College of Arts & Sciences

Parsing Parchment: Guest lecturers to speak at English Dept. event


holsingersmolA pair of lecturers are speaking at OSU to boil down the legacy of the best thing in recording until the invention of paper.

Dr. Bruce Holsinger, Professor of English at the University of Virginia, and Dr. Matthew Collins, Professor of Archaeology at the University of York, will both speak Wednesday, March 22 as part of the OSU English Department’s “Science and Culture of Parchment: History of the Book” event. Parchment, unlike paper made from plant matter, is traditionally made from animal skins, and was traditionally used in the production of important texts designed to last under varying conditions. This includes documents like the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution.

1206120330 Ian Martindale Matthew CollinsHolsinger, a medievalist and author of books such as “A Burnable Book: The Inverntion of Fire” and “Archive of the Animal: The Parchment Inheritance and the Common Era,” will speak at 11:30 a.m. Collins, a forensic archaeologist whose research includes investigating collagen samples to identify the animals used in the production of medieval parchment, will join Holsinger for another lecture about cross-discipline collaboration at 4:30 p.m. Both talks will take place in the Peggy V. Helmerich Browsing Room at OSU’s Edmon Low Library.

Funding for the program is provided by the Fae Rawdon Norris Endowment for the Humanities, Edmon Low Library, and the OSU Department of Animal Science; in collaboration for the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Questions can be directed by email to Jennifer.borland@okstate.edu.