In summer 2018 Kate Waggoner-Karchner (History) completed a research trip to Spain where she visited Oviedo, Salamanca, and Toledo to view and potentially photograph three manuscripts. The first, held at the Oviedo cathedral, is a key part of a dissertation chapter on challenges the Church faced in the fifteenth century. Kate was able to meet with the archivist and study the manuscript and the archive’s catalog, which is unpublished. She was able to confirm the manuscript's origin and that several of the texts in it directly relate to her topic. After taking notes on the features of the manuscript and some of the marginalia, the archivist allowed her to photograph the key text in its entirety, as well as several marginal notes from other texts and watermarks.
Then on to Salamanca, where she met with her advisor, Ryan Szpiech, who was teaching in Granada, and several Salamanca professors, including one who personally held a second manuscript she was interested in seeing. She was allowed to photograph the entire manuscript, which has never before been studied. After carefully going through the photographs and labeling everything, she identified a missing folio, a fact she was able to confirm the next day, along with several other minor features, so she now has comprehensive notes for future use. While this document’s features and contents do not fit directly into her dissertation topics, she plans to write up a short notice about it for one of several appropriate journals on medieval manuscripts.
Finally, she spent a day in Toledo where she met with one of the cathedral archivists and was able to identify the third manuscript (the old catalog did not have the most recent shelf-markings) and study that item in situ. She confirmed not only that this was a copy of Contra legem that scholars had not previously identified, but that it was created in the same context as the manuscript in Oviedo (making it another critical source for her chapter on the Church). In addition to using it in the dissertation, she plans to include it in her write-up on new copies of Contra legem for publication.