Scholarly Correspondence on Medieval Germanic Language and Literature


Date: 17 November 2017
Time: 10:00-18:00
Address: University Library, Vossiuszaal, Witte Singel 27, 2311 BG Leiden

Even the most brilliant scholars do not come up with their ideas all by themselves. Their collaboration with other scholars is essential for the formation of new ideas and the dissemination of findings. In the centuries before the advent of computers and ‘Google Docs’, scholars turned to letter writing in order to collaborate, network, share ideas, and much more.

On Friday 17 November 2017, Leiden University will host a symposium dealing with scholarly correspondence (prior to 1945) within the field of medieval Germanic language and literature. Topics range from Old English manuscripts to Old Icelandic scholarship, Anglo-Saxon lexicography and medieval manuscripts in the Low Countries. The symposium features ten papers, by speakers from all over the world (Leiden, The Hague, Amsterdam, Berlin, Jena, Oxford, Glasgow and Moscow). In addition to the papers, the symposium will also provide an opportunity for attendees to see actual manuscripts and letters housed at the Leiden University Library. Because these manuscripts and letters all pertain in some way to the papers that will be presented at the symposium, the topics are sure to come to life!

The symposium is free and open to all, but please register in advance by sending an email to Thijs Porck:

Full programme:

10:00-10:15 – Doors open (coffee/tea)
10:15-10:30 – Word of welcome: Thijs Porck (Leiden University)

10:30-12:30 – Session 1: Nineteenth-century philology and scholarly correspondence

10:30 Ton van Kalmthout (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands)
Nineteenth-century philology and the correspondence of its practitioners

11:00 Oliver Bock (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)
The correspondence between the English Record Commission and German scholars, 1831-1837

11:30 Beijia Chen (Freie Universität Berlin)
Transmission of Hermann Paul’s linguistic ideas from a network perspective

12:00 Amos van Baalen & Jodie Mann (Leiden University)
Pieter Jakob Cosijn’s correspondence and scholarly collaboration at the end of the nineteenth century

12:30-14:00 – Break & display of letters and manuscripts

14:00-15:30 – Session 2: Anglo-Saxon scholarship and correspondence

14:00 Kathryn A. Lowe (University of Glasgow)
‘A booke in the Saxone language’: Family correspondence and Old English in the sixteenth century

14:30 Rachel Fletcher (University of Glasgow)
‘Most active and effectual assistance’ in the correspondence of Sir William Dugdale and William Somner

15:00 Daniel Thomas (University of Oxford)
‘Modest but well-deserved claims’: The friendship of Samuel Fox and Joseph Bosworth

15:30-16:00 – Coffee/tea

16:00-17:30 – Session 3: International collaboration and correspondence

16:00 Catherine Squires (Moscow State University)
Early Hanseatic manuscripts in mid-18th-century discourse between Lubeck and Saint Petersburg

16:30 Yves van Damme (Leiden University)
The correspondence between Willem de Vreese and C.G.N. de Vooys and the forgotten Philological Turn

17:00 Arend Quak (University of Amsterdam)
The correspondence beween A.G. van Hamel and Icelandic scholars

17:30-18:00 – Drinks

Friday 17 November 2017
University Library Leiden, Vossiuszaal