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[skrip-tawr-ee-uh m, -tohr-] /skrɪpˈtɔr i əm, -ˈtoʊr-/
noun, plural scriptoriums, scriptoria
[skrip-tawr-ee-uh, -tohr-] /skrɪpˈtɔr i ə, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA)
a room, as in a monastery, library, or other institution, where manuscripts are stored, read, or copied.
1765-75; < Medieval Latin scrīptōrium; see script, -tory2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for scriptorium
  • They were found in the vicinity of a large table, which suggested a scriptorium, a room designated for the copying of manuscripts.
  • The style and application method of the pigments varies depending on the century and location of the scriptorium or monastery.
  • The scriptorium of the monastery was usually located over the chapter house.
British Dictionary definitions for scriptorium


noun (pl) -riums, -ria (-rɪə)
a room, esp in a monastery, set apart for the writing or copying of manuscripts
Word Origin
from Medieval Latin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for scriptorium

writing room set aside in monastic communities for the use of scribes engaged in copying manuscripts. Scriptoria were an important feature of the Middle Ages, most characteristically of Benedictine establishments because of St. Benedict's support of literary activities. All who worked in scriptoria, however, were not monks; lay scribes and illuminators from outside the monastic foundation reinforced the clerical scribes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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