Update on digitisation during Michaelmas 2020

Digitisation and photographic work went on uninterruptedly during the most recent lockdown and the period of restrictions before. The team involved in the process over the past three months (i.e. Tim Dungate, Alina Nachescu, Dr Rahel Fronda, Joanna Bek and the Keeper of Special Collections) managed to make available in digital form another significant number of  important items from the following collections:

Western Manuscripts

MS 87 - Missal (Use of Sarum)

This early fifteenth-century Missal produced in England contains prayers, hymns, and biblical passages read by the priest during the celebration of the Latin Mass throughout the year. The “Use of Sarum” refers to the Anglo-Saxon and Norman liturgy codified in the eleventh century by St. Osmund, Bishop of Sarum (Salisbury).

MD 94 - Hours of the Virgin (Use of Rome)

Fifteenth-century handsomely illuminated prayer book for the laity used for private devotion. Originally, each of the hours was introduced by a full- page miniature, within a full flower and vine border. This manuscript clearly spent its early life in France. It reached Christ Church Library from William Wake, as is noted by a nineteenth-century pencil inscription.

MS 99 - Historical Miscellanies

The volume compiled during the thirteenth century comprises five originally separate manuscripts, including Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, Aristotle's Secreta secretorum, and Pope Innocent III's De sacro altaris mysterio.

MS 153 - John Lydgate, Troy Book (c1470-1500)

Lydgate's Troy Book is one of the many attempts in medieval vernacular poetry to recount the story of the Trojan war. The poem, a verse narrative minutely faithful to its source, is a translation of Guido delle Colonne's Historia destructionis Troiae, a late thirteenth century Latin prose work so popular that it survived in about a hundred manuscripts. For more details, please see Another Lydgate Manuscript Digitised at Christ Church Library.

MS Allestree M.3.1 - Tristram Sugge's Scholastique Catechisme (Oxford, 1648)

The manuscript consists of a doctrinal manual for the Christian Church discussing mainly patriarchal kingship, authority, ecclesiology, the Law of Moses and the Sabbath. There are also two other incomplete draft treatises near the end of the volume. This, together with a significant number of other little studied manuscripts by Tristram Sugge now reside in the Allestree Library at Christ Church. For more details, please see Bringing to Light an Unknown Manuscript in the Allestree Library.

Hebrew collections

ME.3.21 - Biblia Hebraica: Iyov (...) Divre ha-yamim

Incunable edition of the Hagiographa (Writings of the Hebrew Bible) containing commentaries by Levi ben Gershom, Solomon ben Isaac, Joseph ben Simeon Kara and Pseudo- Solomon ben Isaac. The book was printed in 1487 but later owners have added marginal annotations and corrections in Hebrew. Additional Information: Rahel Fronda, ‘Collection of Hebrew Incunabula at Christ Church', in Christ Church Library Newsletter, Volume 11 (2019-20).

MF.2.1 - Biblia Hebraica: Nevi’im Rishonim ...

Incunable edition published in Soncino containing commentaries by David Kimhi of the Former Prophets in Hebrew. The volume was printed in 1485 but later owners have added marginal annotations and corrections. Additional Information: Rahel Fronda, ‘Collection of Hebrew Incunabula at Christ Church', in Christ Church Library Newsletter, Volume 11 (2019-20).

Early printed collections

Aldrich 1.1 - The Funeral Procession of Sir Philip Sidney

Also known as 'Lant’s roll', this is a remarkable object published in 1588. The series of engravings constituting it comes to a total of over 10 metres. There are 344 figures represented in this funeral procession. In most cases, their names, rank and function are inscribed in the space above them. Apart from the complete set at Christ Church, there is an incomplete copy at the British Library and a roll is held by Society of Antiquaries of London. For detailed descriptions, please consult the record in SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online).

 * For other news related to Special Collections, please go the library Exhibitions and Events.

* To see the library holdings digitised so far, please go to Christ Church Digital Library.