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Early print collection
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A Booke of Christian Prayers leaf

Item is a leaf from A Booke of Christian Prayers (commonly known as Queen Elizabeth's Prayer Book as it was reputedly designed for her private use), a collection of private devotions and prayers published by in London by Richard Day. The leaf (folio 115) contains part of a prayer and is illustrated with woodcut borders of memento mori (including gravediggers' shovels, skeletons, the aged and infirm, and bodies in tombs) and the Dance of Death.

Aeneid leaf

Item is a leaf from an edition of Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid printed by Giunta in Lyon in 1505. The leaf features text from Book V of the poem and a half page woodcut illustration depicting the Trojan hero Aeneas consulting with his companions Nautes and Acestes (at upper right) while the Trojans rest in Sicily before continuing their voyage. The woodcuts were created by an unknown late master of the Gruninger workshop and were reused in later editions in 1519 and 1522.

The Aeneid was written between 29 and 19 BCE by the Roman poet Virgil, and is one of the greatest classical epic poems. The Aeneid tells the story of the aftermath of the fall of Troy to the Greeks, and the subsequent founding of the Roman nation. A partial translation of the text of this leaf reads:

Choose out the old men full of years and sea-worn matrons, and all of your company who are weak
and fearful of peril, and let the wearied find their city in this land. This city, if you permit the name,
they shall call Acesta.

Then, indeed, kindled by these words of his aged friend, he is torn asunder in soul amid his cares.
And now, borne upwards in her chariot, black Night held the sky, when there seemed to glide down
from heaven the likeness of his father Anchises and suddenly to utter thus his words: "Son, dearer to
me than life, in days when life was mine; son, tested by Illium's fate! I come hither by Jove's
command, who drove the fire from your fleet, and at last has had pity from high heaven. Obey the fair
advice that aged Nautes now gives; chosen youths, the bravest hearts, lead to Italy. A people hard and rugged in nature must you subdue in Latium. Yet first approach the nether halls of Dis, and through the depths of Avernus seek, my son, a meeting with me.

Aeneis Virgiliana leaf - Liber II, CV-CVI

Item is a leaf from book two of Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid printed by Jean Crespin in 1529. The recto features a large woodcut of the Greeks exiting the Trojan horse and preparing to attack Troy from within. The verso contains lines 250-267 surrounded by commentary by J. Badius Ascensius.

Attack on Jinzhou Fortress

Item is a Japanese triptych of senso-e prints, created by Ginko Adachi, depicting events from the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895).

Biblia Latina bifolium

Item is a continuous bifolium from a Biblia Latina printed in Venice by Franciscus Renner of Heilbronn. The bifolium contains chapters 30-35 of the Book of Ecclesiastics and features hand-painted majuscules and glossing in red and black ink.

Biblia Latina leaf

Item is a leaf from a Biblia Latina printed by J. Sacon of Lyon for Anton Koberger of Nuremberg. Leaf contains verses 19:6-24:4 of the Book of Ecclesiastes and features a large woodcut of its translation from the original Hebrew to Greek. A partial transcription of the leaf reads:

Beginning with "Qui peccat": "He that sinneth against his own soul, shall repent... hast thou heard a word against thy neighbor? Let it die within thee... a wise man will hold his peace til he see opportunity: but a babbler, and a fool, will regard no time... a man wise in words shall make himself beloved: but the graces of fools shall be poured out... he that keepeth justice shall get the understanding thereof. The perfection of the fear of God is wisdom and understanding..."

Biblia Sacra Polyglotta leaf

Item is a leaf from a polyglot Bible compiled by Brian Walton and his collaborators that presents the text of the Bible in nine languages as an aid to biblical study. This leaf (pages 87-88) comes from the Book of Ecclesiasticus (also known as the Wisdom of Sirach) and features side-by-side comparisons of the text in four languages: Latin, Greek, Syriac, and Arabic.

Book of hours leaf

Item is a leaf from a printed book of hours from Paris featuring illuminated and gilded initials and borders.


Calendar for part of August and September with golden numbers, dominical letters, and feast days.

Caspar Sasgerus minorita De cultu & ueneratione sanctorum

Item is a Reformation-era theological pamphlet entitled "On the worship & veneration of the saints" by Kaspar Schatzgeyer (1463-1527), a Catholic Franciscan teacher and biblical scholar from Bavaria who strongly defended Catholic tradition while adopting a conciliatory approach to Martin Luther's reforms.

