Beeke Stegmann

Beeke Stegmann


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    My research focuses on the production, transmission and reception of Scandinavian manuscripts and charters. I also have a strong interest in editing the handwritten sources and making them available to a wider audience. I investigate both medieval and post-medieval manuscripts and charters using the tools of codicology, material philology and book history. For example, I research structurally altered manuscripts from both before and after the reformation, the production circumstances of Icelandic codices from the fourteenth century and the origin and provenance of Danish Medieval charters. I am further involved in developing an infrastructure for a new digital edition sereies for Nordic manuscripts (Editiones Arnamagnæanæ Electronicæ).

    The methods I employ combine traditional codicological approaches with technical methods such as multi-spectral scanning and digitally supported data analysis (Digital Humanities). I actively use and promote tools such as XML and XSLT for manuscript studies. For instance, I was involved in creating an electronic catalogue for the manuscripts of Saint Catherine's monestary in Mt. Sinai, and I collaborate with the online catalogue for Icelandic manuscripts I am a member of the Menota council and its Handbook Committee, which is currently working on a new version (3.0) of the handbook for electronic encoding of Medieval Nordic primary sources.

    Currently, I am employed as a post-doc in the research project "Script and Text in Time and Space" on charters from St. Clare's monastery in Roskilde. I am overseeing the preparation of a digital edition of the 471 charters and investigate the production and archival history of the documents. Additionally, I am collaborating with Kate Heslop from CU Berkeley making Scandinavian palimpsests that have been heavily treated with chemical substances readable.

    My PhD thesis was called Árni Mangússon's rearrangement of paper manuscripts. It is a codicological study of 17th and early 18th-century codices that were taken apart and rearranged by Árni Magnússon. His activity has been obscured by the work of later librarians and conservators, who counteracted Árni's efforts by rebinding and cataloguing his compilations based on the origins of their multiple parts, so that today Árni is frequently said to have dismembered his paper manuscripts when he in fact rearranged them into new and often large compositions. Based on codicological evidence and old cataloguing records from the period following his death, I trace the complete physical history of these manuscripts. The study investigates the extent of manipulated manuscripts, Árni's working methods and his rationale for rearranging so many of the manuscripts in his collection. A corpus of 114 paper manuscripts has been analysed in detail and their records as well as additional visualisation graphs are available at


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