Cut, Eaten, Burnt, Stained: The Perilous Life of Old Books

Part of Destruction and the Book: Three Part Lecture Series with the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library
*Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we’ve decided to postpone all public events in March and April. We will be rescheduling these events, so please be on the lookout for updates.

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Wine reception to follow.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts is honored to partner with the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) for Destruction and the Book, a three-part lecture series exploring the history of the book.

The second lecture in the series is “Cut, Eaten, Burnt, Stained: The Perilous Life of Old Books” with Dr. Melissa Moreton, Assistant Director for Strategic Development at HMML. The manuscripts and early printed books that have survived across the centuries have endured use by many hands and abuse in many forms. Manuscripts have been cut up, their illuminations sold and dispersed, eaten by book worms and rodents, damaged in floods and fires – but often survive these ravages to carry forward the messages held within their covers. This talk will explore the world of damaged medieval books and demonstrate the resilience of these carriers of knowledge.

Free and open to the public, the lecture will be followed by a wine reception. We ask that you to RSVP via Eventbrite.

Dr. Melissa Moreton is a cultural historian who studies medieval and early modern book production. She holds an MA in Italian Renaissance Art History [Syracuse University, Florence], a PhD in History and a Graduate Certificate in Book Studies and Technologies [University of Iowa]. She has published on medieval and early modern Italian books, including their production and exchange throughout the wide Mediterranean. Moreton’s work at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library supports their global mission to preserve endangered manuscripts through digitization and increase scholarly and public access to these handwritten texts across the world. Learn more about HMML at

Check out another upcoming lecture in this series!

Books Ripped Away: Secularization and the Removal of Monastic Books to State Libraries