Cornucopia of Nicholas Perottus leaf

Item is a leaf (793-796) from the Cornucopia of Nicholas Perottus, the learned Bishop of Sipontum, and is a commentary on the Epigrams of Martial and other ancient authors. Item was printed by Aldus Manutius of the Aldine Press in Venice.

Decretals of Gregory IX leaf

Item is a leaf from the second volume of Decretales Pape Gregorii... mit der Glosse des Bernardus Parmensis, printed by Peter Drach in Speyer, Germany in 1486. The Decretals of Pope Gregory IX were an important collection of medieval canon law, and in this edition were accompanied by commentary by the noted Italian canonist Bernard of Botone, also known as Bernard of Parma. The Decretals of Gregory IX is one of four works that make up the Corpus Juris Canonici, the collection of papal decisions that compromised the law of the Catholic Church and governed papal lands. The Decretals is organized into five books covering church government, procedure, clerical life, marriage, and criminal law.

The leaf contains an excerpt from a general encyclical (a papal letter on doctrine) in the center of the page surrounded by related decretals (papal decrees relating to canon law) and/or commentary.

Divine Comedy leaf

Item is a leaf from an edition of Dante Alighieri's narrative poem the Divine Comedy that was printed in Venice in 1507 for Bartholomeo de Zanna da Portese. The leaf contains part of Canto XXII of the Inferno, with commentary by Cristoforo Landino. It features several woodcut initials and an illustration of Dante and Virgil observing sinners suffering in a pool of burning pitch. A partial translation of the text reads:

Before this I've seen horsemen start to march
and open the assault and muster ranks
and seen them too, at times beat their retreat;

and on your land, o Aretines, I've seen
rangers and raiding parties galloping,
the clash of tournaments, the rush of jousts,

now done with trumpets, now with bells, and now
with drums, and now with signs from castle walls,
with native things and with imported ware;

Early print collection

  • CA MRUASC C0001
  • Collection
  • 1477-1904

Collection illustrates the early development of movable type printing in Europe. Collection consists of printed books including a book of hours, leaves from Bibles, hagiographies, liturgical texts, Japanese woodblock prints, and works of history, literature, and canon law.

Folio 104

Item is folio 104, the recto titled "The lyfe of Saynt Cuthberd" (The life of Saint Cuthbert), and the verso titled "The annunciation of our lady." The verso features a small woodcut illustration of the Angel Gabriel greeting Mary at the Annunciation, which appears to have been deliberately obscured with ink, now faded. Saint Cuthbert was a 7th century Anglo-Saxon bishop and hermit from Northumbria.

Folio 125

Item is folio 125, the recto titled "The lyfe of Saynt Dunston" (The life of Saint Dunstan), the verso titled "The lyfe of Saint Aldelme" (The life of Saint Aldhelm) and featuring a woodcut illustration of Aldhelm in bishop's robes with a mitre, crozier, and book. The woodcut appears to have been deliberately obscured with ink, now faded, and the text has been expurgated with the word "pope" crossed out 4 times on the verso.

Saint Dunstan was a 10th century English bishop, and Saint Aldhelm a 7th century Anglo-Saxon bishop and scholar.

Folio 127

Item is folio 127, titled "The lyfe of Saynt Austyn" (The life of Saint Austin), although the recto also contains the end of "The lyfe of Saynt Dunston" (The life of Saint Dunstan). The leaf has been expurgated, with the word "pope" crossed out six times on the recto, and once on the verso.

Saint Austin, more commonly called Saint Augustine of Canterbury, is considered a founder of the English Church due to his missionary work in England in the 6th century, and was also the first Archbishop of Canterbury.

Folio 164

Item is folio 164, the recto titled "The tra[n]slacyon of Saynt Thomas of Ca[n]terbury" (The translation [or movement of the relics] of Saint Thomas of Canterbury), and the verso titled "The lyfe of Saynt Kenelme kynge & martyr" (The life of Saint Kenelm, king & martyr). The leaf is expurgated, with the title of the recto crossed out and the two columns of text on recto obscured with large x's.

Saint Thomas Becket was a 12th century Archbishop of Canterbury who was murdered after a dispute with King Henry II of England over the rights of the Church. He was canonized and his shrine at Canterbury was a major pilgrimage site until its suppression by Henry VIII. Saint Kenelm was a legendary murdered boy king of Mercia.

