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Here you learn more about the manuscripts you see in the course.  In entries that include "Images Online," you can click through to see digitization of the sort discussed in the 1.5 Accessing Manuscript Images video.  We hope you'll enjoy exploring these manuscripts!

Week 1

1.4 Why do old books matter?

Repository
: Stanford University Library
Shelf mark: Barchas Collection, KA1469 .P5 F
Title: Libros naturalis historiae nouitiu[m] Cam[a]enis Q[ui]ritiu[m] tuo[rum] opus natu[m] apud me proxima f[a]etura licentiore epistola narrare co[n]stitui tibi iocu[n]dissime imperator
Imprint: Restituit Venetis : me nuper Spira Ioannes ..., 1469.
Date: 1469
Language: Latin
Physical Description: [712] p. ; 41 cm.
Catalog Entry: http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/728070

Week 1 Practicum: How to transcribe a medieval text

Repository: Stanford University Library
Shelf mark: Stanford, Green Library, MSS Codex 0877
Title: Elizabeth of York’s Prayer Book
Date: c. 1200-1225
Description: An abbreviated liturgical manuscript containing Latin prayers for the vigils of Easter and Pentecost. It is written by one main scribe on quires of vellum, with some additional text in a later hand, and other signs of ownership. 
Provenance: The manuscript may have been copied in Westminster, London. Westminster is certainly its provenance. It came to Stanford University in 2013 from the bookseller, Les Eluminures.
Catalog Entry: searchworks.stanford.edu/view/10353412
Images Online: http://purl.stanford.edu/cb532cr9486

Practical Paleography Exercise 1: Simple Caroline Miniuscule

Repository: Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Shelf mark: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 430
Title: Ferrandus, Letter to Count Reginus
Date: late 9th or early 10th century
Description: This parchment manuscript contains this 6th-century treatise instructing soldiers how to live a Christian life by the North African deacon Ferrandus along with two other early medieval texts of moral instruction.
Provenance: The manuscript was written at the abbey of Saint-Amand in northern France  but soon exported to England. Annotations were added to it, probably at St Augustine’s abbey in Canterbury, in the 10th century.  Later in the Middle Ages it seems to have been at Glastonbury abbey before being donated to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge by Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury (1504-1575).
URL: http://parkerweb.stanford.edu/parker/actions/manuscript_description_long_display.do?ms_no=430


Week 2

2.2 Papyrus

Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Michaelides 835
Title: Document
Date: 4-5th century
Description: A Greek document containing a list of names written on papyrus.
Provenance: Written in Egypt, possibly in the city of Faiyum. It was acquired by Cambridge University Library in the 1970s from the collection of George Michaelides (1900-1973), a Greek-Egyptian collector of antiquities.

2.3 Parchment

Repository
: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Ff.1.23
Title: Anglo-Saxon Psalter
Date: first half of the 11th century
Description: The text of the Book of Psalms is written on parchment in alternating lines of Latin (in black) and Old English (in red) by a single scribe. The manuscript contains four full-page miniatures, showing King David, the Crucifixion, Christ in majesty and Christ trampling on a lion and a basilisk. It has a splendid 16th-century gold-tooled binding.
Provenance: The script and decoration suggest that the manuscript was made in a monastic scriptorium in south-east England; Ramsey abbey (Cambridgeshire) and Christ Church, Canterbury (Kent) have been put forward as possible candidates. It was given by Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury (1504-1575) to Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal (1510-1579) who then donated it Cambridge University in 1574. His donation is recorded on a bookplate at the front of the manuscript.

Practical Paleography Exercise 2: English Vernacular Minuscule

Repository
: Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Shelf mark
: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 162
Title: Old English homilies
Date: early 11th century
Description: This parchment manuscript contains a collection of homilies in Old English, mostly by Ælfric, abbot of Eynsham (c. 955-c. 1010).
Provenance: The manuscript was written in a monastery in south-east England, perhaps in Rochester or Canterbury (Kent). In the 16th century it was owned by Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury (1504-1575) who donated it to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1574.
URL: http://parkerweb.stanford.edu/parker/actions/manuscript_description_long_display.do?ms_no=162


Week 3

3.4 The Scroll

Repository: Stanford University Library
Shelf mark: M1225
Title: Processus Martini P.[apae] IV [aliis II] contra Petru[m] Arragonae et Palaeologum
Date: ca. 1281
Language: Latin
Physical Description: 1 vellum scroll (ca. 8 feet long)
Description: Martin IV (pope from 22 Feb 1281 to March 28, 1285) completely reversed the policies of his predecessors by throwing his support to the king of France. This unusually long and detailed document issued by the papal chancery against the Emperor of Byzantium Michael VIII Palaeologos and King Peter III of Aragon illustrates the consequences of this reversal: it threatens both rulers with excommunication unless they promptly comply with the pope's commands. Both Michael Palaeologos and Peter of Aragon were eventually excommunicated. This conflict between the Holy See with the emperors of the East and the Kings of Aragon has received much attention by historians.
Catalog Entry: http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/4501478

