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Monsters in the Margins: Curious creatures in illuminated manuscripts

November 17, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


The Washington Rare Book Group invites you to join us for our next virtual lunchtime lecture:



Monsters in the Margins: Curious creatures in illuminated manuscripts

By Alexandra (Allie) Alvis


November 17, 2020, 12:00p.m.


Illuminated manuscripts are beautiful books, full of glittering, colorful images. But they are much more than just pretty faces: illuminated manuscripts, particularly Books of Hours, survive from the medieval and early modern period in large numbers, allowing us to get a glimpse of the lives of people in the past. And the lives of people in the past were not as boring as one might think! In particular, the margins of their manuscripts show an interest in natural history, as well as some more creative and humorous figures. The Smithsonian Libraries’ Cooper Hewitt branch holds one such Book of Hours, with margins packed full of realistic and curious creatures!


Come along with Allie Alvis, Smithsonian Libraries’ Special Collections Reference Librarian, as she explores the forms and function of these marginal monsters.

The event will begin at 12:00 p.m., but we will open the waiting room 15 minutes early to give everyone time to get settled in before the talk begins.


Even though there is no cost for this event, members must RSVP by November 16th so we can send you an email with login instructions prior to the event.


The Zoom link will be emailed to registered participants 24 hours in advance of the program.


We hope you will join us!


Amanda Zimmerman,

WRBG President


Questions? Contact us! washingtonrarebookgroup@gmail.com


November 17, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Tickets are not available as this event has passed.