Dirty Books: Quantifying Patterns of Use in Medieval Manuscripts Using a Densitometer

Rudy, Kathryn M.
June 2010
Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art;Jun2010, Vol. 2 Issue 1/2, p1
Academic Journal
Early users of medieval books of hours and prayer books left signs of their reading in the form of fingerprints in the margins. The darkness of their fingerprints correlates to the intensity of their use and handling. A densitometeróa machine that measures the darkness of a reflecting surfaceócan reveal which texts a reader favored. This article introduces a new technique, densitometry, to measure a readerís response to various texts in a prayer book.


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