1. Merry Christmas! С Рождеством Христовым!

    Yes, Christmas is over for those who use the Gregorian calendar, but it’s today for the Eastern Orthodox national churches who use the older Julian calendar. The above book, which weighs approximately 25 pounds, is from 1791 and is so large and so exquisitely beautiful because it was meant to be seen throughout the church while being held up in the air.  It’s a book made to be seen and admired, and it’s on view now in the Library’s Three Faiths exhibit. The connection to today’s Christmas wishes is that this book is from the Russian Orthodox Church.  We can’t help thinking that lifting it overhead would not only show your commitment to your church and God but also be a fantastic workout!

  2. The Economist drops some knowledge about the illuminated manuscript →

    The always brilliant Economist included a history of Illuminated Manuscripts in its most recent Christmas Special. If you were intrigued by the illuminated manuscripts from our current Three Faiths exhibition, you’ll definitely want to read this.

  3. What does Indiana Jones have to do with our latest exhibition? →

    After a long and dangerous quest Indiana — together with his father, a professor of medieval literature, and a German scholar of unspecified field — have finally located a hidden chamber dating back to the First Crusade. In the chamber are dozens of chalices, one of which is the Holy Grail, all guarded by a 900-year-old knight. And what do these learned scholars do when confronted by this living relic of the distant past? Brushing quickly past the knight, they head straight for the cups! At this point I find myself yelling at the screen: “Talk to him! Ask him questions!” After all, how many times do medieval scholars get to do oral history? Why must this long religious and historical quest end not with knowledge, but with a thing?

    Sara Lipton, Cullman Fellow  on our latest exhibition, Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.