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Medieval and Renaissance (Special Collections): Arts & Letters

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

Rare Books and Primary Sources

 A page from a liturgical text with musical notation
A page from a liturgical text with musical notation

12th-17th century: Page from a Latin Liturgical Manuscript (Contains both text and music, decorated with red ink.) MS [Marco]

  15th century: M Tullii Ciceronis De officiis liber tertius et ultimus (Cicero's texts, surrounded by commentary.) PA6296 .D5 1481

  16th century: Scelta di facetie, motti, bvrle, et bvffonerie del piouano Arlotto & altri auttori (Humorous stories, no illustrations.) PN6023 .M3 1594

  16th century Rime et prose de m. Giovanni della Casa. (59 poems, a treatise, and an oration, no illustrations.) PQ4617 .C6 1579

  17th century Henrici Spelmanni equit. anglo-brit. Archæologvs in modvm glossarii ad rem antiquam posteriorem (A dictionary of medieval Latin, volume one, A-L) PA2925 .S7 1626

  20th century J. Douglas Bruce Collection (His notes for teaching Anglo-Saxon language and literature) MS 1383

Facsimiles and Reproductions

English Only:

10th/11th The Caedmon manuscript of Anglo-Saxon Biblical poetry (After 127 pages of introduction, there are 231 pages of manuscript, illustrated with pen and ink drawings from Genesis, Exodus, and Daniel.) Folio: Z115Z .C13

12th-16th Manuscript Tanner 346 (An anthology of poetry with discussions of handwriting, production, etc.) PR1203 .B58 1980

14th The Vernon manuscript : a facsimile of Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Eng. poet. A.1 (A collection of various texts, including Piers Plowman, for codicology and paleography.) Folio: PR1120 .V47 1987

Other Languages:

9th Liber Ymnorum of Notker Balbulus I (Medieval neumes are printed next to modern musical notation and lyrics, includes commentary.) BV170 .H5 v. 121 (and v. 122)

12th-13th Le chansonnier de l’Arsenal (Original music, transcribed into modern notation.) M2.8 .C33

13th Cantigas de Santa María (Volume 1 is the facsimile with lavish illustrations but no music; volume 2 has commentary and transcribed music, as well as eight pages of plates.) Oversize: ML96.5.A54 C3 1989

14th Il codice Trivulziano 1080 della Divina commedia (A facsimile of the original manuscript.) Oversize: Z115Z.D2 T7

Modern Books

9th-14th Forked branches (Provencal troubadour poetry translated by Ezra Pound.) PS3531.O82 F6

11th-16th Documents de sculpture française, publieés sous la direction de Paul Vitry (192 plates of French sculpture, decorations as well as statues.) Oversize: NB543 .V5

14th The Ellesmere miniatures of the Canterbury pilgrims (Includes relevant verses and commentary for each figure.) PR1868.P8 S7 1979

 Sculptural relief from France above a doorway
Sculpture from France

14th The Auchinleck manuscript (Sepia photos of this manuscript of romantic poetry.) Oversize: PR1203 .A9 1977

15th The dictes and sayings of the philosophers (Translation of Arabic philosophy.) B745.D5 M8

15th The Facetiae of Poggio the Florentine (Includes 273 humorous anecdotes about papal figures, translated into English.) PN6261 .A45 no.5

15th The Gutenberg documents (Descriptions and translations of the personal papers of Gutenberg.) Z126 .S37


Die römischen mosaiken und malereien der kirchlichen bauten vom IV. bis XIII (Volumes 1 and 2 have commentary in German, Volumes 3 and 4 have large, full-color, fold-out illustrations of mosaics and frescoes from the Middle Ages.) Oversize: N7952 .W5


Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile (Volumes 1, 12, 19, and 23 are particularly focused on Literature topics).  

Special Collections and University Archives

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