Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Law Library at Yale University is displaying volumes from its rare book collection that have been bound using other texts as scrap material. The exhibit, "Reused, Rebound, Recovered: Medieval Manuscript Fragments in Law Book Bindings," includes these twelve small volumes of the Corpus iuris civilis, published in Lyons by Guillame Rouille in 1581, which have been neatly covered by pages from a biblical manuscript, ca. 1350-1450. For more pictures, see Nancy Matoon's discussion of the exhibit on Book Patrol.

This example shows that the relative iconicity of texts varies considerably in time and place, and not just in the contemporary rare book market.

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