Week 3 Practicum

Shelf Mark: Dd.4.24 (see Course 2, below)

Practical Paleography Exercise 3: Protogothic

Repository: Walters Art Gallery
Shelf mark: W. 12
Title: On Christian Rulers
Date: c.1080-c.1180
Description: "Created in the mid twelfth century in Germany, this manuscript contains the much earlier writings of the Irish scholar Sedulius Scotus. Writing in the mid ninth century at St. Lambert in Liège, Scotus famously penned this treatise on the duties and ideals of the Christian king or prince. It is the earliest version of a genre that would become popular in the later medieval and Renaissance periods, often known as "mirrors for princes." This manuscript is the second oldest copy of Scotus' treatise known, the earliest being from the ninth century (Bremen, Stadtbibliothek Ms. C. 36). The text is virtually complete, missing only its first and last folios, and is written in a clear Romanesque Caroline minuscule script."--Walters Art Gallery (see URL below)
Provenance: Germany
URL: http://www.thedigitalwalters.org/Data/WaltersManuscripts/html/W12/description.html

Week 4

4.3 Pricking and Ruling 1

Shelf mark: Ii.2.11
Title: Gospels in West Saxon (see Week 5 below for full entry)


Repository
: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Ii.3.26
Title: Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Date: 1425-1450
Description: A parchment copy of the Canterbury Tales written in Middle English.
Provenance: The dialect of the scribe or scribes who wrote this manuscript corresponds to an area around South Lincolnshire/North Norfolk in the east of England. The manuscript contains the names of numerous 15th- and 16th-century owners; it passed through many hands before being acquired by Cambridge University Library in 1664.
Catalog Entry: http://www.medievalscribes.com/index.php?browse=manuscripts&id=23&navlocation=Cambridge&navlibrary=Cambridge%20University%20Library&nav=off


Repository
: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Ii.1.33
Title: Old English homilies and saints’ lives
Date: c. 1150-1200
Description: A collection of over 50 homilies and saints’ lives written by Ælfric, abbot of Eynsham (c. 955-c. 1010). The texts are written in Old English but marginal notes have been added to the text in English, Latin and French.
Provenance: The manuscript was copied in one or more monasteries in South-east England; scholars have suggested Rochester (Kent), Christ Church Canterbury (Kent), Ely (Cambridgeshire) and Barnwell (Cambridgeshire). It was owned in the 16th century by Archbishop Matthew Parker (1504-1575) who donated it to Cambridge University Library in 1574.
Images Online: http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-II-00001-00033

4.4 Pricking and Ruling 2

Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Dd.5.5
Title: The Breviary of Marie de Saint Pol
Date: c. 1330-1340
Description: An illuminated prayer book made for the noblewoman Marie de Saint Pol, Countess of Pembroke (c. 1304-1377) and founder of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Her coat of arms is found in several places in the manuscript, for example on fol. 388r. It contains prayers, hymns, psalms and readings for the second half of the liturgical year (from Pentecost to the start of Advent). It is richly decorated with 39 miniatures, illuminated borders and numerous figures in the margins. All the illustrations are by a single Parisian artist who is known as Mahiet.
Provenance: The manuscript was made in Paris for Marie and is probably one of the two breviaries mentioned in her will. It is not known how it entered the Cambridge University Library collection.
Catalog Entry: http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-DD-00005-00005


Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Ee.2.31
Title: Aristotle, Works
Date: c. 1250-1275
Language: Latin
Description: This manuscript contains several of the most important texts of the philosopher Aristotle including the Physics and
Metaphysics in Latin translation. His works reached medieval Europe via the Islamic world and revolutionised the teaching of philosophy and the natural sciences in the medieval universities.
Provenance: Written in England, probably in Oxford. One of a group of manuscripts which all share the same layout and decorative features and are believed to have been written in Oxford. The manuscript was given to Cambridge University Library in 1715.

