IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1401: Annual Medieval Academy Lecture: History and Visual Memory in the Library of King Charles V of France (Language: English)

Wednesday 4 July 2018, 19.00-20.00

Sponsor:Medieval Academy of America
Introduction:Matthew S. Champion, Department of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London / Institute for Religion & Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University
Speaker:Anne D. Hedeman, Department of Art History, University of Kansas

Medieval libraries were sites of memory that served to preserve knowledge, give access to the past, and establish both individual and group identity. When library collections moved through time, expanding in size and acquiring new readers, they shaped the memory of different social, personal, and political pasts. In this lecture I consider how the illustrations in books forming these collections participated in reshaping memories, enabling associations between texts that may not have been associated previously. This phenomenon is especially visible in the library founded and expanded by King Charles V in the Louvre. By considering diverse relationships established between his growing royal collection and the Grandes chroniques de France (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Ms. fr. 2813), one of Charles’ most treasured manuscripts, as it was made, disbound, extended with newly-written text, rebound, disbound, and expanded again with purely visual additions, I will show how visual relationships associated texts in order to create and sharpen particularly distinctive memories of the history of France.

The Medieval Academy is pleased once again to host the Annual Medieval Academy Lecture, an opportunity for the Academy to showcase some of the important work being done by scholars in North America. We hope you will join us for a reception immediately following the lecture, where members of the Medieval Academy staff will be available to answer questions about the Academy and its work. For more information about the Academy, please see All those attending are warmly invited to join members of the Medieval Academy after the lecture for a glass of wine.

Please note that admission to this event will be on a first-come, first-served basis as there will be no tickets. Please ensure that you arrive as early as possible to avoid disappointment.