My name is Paloma Nicholas and I am a newly hired undergraduate student assistant in UCLA Library Special Collections. On February 26th, after a long day of classes, I had the pleasure of attending the program and reception honoring Richard and Mary Rouse, emeritus UCLA professors who donated their entire collection of medieval manuscripts to UCLA Library Special Collections.

The event began like any other, checking in honored guests and speakers in the reception area, handing out brochures and pins. What surprised me most was the diversity in age and nationality of those who attended. Young graduate students, older colleagues of the Rouses', French and German passport-holders... There were even a few accents I couldn’t place! It was clear that the Rouses' work in their field made (and continues to make) an impact on current university students, as well as researchers from around the world.

Richard and Mary Rouse sit back and relax before remarks.

To kick off the event, University Librarian Virginia Steel delivered a warm welcome speech, followed by many heartfelt remarks from the Rouses' friends and colleagues. Some spoke of their time working together in Paris, others spoke about tireless hours working as graduate students with the Rouse professors.

I was most affected by graduate student, Kersti Francis's moving speech. Francis is a graduate student in the Department of English at UCLA. For one of her classes, she was forced to review one of the Rouse manuscripts and to write a paper about her observations. Little did she know, her professor would require her to review the manuscript throughout the entire quarter and continue to inspect and describe her findings. But even after ten weeks of continuously working with the same primary source, Francis kept discovering new things about the manuscript, and believes she would have continued to discover more if she had more time! As a first year undergraduate student, it was inspiring to see a student at my school so passionate about an academic project.

I am beginning to appreciate how special it is to attend UCLA. With the swipe of my Bruincard, I can access a plethora of primary sources, both ancient and modern!

After the remarks came the reception, catered with posh cheese spreads and finger-sized spring rolls. While we ate, we could hear beautiful music played by the Early Music ensemble of the Herb Alpert School of Music. Medieval folk really liked their flutes, from what I could hear.

(pictured: left to right, Archivist, Lori Dedeyan; LSC Student Assistant, Annabelle Lee; and Head of the Center for Primary Research and Training, Courtney Dean)

The Early Music ensemble of the Herb Alpert School of Music warms up before a delightful performance.

All in all, this was not just an event celebrating the Rouses' generous donation. It was honoring a group of academics that have dedicated their lives to medieval studies and collecting. Their work continues to inspire students my age and beyond, and allows us to engage more thoroughly with our studies.

Here are some of my favorite Rouse materials:

Psalter Breviary Mathurin front binding

Psalter Breviary Mathurin

Psalter Breviary Mathurin (detail)

more from the Psalter Breviary Mathurin

Parchment Maker

Psalter Breviary Mathurin (detail)

Scribe and Patron

Thank you to the Rouses and to UCLA Library Special Collections for such a lovely evening.


Photos: Ben Alkaly | Scans of Rouse materials : UCLA Library Special Collections Staff | Blog Post: Paloma Nicholas | Editor: Caroline Cubé

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.