This project explores the fantastical idea that books can talk! And in a way, they can. The challenge is to use the clues they provide as the motivation and direction for further research. Since I am a medievalist and since The University of Iowa Libraries, Special Collections holds multiple mysterious medieval manuscripts, we start with these centuries-old survivors, asking the same questions commonly asked by historians of the book.

Heather Wacha in Special Collections
Heather Wacha, Ph. D. Candidate, Department of History

In collaboration with Head Librarian of the Rita Benton Music Library, Katie Buehner, and Special Collections Outreach Librarian, Colleen Theisen, this series of short videos addresses questions that we would most like to ask the collection’s manuscripts. History Corps offers an ideal venue for complementary textual support and photos featured in each YouTube episode.

Delve in and you will be surprised with what you can learn when you listen to an artifact closely.

In the pursuit of collective scholarship, we welcome any ideas you may have that would contribute to our research efforts.

Tweet your comments/suggestions/ideas @UISpecColl or email me at heather-wacha@uiowa.edu.