Last night I gave a lightening talk as one of eight speakers at the latest HoPIN webinar. It’s the History of the Printed Image Network, so my Scottish music collections were slightly off the beaten track, but you know me – my mission is to ensure that anyone picking up an old Scottish music volume knows exactly what they’re getting into! And it was certainly interesting to hear about other people’s research into different aspects of printing.
This link summarises the scope of topics, even if the event is past! HoPIN Webinar 11 (hosted by the University of Wolverhampton).
The next HoPIN webinars are on 15 September and 17 November.
Six years ago, I wrote a wee blogpost about music engravers for Whittaker Live – the Whittaker Library had a Blogspot blog for many years, until I migrated it to WordPress last year.
Just in case it ever goes missing, I thought I’d reproduce that single posting here, now. The truth of the matter is that music librarians don’t generally spend a lot of time with really old volumes, whilst rare books librarians spend a lot of time with really old volumes … but music is only a small part of their remit. This means that things that are obvious to librarians with one specialism may not be obvious to their counterparts in a different library or department.
Can You Tell Your Scripsit From Your Sculpsit? (20 May 2015)
Here’s a little bit of book history to broaden your mind!
If you’re looking at REALLY old music, sometimes you see tiny writing at the bottom of the title page – “Script” or “Sculpt”, and then a name. Rudolf Rasch, who is a book historian, and Associate Professor of Musicology (Emeritus) at Utrecht University, has kindly provided us with an explanation:-
“Script = scripsit = “he wrote”, normally this refers to the one who designed the engraving or made a drawing as a design for the engraving. This should refer to a title page only. [Typesetter is not a good description of this person.] “Sculpt = sculpsit = “he sculpted”, refers to the engraver.
“If a title page is signed by a “sculpsit” one is not a priori certain that the same engraver did the music too. The best way to decide whether the engraver of the title page also engraved the music is too look at the form of the letters on the title page and on the music pages. In many situations title page and music are engraved by the same hand, but there may be cases where the publisher had different engravers work at the title page and the music. “But please keep in mind: 18th-century indications are never full-proof. Never turn off common sense.”So now you know. Just a little advancement in knowledge every day …! One day you might be grateful to Whittaker for sharing this little piece of book history with you!
If you enjoyed this, you’ll love a blogpost that Kelsey Jackson Williams wrote for this present blog, a few years ago. Here you are:-