. 149v), showing dam,  ca. 1400-10,  Stadsbibliotheek, Haarlem
Fig. 1 Canon page from a missal (fol. 149v), showing damage where the priest repeatedly kissed it. Missal of the Haarlem Linen Weavers Guild, North Holland (Haarlem?), ca. 1400-10, tempera and gold on vellum, 349 x 270 (265 x 179) mm, 2 columns, 32 lines, littera textualis, Latin. Haarlem, Stadsbibliotheek, Ms. 184 C 2 (Photo: Byvanck archive; artwork in the public domain).
Full-page miniature depicting the Virgin and Chil,  ca. 1440,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 10 Full-page miniature depicting the Virgin and Child (fol. 116v: Masters of the Delft Grisailles) facing the incipit of the Obsecro te (fol. 117r: scribe and illuminator(s) from Delft). Book of hours, made by the Sisters of St. Agnes in Delft, ca. 1440, ink, tempera, and gold on vellum, 155 x 110 (92 x 62) mm, 20 lines, littera textualis. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 21696 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).
Six openings from a book of hours made in three s,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 13 Six openings from a book of hours made in three stages, ca. 1460 (inserted full-page miniatures), ca. 1470 (text of original quires), and ca. 1480 (added quires). Book of hours, Masters of the Delft Grisailles and South Holland illuminators, black and red ink, tempera and gold on vellum, 115 x 85 (80 x 54) mm, 17 lines, littera hybrida, Latin. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35 (Photos: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
The densitometer in use on The Hague, Koninklijke,
Fig. 14 The densitometer in use on The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 74 G 35 (Photos: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 23. Densitometry graph for Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6 (broken into two halves).
Fig. 23 Densitometry graph for Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6 (broken into two halves).
Opening at the incipit of the Hours of the Virgin,  ca. 1440-60,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 56 Opening at the incipit of the Hours of the Virgin, with a full-page miniature depicting the Virgin and Child (fol. 17v: illuminator from Utrecht or South Holland) and a historiated initial depicting the Annunciation fol. 18r: Illuminator and scribe from South Holland). Book of hours, made in South Holland with added miniatures, ca. 1440-60, 154 x 114 (88 x 58) mm, 21 lines, littera textualis, Middle Dutch. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 E 17 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Incipit of the Hundred Articles of the Passion (f,  ca. 1450-1500,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
Fig. 57 Incipit of the Hundred Articles of the Passion (fols. 92v-93r: scribe and artist from the diocese of Liège). Book of hours, from the diocese of Liège (Tienen?), ca. 1450-1500, 138 x 98 (95 x 62) mm, 17 or 19 lines, littera hybrida, Middle Dutch. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Fig. 58. Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2.
Fig. 58 Densitometry graph for The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2.
Rubric and incipit for a prayer to the Virgin (fo,
Fig. 59 Rubric and incipit for a prayer to the Virgin (fols. 220v-221r: scribe from the diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57. Something, presumably an image, was formerly glued to fol. 220v (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Rubric and incipit of the Adoro te in Middle Dutch,
Fig. 65 Rubric and incipit of the Adoro te in Middle Dutch, where the stub from an image formerly facing fol. 250r appears in the gutter (fols. 249v-250r and 250v-251r: scribe from the Diocese of Liège). From The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 75 G 2; see fig. 57 (Photo: author; artwork in the public domain).
Maculature in a binding from the sixteenth centur,
Fig. 66 Maculature in a binding from the sixteenth century, used as the front pastedown and first flyleaf of a psalter from Delft, 150 x 108 mm (book block). The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 G 26 (Photo: The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek; artwork in the public domain).
Christ preaching to the doctors in the Temple, wi,  ca. 1475-1500,  Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussels
Fig. 69 Christ preaching to the doctors in the Temple, hand-colored woodcut, with added family notes dated in the seventeenth century (fol. 47v). Book of hours from Delft, Netherlandish (?) printer, ca. 1475-1500, ink, tempera and gold on vellum, 153 x 107 mm. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. IV 142 (Photo: Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I; artwork in the public domain).

Footnotes

  1. 1. My assumption is that a single reader holds his book in the same manner each time he picks up his book to perform devotions. In some of the case studies described below, I detected two different areas of dirt on the page and considered that these might have been deposited by two separate readers who held the book differently. In all of these cases, however, the densitometrical values point to one reader who left two areas of dirt rather than two readers who each left one area of dirt. The two areas of dirt, when measured and graphed, merely reiterated each other, suggesting that they came from a single user who touched the book with two fingers from each hand. For other manuscripts that clearly had multiple readers, as indicated by layers of added prayers and notes of ownership from the fifteenth century, such as London, British Library, Harley Ms. 2966, it may be possible to distinguish the various readers’ signs of wear using DNA analysis. However, DNA analysis exceeds the scope and budget of the current project.

