Review of the Biblissima Summer Course on "Reconstructing a Medieval Library Today, the Example of Saint-Bertin" (Saint-Omer)

Thirteen Master and Ph.D. students participated in Biblissima's fourth summer course, which focussed on the reconstruction of a medieval library. Of seven different nationalities (Austrian, Belgian, American, French, Italian, Swiss and Ukranian), the students came from institutions in Belgium, the United States, France, Italy and Switzerland.

The diversity of their research subjects only serves to emphasise the importance of studying medieval libraries today as places of art, history, and culture, where knowledge was preserved and passed on over the centuries.

This course, organised by the Bibliothèque d'agglomération de Saint-Omer and the IRHT from 25th to 29th August 2015, offered lectures and practical sessions related to the project Saint-Bertin, Cultural Centre from the 7th to 18th Centuries: Constitution, Preservation, Diffusion, Use of Knowledge, which is funded by Biblissima. This project has made it possible to edit and critically analyse the old inventories of the medieval and modern library of Saint-Bertin Abbey. In addition, more than 400 manuscripts from the abbey library have already been digitised and are accessible online (in the IRHT's Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits médiévaux). More manuscripts will be put online from now until the end of 2015.

The participants gained experience in textual, codicological and palaeographical analysis, in cataloguing manuscripts and using the TEI to edit old inventories, as well as in learning how to use authority files.