Manuscript Bibles in Special Collections
September 21, 2011
This manuscript Bible, a 13th century Old Testament in Latin, is currently on display in the Library’s exhibit “The Life and Legacy of the King James Bible: Celebrating 400 Years.” Special Collections owns several other manuscripts which contain the text of the Latin Bible, including an illuminated Old Testament created in 15th century France and a 13th century tome which comprises the book of Isaiah (with extensive commentary).
Portions of the Latin Bible were used in a variety of medieval liturgical books, such as psalters, breviaries, books of hours, lectionaries, and antiphoners. These books would have been used in private devotion and public worship services. Special Collections contains a wealth of facsimiles of these sorts of manuscripts, from different periods and geographic areas of medieval Europe. Some of our most recent acquisitions include facsimiles of the Douce Apocalypse (an illustrated copy of the Book of Revelation), the Luttrell Psalter (an illuminated copy of the Book of Psalms), and the Book of Hours of Jeanne D’Evreux (a devotional manuscript created for a medieval princess). To find these facsimiles and other manuscripts in the library catalog, perform a genre search for “manuscripts facsimiles” or specific types of manuscripts, such as “books of hours” or “psalters.”