Exhibitions are strange things, and their beginnings are often the stuff of casual conversations. The inception of Fragments of Note was no different – the curators’ shared passion for medieval palaeography and material culture was discovered over a lunchroom table in the early spring of 2017. The journey through the exhibited items reflects much of the process of their own journey in putting together the physical exhibition – curiosity, research, and conversation.
After completing his BA in Musicology at the University of Pavia, Giovanni Varelli studied at Royal Holloway, University of London and completed his PhD at Cambridge University (St John’s College). In addition to musicological research, Giovanni worked as research assistant for the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (2009), as consultant musical palaeographer for the British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts (2010), and recently as a cataloguer of medieval manuscripts and fragments for the Universities of Padova and Bolzano/Bozen (2016).
In February 2016 Giovanni was elected Prize Fellow (Fellow by Examination) in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is currently working on musical notations in early-medieval Italy, focusing in particular on cognitive processes in the development of music writing and on the influence of the contemporary political and ecclesiastical context on music book production.
His research interests span from Latin palaeography and codicology, early medieval and carolingian liturgy, music theory and notation, philology and reception history, manuscripts digital restoration and conservation techniques, to ethnomusicology and dialectology.
Daryl completed his first degree in English from Kent State University (Ohio, USA), where he also minored in Classics and Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Daryl then traveled to York for his MA in Medieval Studies (2007) and there began working at York Minster Library. He returned to the States in 2009 to pursue an MSc in Library and Information Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2010). Daryl has previously worked as Rare Books Librarian at the University of St Andrews; at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Illinois; and at York Minster Library. He is also a standing committee member of the IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Section, and a member of the UNESCO International Memory of the World Register sub-committee.
Daryl is the Fellow Librarian at Magdalen and manages the College’s libraries and archives with the main goals of building the library collections; fostering a library space that is conducive to study and research; and raising the profile of the College’s unique early printed books, manuscripts, and archives. He also oversee Magdalen’s publications programme. His main focus of research is in the materiality of late medieval manuscripts and early printed books. Bindings, provenance, provincial printing, and the slow and disjointed transition from manuscript culture to the printed book market are all of interest.
An exhibition such as this is the effort of many hands: academics, librarians, archivists, curators, and many others. The curators wish to thank all those involved in the process for their tireless work in bringing Fragments of Note to life:
-the Oxford Conservation Consortium (especially Jane Eagan, Jess Hyslop and Lisa Handke)
-Worcester Cathedral Library
-DIAMM – Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music www.diamm.ac.uk (especially Dr Julia Craig McFeely)
– lutenist Dr Lynda Sayce www.theorbo.com
-Faye D’Arcy, lead design at One Ltd, and her team of excellent programmers for making this online exhibition look as good as it does.
As other curators know, the titles of exhibitions can be the most debated element of any show. Here, the curators wish to thank Dr David Rundle for his witty and playful suggestion which has done much in drawing together our thoughts and narrative.