Practical Paleography Exercise 4: Early Gothic

Repository: Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Shelf mark: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 222
Title: (probably) Richard of Saint-Victor's Tractus de conceptione Christi
Date: 1200s
Description: It has been damaged by damp at the top margin. It has marks of ownership that suggest its localization is Christ Church, and it was included in an early catalogue made at that cathedral monastery.  It is written in a very clear Gothic bookhand (or textura), which is most easily characterized by its angularity (look at the shoulders of the minim strokes in the m and n; look at the penstrokes that make up the letter o). The general aspect (the overall look) is somewhat backward leaning. The presence of biting letters—that is, letters which are conjoined by one shared penstroke—is indicative, too, of Gothic script (note the –de- biting in ardenti in line 5) and the biting double –p- in prophete in line 9). Ascenders are relatively short, and often split, with a tag to the left. Minims are finished with serifs to the right on the line. The letter a  is two-compartment, with the top closing down on the bottom bowl. There are two forms of d – the roundbacked d with the curved back; and the straight-backed d. Notably, in terms of date, the Tironian nota (for et, as in line 5) is now crossed and sits on the line. For more on Gothic script, see Albert Derolez’s The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books.
Provenance: Written at Christ Church, Canterbury—the most senior institution in medieval England—in the thirteenth century.

Week 5
Paleography

Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Ii.2.11
Title: Gospels in West Saxon
Date: c. 1050-1072
Description: A copy of the four gospels together with two apocryphal texts, the Gospel of Nicodemus and the Vindicta Salvatoris written in the West Saxon dialect of Old English. The gospels are divided into a large number of short chapters, each with a heading indicating the feastday on which it should be read. This manuscript also acted as a store for important records. Documents giving details of land sales and manumissions (the freeing of slaves) were copied onto blank leaves at the beginning and end of the manuscript. Some of these leaves were removed from the manuscript and bound into a different book; they are still in the cathedral library at Exeter.
Provenance: Written in Exeter cathedral priory as part of a copying programme instituted by Bishop Leofric (d.1072) and given by Leofric to the priory. It remained there until the 16th century when the dean of Exeter gave it to Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury (1504-1575). Parker gave the manuscript to the University Library in 1574.
URL: http://www.le.ac.uk/ee/em1060to1220/mss/EM.CUL.Ii.2.11.htm 
Images Online: http://www.le.ac.uk/english/em1060to1220/catalogue/surrogates.htm#Exeter [Exeter portions of ms]

Practical Paleography Exercise 5: Later Gothic

Repository: Walters Art Gallery
Shelf mark: W. 83
Title: Latin Breviary
Date: c. 1420
Description and Provenance: A breviary, or prayerbook.  It was written for the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and St. Lambert in Liege.  Its description in the Walters catalogue reveals that the manuscript has several clues about its origin and localization, including prayers to the congregation of this religious institution in Liege.  Specific textual contents of a manuscript, like this, provide some of the main evidence for assessing the attribution of a manuscript's origin.
Images Online: http://www.thedigitalwalters.org/Data/WaltersManuscripts/W83/data/W.83/sap/


Week 6
Scribal Practices: CUL Kk.4.24
KK 4 24
Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Kk.4.24
Title: Latin sermon collections
Date: c. 1400-1425
Description: This manuscript contains two sermon collections copied by the same scribe. The first collection is a unique copy of a Latin collection known as Exhortationes by the Dominican John Bromyard arranged in order for the Church year. The second is a much more random collection; most of the sermons are in Latin, some are in English while others are ‘macaronic’ (a mixture of English and Latin). Almost uniquely, notes have been added to many of the sermons indicating where they were preached, showing that the book was owned and used by a travelling preacher.   
Provenance: Written and used in the Bedfordshire/Buckinghamshire area of central England. 

Scribal Practices in Transition: CUL Ii.1.33

Repository
: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Ii.1.33
Title: Old English homilies and saints’ lives (for more on this manuscript, see Week 4)
Date: c. 1150-1200
Description: A collection of over 50 homilies and saints’ lives written by Ælfric, abbot of Eynsham (c. 955-c. 1010). The texts are written in Old English but marginal notes have been added to the text in English, Latin and French.
Provenance: The manuscript was copied in one or more monasteries in South-east England; scholars have suggested Rochester (Kent), Christ Church Canterbury (Kent), Ely (Cambridgeshire) and Barnwell (Cambridgeshire). It was owned in the 16th century by Archbishop Matthew Parker (1504-1575) who donated it to Cambridge University Library in 1574.
Images Online: http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-II-00001-00033

Scribal Practices and Ownership: CUL Dd.5.5

Repository
: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Dd.5.5
Title: The Breviary of Marie de Saint Pol (for more on this manuscript, see Week 4)
Date: c. 1330-1340
Description: An illuminated prayer book made for the noblewoman Marie de Saint Pol, Countess of Pembroke (c. 1304-1377) and founder of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Her coat of arms is found in several places in the manuscript, for example on fol. 388r. It contains prayers, hymns, psalms and readings for the second half of the liturgical year (from Pentecost to the start of Advent). It is richly decorated with 39 miniatures, illuminated borders and numerous figures in the margins. All the illustrations are by a single Parisian artist who is known as Mahiet.
Provenance: The manuscript was made in Paris for Marie and is probably one of the two breviaries mentioned in her will. It is not known how it entered the Cambridge University Library collection.
Catalog Entry: http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-DD-00005-00005

