Benjamin Smith attended Minnesota Manuscript Research Laboratory

Dr. Benjamin Smith, Languages and Cultures, attended the Minnesota Manuscript Research Laboratory sponsored by the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML) at St. John’s University and the Center for Medieval Studies at the University of Minnesota from June 3-8. He spent most of the week working on a manuscript fragment from a 13th century copy of St. Isidore’s Etymologiae, a sort of medieval encyclopedia dealing with subjects from common garden-variety plants to monsters and fantastical beings.  The manuscript fragment had been separated from the original work centuries before it came into the possession of the Steiner collection at the HMML and at some point suffered further damage due to part of the text being excised. Smith catalogued the parts that were lost and connected the fragment with additional copies of this manuscript held in the special collections of European libraries.