Folio 165

Item is folio 165, titled "The lyfe of Saynt Kenelme kynge & martyr" (The life of Saint Kenelm, king & martyr), although the verso also includes the introduction to The lyfe of Saynt Margarete (The life of Saint Margaret). The text is expurgated, with the word "pope" crossed out 5 times on the verso. Saint Kenelm was a legendary murdered boy king of Mercia, and Saint Margaret the Virgin was a legendary martyr.

French-Latin book of hours leaf

Item is a leaf from a bilingual book of hours printed in Paris, and featuring hand-painted initials. The text is divided into two columns with the French text in the larger left hand column, and the Latin text on the right. The leaf contains part of the text for Vespers from the Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, including the hymns "Ave Maris Stella" (Hail, Star of the Sea) and the "Canticle of Mary" (also known as the Magnificat or Song of Mary). A partial translation of Ave Maris Stella reads:

All hail star of the sea, God's mother clear and bright,
The happy gate of bliss, and still in virgin's plight.

Galenus de ossibus ; De usu partium corporis humani

Item contains two medical texts written by the ancient Greek physician Galen bounded into one volume. The first work, Galenus de ossibus (On bones for beginners), was translated by the Italian physician and humanist Ferdinando Balami was published in 1549. The second book, De usu partium corporis humani (On the use of the parts of the human body) was translated by the Italian scientist Niccolo da Reggio was published in 1550.

Item has a German pigskin binding. The front cover has an impression of a personification of Justice, and an impression of on the legendary Roman woman Lucrece on the back cover.

Garden of Health leaves

File contains two leaves illustrated with woodcuts from the Hortus Sanitatis (Garden of Health) printed in Strasbourg by Johann Pruss. One leaf is from the second section "De Animalibus" (Of Animals) featuring articles about water snakes, field crickets, and hedgehogs, and hyenas. The other leaf contains the prologue of the third section "De Avibus" (Of Birds) and articles about eagles, peacocks, and falcons.

The Hortus Sanitatis is a comprehensive natural history encylopedia that contains descriptions of animals, plants, fish, birds, and minerals, including their medical uses or curative properties. Originally published by Jacob Meydenbach in 1491, the Hortus Sanitatis proved very popular and was printed in many editions in various languages.

Gassho Dojikun [combined book of children's textbook]

Item is an illustrated textbook for children from Edo Period, created by Suaraya Gensuke and six other authors. The textbook covers a wide range of topics and subjects including moral teachings, historical events, times tables, geography, reading, math, and defines important relationships such as those between a feudal lord and followers, father/son, husband/wife, and parents/children etc.

German book cover

Item is a detached cover of a 16th century book, likely of south German origin. The cover is made of wood and blind-tooled leather (with numerous bookworm holes), and features decorative brass corners and a central boss.

German book cover and binding fragments

File consists of a detached cover of a 16th century book, likely of German origin, and 9 fragments recovered from the book's binding. The cover is made of wood and blind-tooled leather decorated with geometric patterns and miniature portraits. It features a brass central boss, and two damaged leather straps, one complete with a decorated metal clasp, the other partial. The cover is accompanied by 9 fragments of the book's binding, including 7 recycled medieval manuscript fragments, a head or tail band, and one of the cords that would have attached the covers and the quires/gatherings of leaves.


File contains seven volumes of gesaku/gokan manga books created by leading artists, Ryukatei Tanekazu and Ryukatei Senka. Gesaku and gokan were an early forms of manga that consisted of cheap and humorous editions of fables, legends, epics, and romances.

Golden Legend leaves

File contains five leaves from Wynkyn de Worde's English edition of the Golden Legend (Legenda aurea), Jacobus de Voragine's popular collection of hagiographies, or the lives, deeds, and martyrdoms of the saints. De Worde was a famous early English printer and an apprentice and later successor to England's most famous printer, William Caxton. Most leaves relate to the lives of English saints. Some leaves are illustrated with woodcuts, and a number have been expurgated, with references to the pope, certain saints, and illustrations deliberately crossed out, likely reflecting changing attitudes to the papacy and the cult of saints during the English Reformation.

Gospel sequences - Saint John

B2 verso. Features a historiated metalcut border of Saint John holding a poisoned cup with a dead man at his feet, from an apocryphal tale in which Saint John is challenged by Aristodemus, the pagan chief priest of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, to drink a cup of poison in order to prove his faith.

