Selected manuscript holdings
Vulgate Bible (Latin), France, 13th century.
The Vulgate Bible was the Bible translation used by medieval readers, based on St. Jerome’s late 4th- and early 5th-century translation of Hebrew and Greek texts into Latin. During the 13th century theologians in Paris somewhat standardized the text of the Bible, organizing books of scripture in a set order and creating chapter divisions (chapter numbers appear in the margins of this manuscript). Besides the Biblical text, this manuscript also contains a table of liturgical readings, a chart showing the harmony of the gospels, and a prologue by Jerome.
- Call number: 091 B47L Vault Collection
Old Testament (Latin), France, 1468. This illuminated Bible contains the books of Genesis to Psalms, with apocrypha (Tobias, Judith, the 3rd and 4th Books of Esdras), and prologues by St. Jerome. Highly illuminated, it is decorated with three full-page borders of painted flowers, forty-one large initials in gold and colors with marginal decorations.
- Call number: 091 B47L 1468 Vault Collection
Selected manuscripts in facsimile
Book of Kells, British Isles, 8th century.
A full-color facsimile of the Book of Kells (Library of Trinity College, Dublin, Ms. 58), one of the most famous medieval manuscripts in the world. The manuscript contains the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and is renowned for its lavish decoration and Insular script. The book would have sat at the high altar of a church instead of being kept in a monastic library for reading and consultation.
- Call number: 091 B47k 1990 Vault Collection Quarto
The Ramsey Psalter, England, late 12th century.
A psalter contains the text of the book of Psalms, along with prayers and hymns for worship. In the early Middle Ages, psalters were often produced by and for monastic communities. Later, the psalter would become popular as a text for private devotion. This psalter was made at Ramsey Abbey in Huntingdonshire, England. Currently, five folios of the original manuscript are housed at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City, while the rest of the manuscript is owned by the Abbey of Sankt Paul im Lavanttal in Austria.
- Call number: 091 C286rm 1996 Vault Collection
Selected manuscripts online
Latin Gospel Book (Germany, ca. 1250) at the Royal Library of Denmark
Latin Gospel Book (France, 9th century) at the Bibliotheque municipale de Laon
Latin Bible (Italy, 13th century) at the Collegio di Spagna, Bologna, Italy