Designing English

1 December 2017 22 April 2018


ST Lee Gallery, Weston Library (Map)


Weston Library Info Desk: 01865 277094


Graphics on the medieval page

This exhibition will illustrate the graphic design of handwritten manuscripts and inscriptions for the first thousand years of English, across the Middle Ages.

It will range from Old English picture books or notes scratched into herbals, through fragments of medieval songs scribbled on spare pages, to masterpieces framed with illustrations and gold, or new page designs for practical tasks, such as manuals for handling swans. It will cover the experiences of both the makers and the users of writing: how craftspeople planned and made books, and how readers responded to their designs.

The exhibition will showcase the Bodleian Library's rich holdings of medieval manuscripts in English. It will also show English belittled and squeezed alongside the other languages more common in medieval books, and which influenced the design of English.

To show the likeness to modern craft, Designing English will be shown for the first two months alongside Redesigning the Medieval Book: a display of contemporary book arts inspired by the exhibition, through a workshop and competition.

Opening times:
Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 11am-5pm


Admission free

This event is listed under: Exhibitions; Free events
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