Gospel sequences - Saint John

B2 verso. Features an overpainted metalcut of Saint John the Evangelist on the island of Patmos with a vision of the Virgin and Child in the sky. John has his gospel on his lap and is accompanied by an eagle, his evangelist symbol.

Hore beate Marie virginis s[e]c[un]d[u]m usum ecclesie romane : totaliter ad longum cum multis suffragiis et orationibus.

Item is an illuminated book of hours printed in Paris at the workshop of the brothers Gilles and Germaine Hardouyn, printers and illuminators who specialized in books of hours. The book is printed on octavo vellum leaves, with most of its 194 pages containing 23 lines of black letter text. Text pages are decorated with a variety of historiated and ornamental metalcut borders (depicting allegorical, biblical, or other religious scenes) and initials illuminated in gold on blue or red grounds. It also features 29 metalcuts overpainted to look like miniatures, including 12 large and 13 small illustrations, and 4 historiated borders. The book also features a 17th century French citron morocco binding, tooled in gilt to a panel design with drawer-handle and volute tools. Text is in Latin, with a colophon at the end in Middle French.

Hours of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Lauds

D7 recto. Features an overpainted metalcut of Augustus and the Tiburtine Sybil. The Roman emperor consults the prophetess, who reveals a celestial vision of the Virgin and Child, while a young man looks on. According to medieval legend, when Augustus consulted the Sibyl about whether he should accept apotheosis (recognition as a god after his death), she prophesied the coming of Christ and revealed a vision of the Virgin and Child on the site of the future Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli in Rome.

Japanese woodblock printing

Series contains volumes and prints that were created using Japanese woodblock printing techniques. Woodblock printing was introduced to Japan during China's Han Dynasty but didn't become widespread in Japan until the Edo period (1603-1868). Woodblock printing became particularly popular among ukiyo-e artists. The process involved applying water-based coloured ink to relief carvings.

Series contains senso-e war prints, ukiyo-e style prints, manga books, and an educational book for children.

Kelmscott Press Golden Legend leaf

Item is leaf from the Kelmscott Press edition of Jacobus de Voragine's Golden Legend, which was itself based on Wynkyn de Worde's 1527 edition. The leaf consists of pages 497 and 498 of Volume II, covering the Life of Saint Aldhelm and the end of the Life of Saint Dunstan, with ornamental initials designed by William Morris.

William Morris was an influential English artist and designer, a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and a founder of the Arts and Craft movement. Morris founded the Kelmscott Press in 1891 and used traditional printing and paper design methods to make handmade books that were inspired by the medieval period.

Kinka Shichihenge [Seven transformations of the golden flowers] - vols 17-20

Item is four volumes (17-20) of the Kinka Shichihenge, or Seven Transformations of the Golden Flower, manga series bound together. This manga series was published by Kinshodo towards the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867), and contains woodblock illustrations by the famous illustrator, Utagawa Kunisada. The plot centers around evil cat spirits, called nekomata, that cause problems for the human characters.

Kreuterbuch leaf

Item is a leaf (folio 386) from the first illustrated edition of Hieronymus Bock's New Kreuterbuch von Underscheidt, Würckung und Namen der Kreuter, so in teutschen Landen wachsen (New plant book of differences, effects, and names of plants that grow in German lands), a herbal (a book describing the properties and uses of plants) printed in Strasbourg by Wendel Riehel. The leaf features a woodblock illustration designed by David Kandel of an apple tree with a serpent and Adam's skull and leg bone, referencing the Book of Genesis.

The Kreuterbuch is notable because Bock chose to classify the 700 plants he covered according to their observed characteristics, an innovation that anticipated modern botany, whereas earlier herbals had categorized plants according to Classical Greek systems.

Leaf from the Nuremberg Chronicle

Recto of leaf (folio CCLXVIII) features a large woodcut illustration of a city in Hungary, and the verso features a large illuminated initial and paraphs in red and blue.

Leaf from the Nuremberg Chronicle

Leaf (folio CVIIII) features woodcuts of martyrs (Policarpus, Praxedes, Felicitas, Ptolemy, and Aulus Gellius) and heretics (Montanus and Apelles) on the recto, and popes from 174 to 222 (Anicetus, Soter, Eleutherius, Victor, Zephyrinus, and Calixtus) on the verso.

