Selected manuscript holdings
Ranulf Higden. Polychronicon. England, ca. 1375.
Ranulf Higden was a Benedictine monk of the Abbey of St. Werburg in Chestershire, England. His Latin-language Polychronicon professes to be a universal history of the world from the beginning of time to 1342. As the most complete history available to the 14th century reader, it was a very popular text and remained so through the next century; London printers William Caxton and Wynkyn de Worde both produced editions of the English translation of the Polychronicon in the 1480’s and 1490’s.
- Call number: 091 H534 Vault Collection Quarto
Selected manuscripts in facsimile
Bestiary. England, 12th century.
Bestiaries were popular in the 12th and 13th centuries, particularly in England. A bestiary describes animals – both real and imaginary – and provides moral or allegorical interpretations of their characteristics or behavior.
- Call number: PA 8275 .B4 1982 Rare Book Collection
Selected manuscripts online
Aberdeen Bestiary (England, ca. 1200) at the University of Aberdeen
This website includes an English translation of the Latin text as well as extensive commentary on both the manuscript and its text.
Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophae (Catalonia, 15th century), at the Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley
A Catalan translation of a philosophical work by Boethius (480-524 or 525), a Roman statesman, which was influential throughout the Middle Ages.
Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (England, early 15th century) at Corpus Christi College, Oxford
An incomplete manuscript of this still-popular Middle English poem.