Friday, September 25, 2009

13th-Century Manuscript Bible

A page from a medieval manuscript featuring an elaborately illuminated initial which runs the length of the page.This week we were fortunate to acquire an illuminated Vulgate Bible manuscript produced in Paris ca 1230-1240.  Portable, single-volume Bibles containing both the Old and New Testaments were an innovation of the early-13th century, and Paris was the major manufacture center for these Bibles.  This manifestation of the bible created a new way for the clergy and some wealthy lay people to interact with the text.  Rather than the "books" of the bible, this single-volume format helped to create the Book that most people today know as the Bible.

The copy we have just acquired is a somewhat lavish production, but one where the text takes primacy.  There are over 80 illuminated initials, many of them containing grotesques.

The manuscript will be available for use in Rauner Library immediately after its arrival sometime in mid October.

October 7 update: it's arrived and is ready to use!