  2. 2. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 15078, book of hours, in Latin and Middle Dutch. Manuscript, 167 ff on parchment; 155 x 105 mm, probably made ca. 1510 for an Augustinian canoness dedicated to Saint Margaret. See the reference on fol. 38r to “nri augustini” and extra prayers to Saint Margaret, as well as prayers for the sisters, including fols. 45v-47v (“voer dei susteren die buten sijn”) and f. 149r (“Dese letanie lestmen als een suster licht om sterven”). Furthermore, Augustine is listed first among the confessors and Margaret first among the virgins in the litany. The manuscript bears an ex libris: Lysbette van t and Huerne (from the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century).

  3. 3. Valentina Izmirlieva, All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2008), esp. 117-31.

  4. 4. Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Ms. 21696, book of hours in Latin, French, and Middle Dutch, made in Delft by the Augustinian canonesses of Saint Agnes. Manuscript, 151 ff on parchment, with 22 added full-page miniatures by the Masters of the Delft Grisailles, 154 x 108 (93 x 63) mm, 20 lines, ca. 1440. See The Golden Age of Dutch Manuscript Painting, introduction by James H. Marrow; catalogue by Henri L. M. Defoer, Anne S. Korteweg, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld, exh. cat. Utrecht, Rijksmuseum het Catharijneconvent, and New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library (Stuttgart: Belser Verlag, 1989), no. 53.

  5. 5. Written in painted microscript within the twisting border decoration, the inscription states: “Iste liber scriptus et illuminatus est in monasterio Vallis Josaphat” (This book was written and illuminated in the monastery of the Valley of Josaphat). The canonesses regular in Delft dedicated to Saint Agnes (regularissen) called their convent Sint Agnes in het dal van Josaphat.

  6. 6. I thank Michiel Verweij at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I in Brussels for helping me photograph this opening. I made the hand-held documentation photographs in this essay with a Panasonic DMC-F27 camera. Conservationists do not recommend the use of white gloves for handling manuscripts, as they reduce sensitivity and dexterity, thereby increasing the likelihood of damage to the manuscript. Furthermore, white gloves pick up dirt and spread it elsewhere in the manuscript. See Cathleen A. Baker and Randy Silverman, “Misperceptions about White Gloves,” International Preservation News 3 (2005): 4-16.

  7. 7. I thank photographer Casper Cammeraat of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague for informing me of the existence of the densitometer, which was designed to be used in the graphic design industry for measuring, for example, ink saturation, the brightness of paper stock, or the color saturation of a given image.
    The densitometer I used to measure the manuscripts at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague was a Heiland electronic Wetzlar, model TRD 2, made in Germany. This model has a zeroing feature and measures values only along a gray scale. The densitometer I used to measure all the other manuscripts was an X-Rite 418; although this is a color densitometer, I used it on a gray-scale setting. The X-Rite 418 does not have a simple zeroing feature, so I therefore took one reading from a clean area of vellum on each recto and entered it in Column A of my spreadsheet, then took a second reading from the worn area of the same folio and entered it in Column B. I subtracted Column A from Column B to account for the vicissitudes of the uneven darkness of the individual sheets of vellum and entered those values in Column C, then graphed the results.

  8. 8. Because vellum is a natural material manufactured one sheet at a time, each sheet differs somewhat in color. Zeroing the scale on a clean part of the vellum of each folio allows the background color of the vellum to be subtracted from the value of the dirt. Furthermore, some pages are simply darker and dirtier, not because of handling, but because, for example, they fall at the end of one quire and the beginning of the next; manuscripts in loose bindings that have not been protected in a box often allow dust and dirt to settle into the small gaps between quires, thus darkening the entire opening, often quite evenly. Zeroing the scale helps to account for this type of incidental darkening. Furthermore, the hair side and the flesh side of the vellum often have different surfaces and trap dirt at different rates. A velvety surface traps more dirt and becomes darker before a smoother surface does. See the discussion below around The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 133 E 17.

  9. 9. The actual values given by the densitometer in units of lux cannot be read across different manuscripts, i.e., Manuscript A with a darkened corner of densitometer value 29 has not necessarily been read and handled to the same extent as the darkened corner of Manuscript B with the same value. There are many reasons for this. Some vellum is more velvety and therefore traps more dirt, which makes it darken more quickly with handling. Some readers might have worked on the garden immediately before performing their prayers and have handled their books with especially dirty hands. The densitometer graphs might allow us to say that “both the owner of Manuscript A and the owner of Manuscript B favored the Penitential Psalms, and also intensely handled the prayer to Saint Erasmus.” The results will not allow us to state that “the owner of Manuscript A read the Penitential Psalms every day for forty years,” nor that “the owner of Manuscript A read the Penitential Psalms exactly as often as did the owner of Manuscript B.”

