Irina Savinetskaya Presenting on Medieval Manuscripts at Hamilton College

Feb. 20, 2023, 3 p.m.

page from medieval manuscript with drawings and text
Books of Hours, MS 7, Rare Book and Printed Materials Collection

Irina Savinetskaya, Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center’s Curator for Early to Pre-20th Century, will be presenting a lecture titled “The Middle Ages Through a Reparative Lens” on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at 4 p.m. at Hamilton College. The hybrid lecture is free and open to the public to attend via Zoom link at HTTPS://HAMILTON.ZOOM.US/J/91721697948.

The lecture is being sponsored by Diversifying Collections, The Curatorial Studies Initiative and the History Department at Hamilton College. Savinetskaya’ s lecture will focus on thinking about underrepresented voices in pre-modern collections. The library profession is becoming increasingly aware of the fact that archives and special collections are not neutral spaces, in which history is presented as “it was.” They exercise power by collecting, exhibiting and interpreting objects in their care. With this awareness comes the moral responsibility to promote narratives of our global society that have previously been overlooked. How does a curator of pre-modern materials conduct reparative work on a small budget, with a short supply of materials on the (high-priced) market, with a limited expertise and with collecting trends that have contributed to advancing perceptions of the Middle Ages that are largely Eurocentric, elite and predominantly male? Savinetskaya will discuss strategies for inclusive teaching and outreach with examples from pre-modern collections at the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries.

Prior to joining the Libraries, Savinetskaya was a cataloguer and researcher for Martayan Lan Rare Books, a leading rare books and manuscript dealer covering early printed books in all subjects from the fifteenth century to 1800. She was formerly curator for the Florence Fearrington Collection of Wunderkammer Books in New York. She has a Master of Arts and PhD in Medieval Studies from Central European University. She also was a CENDARI Transnational Fellow at the Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and an E. Ph. Goldschmidt Fellow at Rare Book School, University of Virginia.

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