Modern Language Association Honors Scholar Kathleen Scott for Distinguished Bibliography

December 15, 1998

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AMHERST, Mass. - Kathleen L. Scott, an independent scholar and member of the University of Massachusetts community, will receive the inaugural Modern Language Association Prize for a Distinguished Bibliography. Scott is being recognized for her recent book, "Later Gothic Manuscripts, 1390-1490." She will receive a $1,000 cash award and citation during the association''s annual convention Dec. 28 in San Francisco.

"This prize is an unexpected and overwhelming honor," says Scott. "As an independent scholar, I am especially thrilled to be recognized in this way."

The selection committee''s citation for Scott''s bibliography describes it as "embellished with a wealth of illustrations," providing "detailed accounts of 140 illuminated manuscripts from late medieval England as well as complementary materials." The citation further states: "her work is an exemplary melding of careful investigation, precise recording, and insightful interpretation."

"Later Gothic Manuscripts, 1390-1490" is published in two volumes: volume 1, "Text and Illustrations," and volume 2, "Catalogue and Indexes." The two volumes together constitute volume 6 of "A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles," produced under the general editorship of J.J.G. Alexander.

Scott is a specialist in the codicology of 15th-century English manuscripts. She has published three books and numerous articles in this field. Her earlier books were: "The Caxton Master and His Patrons" (1976), and "The Mirroure of the Worlde: MS. Bodley 283 (England c. 1470-1480): The Physical Composition, Decoration, and Illustration," (1981). "Later Gothic Manuscripts, 1390-1490" was published in 1996. Scott is also co-editor of "Piers Plowman: A Facsimile of Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Douce 104" (1992).

Last summer, Scott received a grant of nearly $1,000 from the Neil Ker Memorial Fund of the British Academy in London. The fund promotes the study of western medieval manuscripts, particularly those from Britain. She will use the award to support her work on a handbook of dated and datable borders in 15th-century English manuscripts, a project she had been invited to complete by the London Bibliographical Society.

The wife of University Chancellor David K. Scott, Kathleen Scott is a founding co-chair of the campus beautification committee. She is also currently working with officials of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library to establish a Massachusetts Center for the Book at UMass. Under the auspices of the Library of Congress, such a center would help to support the state''s writers and publishers, and sponsor activities to promote literacy and the love of books and reading.

Scott holds an A.B. from Colorado College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. She has received major grants in support of her work from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the British Academy, and the Getty Grant Program, and she has won fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the Woodrow Wilson Program, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She taught most recently at Michigan State University, where she was an adjunct professor at the Center for Integrative Studies, 1990-92.

With 30,000 members around the world, the Modern Language Association of America is the largest and one of the oldest of American learned societies in the humanities. Established in 1883, it exists to advance literary and linguistic studies.