Albinia Catherine de la Mare 1932–2001


in Proceedings of the British Academy, 138 Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, V

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263938
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734236 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Albinia Catherine de la Mare 1932–2001

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Albinia de la Mare was one of the outstanding palaeographers of the 20th century. Just as E. A. Lowe in his Codices Latini Antiquiores mapped the earliest surviving Latin manuscripts, and Bernhard Bischoff classified by date and origin the Carolingian manuscripts, she undertook the task of tracing the careers of the hundreds of scribes writing the newly introduced humanistic script in Italy in the 15th century. The tasks were different in many specific ways, but the methodological principles were largely the same. They consisted in training the memory to recognise the characteristics of script, what palaeographers call the ductus, and combining that expertise with a thorough knowledge of the texts which were being transcribed, of the patrons for whom the manuscripts were written, and of the broader cultural and historical context.

Keywords: palaeographer; manuscripts; humanistic script; biography; obituary

Chapter.  8192 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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