21 September 2016

Kathryn Rudy's new book published, and it's open access!


© Universiteitsbibliotheek van Amsterdam, CC BY 4.0.
Kathryn Rudy, senior lecturer in the School of Art History, has just published her latest book with Open Book Publishers. The book is licensed under a creative commons CC BY licence, and so is freely available for download from the publisher and our repository. The ebook has also been added to our library catalogue by Elizabeth Cuthill, who has been mentioned before on this blog for her work creating high quality MARC records for this publisher, you can see the catalogue record here: http://library.st-andrews.ac.uk/record=b2429660~S5. This work isn't just for the benefit of St Andrews, it also benefits the library community at large, as these records are fed back to Open Book Publishers for distribution to other parties.

Here is a snippet from the book's abstract to whet your appetite:

Medieval manuscripts resisted obsolescence[...]Rather than discard them when they were superseded, book owners found ways to update, amend and upcycle books or book parts.
Rudy considers ways in which book owners adjusted the contents of their books from the simplest (add a marginal note, sew in a curtain) to the most complex (take the book apart, embellish the components with painted decoration, add more quires of parchment). By making sometimes extreme adjustments, book owners kept their books fashionable and emotionally relevant. This study explores the intersection of codicology and human desire.
Rudy shows how increased modularisation of book making led to more standardisation but also to more opportunities for personalisation. She asks: What properties did parchment manuscripts have that printed books lacked? What are the interrelationships among technology, efficiency, skill loss and standardisation?
© Uppsala Universitetsbiblioteket, CC BY 4.0.


A previous blog post about Open Book Publishers can be read here. In the post we highlighted the cataloguing team's work to create MARC records for all the books on the OBP catalogue (no small feat!). We also looked at some of the interesting and novel ways that OBP are trying to escape the bonds of print, by incorporating alternative media into the electronic versions of their books.




Kathryn M. Rudy, Piety in Pieces: How Medieval Readers Customized their Manuscripts. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0094

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