Venice in Peril

Venice in Peril Lecture Series

Coming Home:
The Repatriation of the Boston Mariegole

Lisa Fagin Davis
Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America

Friday 5 July 2024

Lecture - 6.30-8:00pm
A glass of wine is included with your ticket


Alan Baxter, The Gallery
77 Cowcross Street
London EC1M 6EJ

The entrance to The Gallery is at the far end of the courtyard


In Renaissance Venice, confraternities and workmen’s guilds played a fundamental role in religious, social and civic life. Each confraternity had its own book of policies and rules, called a mariegola. While researching two mariegole belonging to the Boston Public Library in Massachusetts (one a codex and the other a mere fragment), manuscript scholar Lisa Fagin Davis discovered that they had been stolen from the Venetian Archivio di Stato during World War II. In this lecture, Dr Davis will tell the story of her discoveries and research that led to the mariegole's repatriation to Venice in 2017.


Dr Lisa Fagin Davis has catalogued medieval manuscript collections at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Walters Art Museum, Wellesley College, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Boston Public Library, and several private collections.

Her publications include: the Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, Vol. IV (with R. G. Babcock and P. Rusche, Tempe, 2004); The Gottschalk Antiphonary (Cambridge University Press, 2000); numerous articles in the fields of manuscript studies and codicology.

With Melissa Conway, Davis is co-author of the Directory of Pre-1600 Manuscripts in the United States and Canada, published online by the Bibliographical Society of America. In 2016, she co-curated the major exhibition “Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections” at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Dr. Davis was elected to the Comité international de paléographie latine in 2019 and has served as Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America since 2013.