Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies and Classical Languages and History major Casey Welby curated an exhibit, both physical and online, of Medieval manuscript leaves on loan from the collection of Jim Sims. Knies met Sims in April 2019 at a Medieval manuscript workshop at the University of South Carolina. Sims expressed interest is seeing his vast collection of Medieval manuscript leaves become more widely used by exhibiting portions at academic institutions. In summer 2019, University student Casey Welby, who had been working in Special Collections, expressed interest in doing an Honors Project using Special Collections material. Although the Library has its own small collection of Medieval leaves, they have mostly been interpreted and are available online. Knies suggested the Sims Collection. Welby was interested and Sims agreed. Subsequently, Welby was awarded one of the initial student humanities fellowships. Consequently, the project will serve as both an honors project and fellowship project for Welby. Since January 2020, Welby has been working with Knies learning the basics of western European medieval Latin paleography and the essentials of medieval book identification. During autumn 2020, Welby worked with both Knies and Digital Services Librarian Colleen Farry on designing an online exhibit using Omeka software with the support of Digital Services Web Developer Jennifer Galas. The exhibit looks at the progression of Medieval handwriting primarily in liturgical books, lay prayer books and Bibles. While not all types of Medieval handwriting are in the exhibit, scripts such as Carolingian, Gothic, and Humanist among others are featured. The terminology used to describe the scripts come from a few resources. The names used for gothic scripts are derived from a simplified version of Albert Derolez' categories.
Special thanks to Robert van den Graven of Konstantinopel Rare Books for identifying the text of the Dutch Book of Hours and to Professor Scott Gwara, Ph.D. of the University of South Carolina for identifying the text of the Beneventan Lectionary.