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Otto Ege: His Manuscript Fragment Collection and the Opportunities Presented by Electronic Technology

Barbara A. Shailor

Abstract


What do the following institutions with special collections of rare books and manuscripts have in common: Rutgers University Libraries, The Boston University School of Theology Library, Columbia University Libraries, the Houghton Library of Harvard University, and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University? They all have individual leaves of manuscripts formerly in the proud possession of one man named Otto Ege. And, indeed, it is possible to expand upon this list by adding the names of at least twenty other museums, college and university libraries, and private collections. This article explores the life and career of Otto Ege the dean of the Cleveland Institute of Art and a collector of medieval manuscripts and his dismembering of medieval codices and distributing their single leaves to libraries, museums, and collectors. The author points to the promise of digitally reconstructing the original codices.

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