  10. 10. See Carlo Bertelli, “The Image of Pity in Sancta Croce in Gerusaleme,” in D. Fraser et al., eds., Essays in the History of Art Presented to Rudolf Wittkower (London: Phaidon, 1967), 40-56; and Uwe Westfehling, ed., Die Messe Gregors des Grossen: Vision, Kunst, Realität, exh. cat. (Cologne, Schnütgen Museum, 1982).

  11. 11. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6, book of hours in Dutch, made in Delft, ca. 1470-80, dark brown and red ink, tempera and gold on vellum, 173×120 (91×58) mm, 1 column, 19 lines, littera textualis, Dutch. The manuscript contains a calendar for the county of Utrecht, adjusted for Delft, including feasts in red for Saint Hippolytus (August 13), Saint Jeroen (August 17), Saint Francis (October 4), the eleven thousand virgins (October 21), and Saint Barbara (December 4). Saint Ursula is listed first among the virgins in the litany. These features, along with the script, layout, and textual selection are consistent with a group of manuscripts probably produced at the convent of female Franciscan tertiaries of Saint Ursula in Delft (founded ca. 1454).

  12. 12. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Germ. Oct. 6, fol. 145r-146v, rubric: “Soe wie dit ghebet alle sonnendaghes ynnichliken leest mit berouwe des herten die sel god voersien van allen dien dat hem behoefliken is ende hi en sel niet sterven quader doot noch sonder biecht. Ende hi sel dat heilige sacrament ontfanghen ende die heilige oly. Ende hi sel oec van alle sinen vianden gevrijdt worden. Ende sel hondert ende xl dagen oflaets hebben”; incipit: “O, heilighe ende gloriose maertelaert xpi, sinte herasme, die opten sonnendach ter doot gheoffert wordes…”

  13. 13. The best literature on this subject is Paul Vandenbroeck, Hooglied: De Beeldwereld van Religieuze Vrouwen in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden, vanaf de 13de eeuw, exh. cat. (Brussels, Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, 1994), 91-104. See also Camille Poupeye, “Les Jardins Clos & leurs rapports avec la sculpture malinoise,” Bulletin du Cercle archéologique littéraire et artistique de Malines 22 (1912): 51-114, who discusses the symbolism of the hortus conclusus, relates the Mechelen hofjes to those in other places, and discusses the pipe-clay stamped medallions; Paul Dony, “Les ‘Jardins Clos’,” Ecclesia 98 (May 1957): 119-26; and Stefan Vandenberghe, “Besloten Hofjes,” in 800 jaar Onze-Lieve-Vrouwegasthuis: Uit het erfgoed van Mechelse gasthuiszusters en het OCMW, exh. cat. (Mechelen, Hof van Busleyden, 1998), 49-57.

  14. 14. The inscription seems to read “JENECRAMBIER [or Fenecza(m)bier] // J de Baldere(n) // Silberkamer.” The first term may be the ownerís motto. I thank Klaas van der Hoek and Ed van der Vlist for detangling this inscription. Ed van der Vlist also pointed out that a Silberkämmerer is probably someone at a German court charged with the care of silver work. The owner has not yet been identified.

  15. 15. <obijt anno 1485> Dit buek hoert toe Jacop Oem Tielman zoen te Dorderecht wonende teghenden
    hoppen bier steighert
    ende nv toe behoert Daniel Oem syn soen
    ende nw <1463> toe behoert Herman Oem syn soen
    ende nu toe behoert Daniel Oem zijn soen 1554.
    nu toebehoert Maria Oems Daniels dr. 1602.
    Nu toebehoert Henrick Hoynck haren soon 1603.
    Ende nu toebehoort Anthonis Oem Hermanzoon 1660.
    Nu toebehoort Herman Oem Janssoon 1678.
    I offer my thanks to Ed van der Vlist for deciphering the inscription on fol. 167v and for tracking down the members of the Oem family of Dordrecht. For further references, see http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/aa__001biog17_01/aa__001biog17_01_0062.php.

  16. 16. For a fuller discussion of prayer books after the Reformation, see Eamon Duffy, Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers 1240-1570 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006), esp. Chapter 9, “To Break with Rome.”