Practical Paleography Exercise 6: Gothic Textura
CCCC 61, folio 2 recto
Repository: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College
Shelf mark: Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 61
Title: The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
Date: c. 1415-1425
Description: This manuscript, with the famous frontispiece of the poet reading to an assembled crowd of nobles, contains one of the best versions of Chaucer’s long Romance, Troilus and Criseyde. It is a presentation copy. Written in Rhyme Royal, this manuscript’s layout clearly delineates the seven-line stanza form of the poem.
Provenance: London


Course 2, Digging Deeper: The Form and Function of Manuscripts (Spring 2015)


Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Dd.4.24
Title: Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Date: c. 1390-1420
Description: An early manuscript of the Middle English Canterbury Tales which was copied either shortly before or shortly after Chaucer’s death in 1400. It is written by a single scribe on quires of paper and parchment.  
Provenance: The manuscript was probably copied in London. It came to Cambridge University Library in 1715 from the library of John Moore, Bishop of Ely.
Images Online: http://www.chaucermss.org/dd

Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Gg.5.35
Title: The Cambridge Songs manuscript
Date: c. 1039-1060
Description: This manuscript is principally known for the ten leaves at the end which contain a famous collection of Latin lyric poems, many with musical notation, known as the ‘Cambridge Songs’. These poems were originally written in the Rhineland area. The rest of the manuscript contains a varied collection of early Christian and classical verse and prose texts arranged into classbooks for educational use in the abbey.
Provenance: Written and used at St Augustine’s abbey, Canterbury, it seemed to have remained there until the Reformation. The manuscript was bought by Cambridge University Library in 1672.

Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Gg.1.1
Title: Trilingual compendium of texts
Date: c. 1307-1350
Description: This enormous volume of over 1200 pages contains a huge variety of verse and prose texts: literary, historical, grammatical, scientific, astronomical, prophetic, theological, pastoral and devotional. The majority of them are written in Anglo-Norman (the French of medieval England) but some are written in English or Latin and some are bilingual. Many of the texts are illustrated, including treatises on the properties of the earth and the human brain.
Provenance: Nothing is known about the medieval ownership of this manuscript except that it was written and read in England. It was given to Cambridge University Library in 1715. 
Catalog Entry: http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/view/MS-GG-00001-00001

Repository: Stanford University Library
Shelf mark: MISC 0305
Title: Manuscript fragment of the Gospels and Canonical Epistles, glossed
Date: 12th century
Language: Latin
Physical Description: 18 leaves, detached.
Description: Infamous biblioclast Otto Ege owned a 12th-century French glossed bible in the first half of the 20th century. During the 1940s and 1950s this manuscript was broken apart and individual leaves were used in his portfolio set 'Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts'. Copies of this portfolio set, of which forty are known to have existed, were sold throughout North America and were purchased by public and academic libraries. At the time of this reconstruction, 33 institutions holding leaves from this glossed bible have been identified - there are more out there, as the manuscript reconstruction is still far from complete.
Stanford owns 18 leaves from this manuscript, which comprised the third and fourth Gospels and The Canonical Epistles, glossed, in at least 105 leaves. The Gloss on St. John was composed in the eleventh century by Anselm of Laon (d. 1117) and the Gloss on the Canonical Epistles probably dates from about 1100 and may be the work of Anselm or his brother Ralph (d. 1133).
Catalog Entryhttp://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/4083458
Images Online: http://purl.stanford.edu/kq131cs7229

Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark
: Ii.3.21
Title: Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy
Date: early 15th century (before 1424)
Description: A parchment copy of Boethius’ Latin prose and verse work interspersed with an English translation by Geoffrey Chaucer, followed by a 13th-century commentary on the Consolation of Philosophy by William of Aragon.
Provenance: The dialect of the Middle English translation suggests that it was written by a scribe from Kent. The manuscript was donated to Cambridge University Library before 1424 by John Crowcher who had been a fellow of Gonville Hall in Cambridge. It is one of the very few manuscripts listed in the library’s earliest catalogue which are still present in the collection today, almost 600 years later.

Repository: Cambridge University Library
Shelf mark: Or. 948
Title: Śiśupālavadha, Kirātārjunīya, Mālatimādhava
Date: Unknown
Description: A Sanskrit manuscript from Kashmir written on birch bark containing epic poems.
Provenance: The manuscript was donated to Cambridge University Library in 1916.