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Medieval and Renaissance (Special Collections): Religion

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

Rare Books and Primary Sources

 A leaf from a small Book of Hours. illustrations on the lefthand column
A leaf from a small Book of Hours

16th/17th century:  Special Collections owns many Bibles from Dr. Shaheen's collection.  If you go to the library catalogue and search for "Shaheen" you will get the list, with descriptions.  They are primarily (but not exclusively) Geneva Bibles, and most are in English.  The collection also includes Psalters, Books of Common Prayer, commentaries, and other books.

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

14th/15th century: Book of Hours (Leaves from 14th and 15th century illuminated manuscripts of French and Sicilian origin.) MS 0714

15th century: A Noble Fragment, Being a Leaf of the Gutenberg Bible, 1450-1455; with a bibliographical essay by A. Edward Newton (An actual page from one of the first edition Bibles, bound into a book of commentary about it.) Oversize: Z241 .B581M

15th century: Biblia Integra: Summata: Distincta: Accuratius Reemedata: Vtriuso, Testamenti Cocrdantijs Ilustrata  (a Bible with "Interpretationes.") BS75 1495

16th century: A true report of the disputation or rather priuate conference had in the Tower of London (This records conferences with William Fulke, Roger Goad, John Walker and William Charke, held in September, 1581.) BX1763 .N6 1583

16th century: A discoverie of the manifold corrvptions of the Holy Scriptures by the heretikes of our daies : specially the English sectaries, and of their foule dealing herein by partial & false translations to the aduantage of their heresies in their English Bibles vsed and authorised since the time of schisme. BS470 .M3 1582

16th century: Della institutione di tutta la vita dell’ huomo nato nobile, et in citta libera : libri diece in lingua Toscana (A tiny vellum-bound volume about moral education.) B3551 .P5

17th century: Sacra institutio baptizandi : matrimonium celebrandi : infirmos ungendi : mortuos sepeliendi : ac alii nonnulliritus ecclesiastici : iuxta usum insignis Ecclesiae Sarisburiensis.(A handbook for ministers.) BX2035 .A25 1604

17th A cloud of faithfvll witnesses, leading to the heauenly Canaan (A commentary on the book of Hebrews, by M. William Perkins.) BS2775.2 .P4 1608

Facsimiles and Reproductions

English only

10th/11th The Caedmon manuscript of Anglo-Saxon Biblical poetry, Junius XI in the Bodleian library (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

14th Queen Mary’s Psalter (Miniatures and drawings reproduced from Royal ms. 2 B. VII in the British Museum.) Oversize: ND3357.Q8 W3

15th A reprint in facsimile of a treatise speakynge of the arte & crafte to knowe well to dye / translated oute of frenshe in to englysshe. By William Caxton. Oversize: Z241 .A8 1875

15th Ars moriendi / that is to saye the craft for to deye for the helthe of mannes sowle. (Photolithograph of the unique and perfect copy, printed about 1491 by William Caxton or Wynken de Worde, preserved in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.) Z241 .A8 1891

English and another language

9th Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe im Originalformat der Handschrift Ms. Douce 180, Apokalypse (In addition to the Latin Psalter, there is commentary in Old French and annotations from an 18th century owner.) BS2825 .B59 1981

An image of Noah's Ark from the Beato de Turin
An image of Noah's Ark from the Beato de Turin

10th/12th The Exultet rolls of south Italy (Sepia photos, with a translation and description.  Illustrations are upside down for viewing as the roll progressed over the ambo.) ND3380.E9 A8

  11th De virginitate Sanctae Mariae (An illuminated manuscript from Cluny; the illustrations are notably different from later books.) ND3385 .I44 2010

  14th The Luttrell psalter (Lavish illustrations of daily life, with an introduction in English.) ND3357 .L8 L86 2006

  15th The Belles heures of Jean, Duke of Berry (Many color plates, with the English commentary facing the facsimile pages.) ND3363 .B5 1974


  8th Beato de Turín (volume 2 has illustrations and commentary in Italian.  This facsimile was featured in the 2010-2012 Library Development Review, which can be found in Trace. Oversize: ND3361 .R5 B43 2000

  15th Biblia latina, Moguntiae (This is a Gutenberg Bible, of 42 lines, in two huge volumes.) Oversize: BS75 1454a


  15th The Grandes heures of Jean, Duke of Berry (Large, beautiful illustrations, with commentary nearby.) Oversize: ND3363.B5 G713 1971, Oversize: BX2080 .A2 1971b

Modern Books

 Christ enthroned from the Book of Kells. completely illustrated manuscript page.
Christ enthroned from the Book of Kells

8th The Book of Kells : reproductions from the manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin (Full-color reproductions of all full-page illustrations, and many smaller illustrations as close-ups with commentary.)  Oversize: ND3359.B7 B65

14th The Madresfield Hours (This has four color and 46 b/w plates, with good commentary, about at little known book of hours.) Oversize: ND3363.M3 B3

15th Les Très riches heures du Duc de Bery (This begins with 26 pages of background, followed by 139 color plates of the miniatures, with commentary on each.)  ND3363.B5 T713 1969

Special Collections and University Archives

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Go to Special Collections for more information.