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Medieval and Renaissance (Special Collections): Home

This guide contains resources about science, religion, arts, and travel in the Middle Ages.

What's in this Guide?

colorful illustration of an illuminated manuscript in which monsters are consuming unidentified animals. This research guide identifies Special collections materials related to science, religion, art, and travel during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. 


General Resources to Get Started

Special Collections owns four extensive collections of facsimiles, in addition to many individual volumes in either facsimile or primary form.

Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile are mostly ecclesiastical works, but not entirely.

For excellent descriptions of the volumes in our collections, see these external websites:

Some Helpful Definitions

ambo - a pulpit from which the Bible was read

cartulary - a register listing all of the deeds, or charters, of a monastery or estate

codicology - the study of manuscripts

ecclesiastical - relating to churches

facsimile - an exact copy of a book or manuscript

illuminated manuscript - a book with brightly colored illustrations, highlighted with gold or silver

liturgical - referring to public worship

manuscript - a book created or reproduced by hand

paleography - the study of ancient handwriting

parchment - a writing surface made from animal skin, like vellum

schemata - a diagram or sketch showing details

travelogue - a record of travels, or information about traveling

vellum - a writing surface made from animal skin, like parchment

Special Collections Contact Information

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Special Collections
1015 Volunteer Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 974-4480

We are open Monday-Friday: 9AM-5PM. Go to Visiting Special Collections for more information on how to request materials.