Lives of the Saints leaf

Item is a leaf (folio 192) from Catalogus Sanctorum et Gestorum Eorum (A Catalogue of Saints and their Acts), a collection of saints' lives by Petrus de Natalibus, printed in Leiden by John Thomas. This leaf includes hagiographies of Catholic saints and martyrs, each preceded by a small woodcut illustration, including: Pope Pelagius I; the Spanish martyrs George, Aurelius, Natalia, and Felix; Anastasias of Persia; and the prophet Daniel (depicted in the lions' den).

Hagiographies, collections of semi-fictional stories of the lives of Christian saints, were immensely popular in medieval Europe. The Catalogus Sanctorum was originally published in 12 volumes and went through a number of editions.

Masoretic Hebrew Bible leaf

Item is a leaf from a masoretic Hebrew bible. The masoretic text is the traditional authoritative text on the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible in Rabbinic Judaism. The masoretic text defines Jewish canon and codifies the precises spellings, vocalizations, and didactic marks of words according to ancient rules.

Missal leaf

Item is a leaf (folio XXXVII) from a missal, possibly printed by the Leipzig printer Konrad Kachelofen or his son-in-law Melchior Lotter. Leaf features a historiated initial and text in black and red. A missal is a liturgical text that contains instructions and texts required for celebrating Mass.

Nuremberg Chronicle leaf - sexta etas mundi - folium CI

Item is a leaf from folio 101 of the Nuremberg Chronicle printed by Anton Koberger for Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kammermeister. Leaf contains a full page woodcut depicting Jesus surrounded by the twelve apostles. Symbols in the corners represent the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Nuremberg Chronicle leaves

File contains two leaves from the Liber Chronicarum (Book of Chronicles), commonly known as the Nuremberg Chronicle, an illustrated biblical and world history published by Hartmann Schedel. The book was printed in Nuremberg by Anton Koberger and illustrated with woodcuts by Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. The Liber Chronicarum is notable for being one of the first printed books to successfully integrate illustrations with text.

Office of the Dead

K1 verso. Historiated metalcut border featuring a naked corpse awaiting burial lying on a shroud beside a churchyard cross and a wooden grave marker.

Opera Omnia (Aristotle) leaf

Item is a leaf (folio 256, volume VI) of the first printed edition (editio princeps) of Aristotle's Opera Omnia (Complete Works) in the original Greek, printed by Aldus Manutius in Venice. This edition, printed between 1495 and 1498, was significant because it was the first major classical Greek prose collection to be compiled and printed in its original language, a major scholarly and technological feat. This and other Greek editions printed by the Aldine Press greatly helped the humanist scholars of the Renaissance to access and study classical works in their original form.

P. Virgilii Maronis Poetarum principis opera accuratissime castigata : cum XI acerrimi iudicii virorum commentariis Seruio presertim atque Donato nunc primum ad suam integritatem restitutis excusa.

Item is a volume containing three works by the Roman poet Virgil: the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the Aeneid. The volume was printed in Venice by Lucantonio Giunta and contains 115 large woodcuts. The volume also contains commentary on the original poems by Josse Badius, Domizio Calderino, Marcus Valerius Probus, Servius Maurus Honoratus, Tiberius Claudius Donatus, Antonio Mancinelli, Cristoforo Landino, Agostino Dati, Pomponio Leto, Filippo Beroaldo, and Valeriano Pierio Bolzanio.

Penitential psalms

H7 verso. Overpainted metalcut of King David repenting. A kneeling David prays for forgiveness outside the walls of Jerusalem with two bodies at his feet, while an angel descends bearing a sword and arrow, symbols of war.

Plantin Antwerp Polyglot Bible

Item is a leaf from the Book of Samuel taken from the Plantin Antwerp Polyglot Bible. The Plantin Polyglot, also known as the King's Bible, was printed by Christopher Plantin and supervised by the Spanish theologian, Benito Arias Montano. The work translated the Bible into five languages: Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Aramaic, and Syriac.

Ptolemy's Geographica leaf

Item is a leaf from book two of Ptolemy's Geographica depicting the coordinates for the southern French city of Narbonne. Leaf was printed by Melchior and Gaspar Trechsel in Lyons, France. Ptolemy was an ancient geographer, astronomer, and mathematician. The Geographica consisted of eight volumes and contained eight thousand place names and coordinates that contributed profoundly to the advance of geographic knowledge.

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