By Margaret Ann Zaho, PhD,
Visiting Instructor, UCF Art Department
Illuminated manuscript facsimiles recreate, in exceptional quality and detail, an original manuscript. The facsimile recreates an original in every possible detail including size, pagination, page quality and material, text, color, patina, even damage and defects. It is basically a perfect replica of a unique original.
A very limited number of these types of illuminated manuscript facsimiles are produced and many can cost tens of thousands of dollars. They are produced slowly and diligently using a variety of techniques including state of the art digital photography, hand illumination, gilding, old world binding techniques and craftsmanship.
The rarity and fragility of an original, its often remote location, and priceless value means that it is often inaccessible for study, interpretation, and viewing. The illuminated manuscript facsimile provides scholars and bibliophiles access to the work without risk of damage to the original and also allows libraries the chance to enrich their collections with an otherwise unattainable masterpiece.
UCF is proud to have recently acquired eight illuminated manuscript facsimiles. This exhibition is a chance for the UCF Libraries Special Collections and University Archives Department to display them and to provide students, scholars, and the greater Orlando community access to these golden treasures.