  17. 17. José van Aelst, “Het gebruik van beelden bij Suso’s lijdensmeditatie,” in Geen povere schoonheid: Laat-middeleeuwse kunst in verband met de Moderne Devotie, Kees Veelenturf, ed. (Nijmegen: Uitgeverij Valkhof Pers, 2000), 86-110; and José van Aelst, Passie voor het lijden: De «Hundert Betrachtungen und Begehrungen»van Henricus Suso en de oudste drie bewerkingen uit de Nederlanden (Leuven: Peeters, 2005).

  18. 18. I suspect that at this saturation, increased handling would not result in increased darkness. This manuscript, therefore, tested some of the limits of the method. To make finer distinctions between the degrees of handling of these saturated areas, a different method of measurement may be necessary—for example, to measure the total area of the discoloration of each folio. This could be difficult to objectify, however, as the dirty area has no definitive border.

  19. 19. I owe this suggestion to Dr. Susie Nash.

  20. 20. Images from the Vienna Hours of Mary of Burgundy have been published countless times. The manuscript was included in one of the first studies of the reception of books of hours: John P. Harthan, Books of Hours and Their Owners (1977; repr. New York and London: Thames and Hudson, 1982). See also Michael Clanchy, “Images of Ladies with Prayer Books: What Do They Signify?” in The Church and the Book: Papers Read at the 2000 Summer Meeting and the 2001 Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society, ed. R. N. Swanson, Studies in Church History 38 (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2005), 106-12.

  21. 21. Nicholson Baker, “Discards,” New Yorker, April 4, 1994, 83ñ84. I thank Mark Meadow for bringing this article to my attention.

Bibliography

Aa, A. J. van der. Biographisch woordenboek der Nederlanden. Vol. 14: http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/aa__001biog17_01/aa__001biog17_01_0062.php

Aelst, José van. “Het gebruik van beelden bij Suso’s lijdensmeditatie.” In Geen povere schoonheid: Laat-middeleeuwse kunst in verband met de Moderne Devotie, edited by Kees Veelenturf, 86-110. Nijmegen: Uitgeverij Valkhof Pers, 2000.

–––– Passie voor het lijden: De “Hundert Betrachtungen und Begehrungen” van Henricus Suso en de oudste drie bewerkingen uit de Nederlanden. Leuven: Peeters, 2005.

Baker, Cathleen A., and Randy Silverman. “Misperceptions about White Gloves.” International Preservation News 3 (2005): 4-16.

Baker, Nicholson. “Discards.” New Yorker, April 4, 1994, 83-84.

Bertelli, Carlo. “The Image of Pity in Santa Croce in Gerusaleme.” In Essays in the History of Art: Presented to Rudolf Wittkower, by D. Fraser et. al., 40-56. London: Phaidon, 1967.

Clanchy, Michael. “Images of Ladies with Prayer Books: What Do They Signify?” In The Church and the Book: Papers Read at the 2000 Summer Meeting and the 2001 Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society, edited by R. N. Swanson, 106-12. Vol. 38 of Studies in Church History. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2005.

Defoer, Henri L. M., et al. The Golden Age of Dutch Manuscript Painting. Introduction by James H. Marrow, catalogue compiled by Henri L. M. Defoer, Anne S. Korteweg, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld. Exh. cat. Rijksmuseum het Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, and The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Stuttgart: Belser Verlag, 1989.

Dony, Paul. “Les ‘Jardins Clos’.” Ecclesia 98 (May 1957): 119-26.

Duffy, Eamon. Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers 1240-1570. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Harthan, John. Books of Hours and Their Owners. 1977. Repr.; New York: Thames and Hudson, 1982.

Izmirlieva, Valentina. All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Poupeye, Camille. “Les Jardins Clos & leurs rapports avec la sculpture malinoise.” Bulletin du Cercle archéologique littéraire et artistique de Malines 22 (1912): 51-114.

Vandenberghe, Stefan. “Besloten Hofjes.” In 800 jaar Onze-Lieve-Vrouwegasthuis: Uit het erfgoed van Mechelse gasthuiszusters en het OCMW, 49-57. Exh. cat. Mechelen, Hof van Busleyden, 1998.

Vandenbroeck, Paul. Hooglied: De Beeldwereld van Religieuze Vrouwen in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden. Exh. cat. Brussels, Paleis voor Schone Kunsten, 1994.

Westfehling, Uwe, ed. Die Messe Gregors des Grossen: Vision, Kunst, Realität. Exh. cat. Cologne, Schnütgen Museum, 1982.

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DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2010.2.1.1
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Kathryn M. Rudy, "Dirty Books: Quantifying Patterns of Use in Medieval Manuscripts Using a Densitometer," Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 2:1-2 (Summer 2010) DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2010.2.1.1