Forward with our new Board

The BASIRA Project made another significant step forward recently, with the first meeting our our newly comprised Board of Advisors. Of course, times being as they are, our gathering was held virtually. We are privileged to benefit from the generosity of so many advisors from such a variety of disciplines.For the next two years, these esteemed colleagues will be lending us guidance and advice. Welcome, … Continue reading Forward with our new Board

Lightning during Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic delayed but couldn’t entirely stop our “Image of the Book” sessions! Six panelists had been scheduled to present papers in Philadelphia at the Renaissance Society of America 2020 meeting. When travel suspensions and quarantines made physical assembly impossible, we instead hosted a “work-in-progress” gathering on the Zoom platform on May 5, 2020. Each panelist gave a “lightning” version of their paper, using … Continue reading Lightning during Pandemic

Kress Digital Art History grant

In alliance with the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies (SIMS), the BASIRA Project is on its way to becoming publicly accessible resource, thanks to the generosity of the Kress Foundation. Dr. Nicholas Herman, Curator of Manuscripts at SIMS, is co-PI with B. Williams Ellertson of a recent Kress Digital Art History grant award to the University of Pennsylvania. This funding will make it possible for … Continue reading Kress Digital Art History grant

Travels and plans to move

The BASIRA team has been doing a fair bit of traveling recently, with intriguing connections and a great deal of learning along the way. In some ways, attending the 11th annual Schoenberg Symposium of Manuscript Studies (SIMS) in the fall of 2018 has been the most significant encounter. While in Philadelphia, Barbara made the acquaintance of Emma Cawlfield, program manager of the Schoenberg Database of … Continue reading Travels and plans to move

Join us! Call for papers

RSA (Renaissance Society of America), 2-4 April 2020, Philadelphia CFP: The Image of the Book: 1300–1600 How did artistic representations of the book convey meaning during the period of technological transition from manuscript to print? How can a two- or three-dimensional image of a codex or early printed edition—be it shown open, closed, thumbed, crumpled, clutched, manipulated, shrouded, overturned, splayed, stomped, balanced or burnt—convey the … Continue reading Join us! Call for papers

Back from a Hiatus

Far too many months have passed since we refreshed this site. During the hiatus, there’ve been many interesting developments; in the next few posts, we hope to fill in some of the lacunae and bring this site more up-to-date. * First of all, the BASIRA team has grown: While Janet Seiz has taken leave to focus on her teaching career, Dr. Andrea Zietlow, book artist, … Continue reading Back from a Hiatus


When the South Atlantic Modern Language Association met in Durham, North Carolina on November 13-15, 2015, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) coordinated three sessions at the conference. Thanks to Paul Donnelly and Melissa Makala, the BASIRA Project was presented at the Friday poster session and on the Saturday evening program. (For the poster session, our examples from the database … Continue reading SHARP at SAMLA