Curator’s Talk — “The East in Script and Print”

A Curator’s Talk by Ben Halliburton,
Department of History, for the Exhibit

The East in Script and Print:
Manuscripts in Asia from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries

Vatican Film Library
Pius XII Memorial Library, Rm 105
15 April 2016, 3:30 p.m.  

Curated by Ben Halliburton, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies research assistant in the Vatican Film Library and doctoral student in the Department of History of Saint Louis University, this exhibition focuses on the different cultures and practices involving pre-modern manuscripts outside the Christian and Arabic worlds. It is presented in two cases, divided into texts from the Indosphere and the Sinosphere. All are drawn from the VFL’s teaching collection of medieval and early modern manuscripts, some on display for the first time ever.

Especially noteworthy, among the examples from the exhibit, are a leaf from a nineteenth-century manuscript of the Bhagavadgita written with black, red, and gold lettering and two eighteenth-century manuscripts from the Indian subcontinent written on palm leaves. Additionally, in keeping with the long history of printmaking in Asia since its invention in China around the third century AD, there are several leaves taken out of printed texts from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, including a children’s reference guide from Kansei-era Japan.

Saint Louis University Libraries, Special Collections, MS 045, folio a, recto

Saint Louis University Libraries, Special Collections, VFL MS 045, folio a, recto

The curator’s talk with be followed by a reception. The exhibition will be on display Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, through 1 August 2016 in the Vatican Film Library of Pius XII Memorial Library (Room 105). For further information, contact Susan L’Engle, Assistant Director of the Vatican Film Library, at 314-977-3084,

Erica Lauriello

About Erica Lauriello

Erica Lauriello is a former staff member in the Vatican Film Library.

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