The Hargrett Hours: Exploring Medieval Manuscripts

Image of detail of 15th Century text, with beautiful decoration in color and gold leaf
Exhibit Duration
August 2021 - August 2021

In 2015, Dr. Cynthia Turner Camp, associate professor of English, became an inaugural member of the UGA Special Collections Libraries Faculty Fellows Program. In partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning, this program provides an opportunity for teaching faculty to explore archives-based learning. Dr. Camp used the fellows program as a springboard into a new kind of teaching. In 2016, she launched a multi-year, multi-course exercise centered around the medieval manuscripts held by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. 

Dubbed The Hargrett Hours Project, these courses explored a 15th century Book of Hours long owned by the Hargrett Library. Each semester, students learned the skills necessary to engage in basic manuscript study, and then worked in teams to apply those skills to deciphering items in the collections. Assisted by archivists, students met regularly for hands-on instruction with original materials at the Special Collections Building. Each new class documented their findings in regular blog and social media posts.   

Curated by student Georgia Early, this exhibit showcases some of the types of items students have explored in the Hargrett Hours courses, and what they discovered about these medieval manuscripts along the way. It showcases Dr. Camp’s innovative teaching techniques, and the hands-on projects that helped bring the 15th century to life for today’s UGA students.