Medieval and Early Modern Collections

In addition to significant holdings of facsimiles of medieval manuscripts, a teaching collection of codices and manuscript leaves, examples of early printed works, and a wide range of secondary sources, Special Collections holds collections of the working papers of respected medievalists and collections from specialist book collectors. Materials in these collections can be located through Library Search.

Print collections

Cover of Autobiography of a Fugitive Negro by Samuel Ringgold Ward from 1855.William John Cameron Collection

Collected by William John Cameron (1878-1955), an executive of the Ford Motor Company, this collection includes books printed in the United Kingdom between the 16th and early 19th centuries on theology, law, philosophy, politics, literature and more.

Page from La historia di C. Crispo Sallustio book.John Tedeschi Rare Italian Reformation Collection

John Tedeschi, a former librarian and Renaissance scholar, donated this collection to the Medieval Institute. It includes several examples of fine Italian printing and book production.

Cover of Good History and Bad, an inaugural lecture delivered in The University of Birmingham by R. H. C. Davis in 1971.R. H. C. Davis Collection (1773-1990)

R. H. C. Davis was a British scholar specializing in medieval history, particularly architecture and art history. Dr. Davis kept notebooks throughout his life which document his war service and his research including architectural notes and sketches of structures in Great Britain, Europe and the Middle East. Special Collections also holds some of his personal library.

Flier from The Image of the Royal Hall in Beowulf lecture given by professor Edward B. Irving at King's College in 1986.Edward B. Irving, Jr. Old English Collection (1930-2001)

Dr. Irving taught medieval literature at the University of Pennsylvania from 1960 to 1993. Included in this collection are class lectures, critical studies of medieval literature such as Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and typescripts of his books.

Typed notes on Rosemary Woolf's The Devil in Old English Poetry.The Aelfric Archive (1886-1998)

This archive includes source materials for Dr. Luke Reinsma’s Aelfric: An Annotated Bibliography (1987). Aelfric, Abbot of Eynsham, wrote Anglo-Saxon Homilies, translated the Bible and wrote on various subjects including sermons, grammar and poetry.

Typed letter from Belgium historian Raoul Van Caenegem to professor Bryce Lyon.Bryce Lyon Correspondence Collection (1949-2007)

Correspondence between medieval historian Bryce Lyon and other scholars in the United States, United Kingdom and Belgium can be found in this collection.

Adoration of the Magi from the Hours of Charles of Angoulême.Facsimile Leaves Collection (1996-2013)

This collection contains reproductions of leaves of various medieval and early modern manuscripts. 

Digital collections

Cistercian antiphonary and hymnal circa 1173 to 1291.Monastic and Medieval Digital Collections

These collections feature digital versions of monastic and medieval materials. This group of collections includes the Medieval Document Collection, Medieval Manuscript Variants in Aelfric of Eynsham’s Catholic Homilies, Cistercian Liturgy Series, Cistercian Reference Works, Internal Congress on Medieval Studies programs and schedules, and more.