A Dictionary of English Manuscript Terminology: 1450 to 2000

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OUP Oxford, Nov 19, 2009 - Antiques & Collectibles - 478 pages
This is the first Dictionary of English Manuscript Terminology ever to be published. Dealing with the subject of documentation - which affects everyone's lives (from every-day letters, notes, and shopping lists to far-reaching legal instruments, if not autograph literary masterpieces) - Peter Beal defines, in a lively and accessible style, some 1,500 terms relating to manuscripts and their production and use in Britain from 1450 to the present day. The entries, which range in length from one line to nearly a hundred lines each, cover terms defining types of manuscript, their physical features and materials, writing implements, writing surfaces, scribes and other writing agents, scripts, postal markings, and seals, as well as subjects relating to literature, bibliography, archives, palaeography, the editing and printing of manuscripts, dating, conservation, and such fields as cartography, commerce, heraldry, law, and military and naval matters. The book includes 96 illustrations showing many of the features described.

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About the author (2009)

Dr Peter Beal, FBA, was for 25 years English Manuscript Expert (for nine of them a Director) at Sotheby's, London. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1993; was J.P.R. Lyell Reader in Bibliography at Oxford, 1995-96; and since 2002 has been Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of English Studies, University of London, where he is currently building an AHRC-funded database Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700 (CELM). His major publications in the field of early modern manuscripts include Index of English Literary Manuscripts, 1450-1700 (4 volumes, 1980-93) and In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (OUP, 1998). He is also co-founder and co-editor of the near-annual series of volumes English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700 (1989- ), now published by the British Library.