Medieval manuscripts go online in digitisation project

Trinity Hall has begun the exciting task of digitising some of its most important and beautiful medieval manuscripts.  This is part of the Library’s commitment to the preservation of these manuscripts, and to sharing them with anyone who would like to do research on them.

The first five selected manuscripts were given to the College by Robert Hare (d. 1611) and date from the 12th to the 15th century. They were obtained from the monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII.

Digitised manuscripts

Ms 1. History of St Augustine’s abbey. Thomas of Elmham’s (1364-c1427) history of St Augustine’s Abbey contains elaborate chronological tables and facsimiles of many lost Anglo-Saxon charters. It contains two magnificent full page illustrations

Ms 2. Ralph of Flavigny on Leviticus. This is one of the earliest copies of an important commentary on Leviticus. It contains illuminations by the artist known as the ‘Simon Master’.

Ms 3. Doctrinale ecclesie contra blasfemias Wiclef. This manuscript contains a letter from Thomas Netter of Walden (c. 1374-1430) to Pope Martin V, and his Doctrinale antiquitatum fidei, a work against the heresies of John Wycliffe.

Ms 12. De consolatione philosophiae. This early French translation of Boethius’ Consolations of Philosophy is full of lively coloured illustrations. There is an interesting mix of religious and secular depictions of suffering.

MS 17. Contra Lollardorum. There are only three copies of Twelve Lollard Heresies in known existence. The Trinity Hall copy is the presentation copy made for Richard II in 1395 and has beautiful illuminations.

We are grateful to the generosity of alumni who paid for the digitisation, and for the advice and expertise of Professor Nigel Morgan and the staff at Cambridge University Library’s Digital Content Unit. We hope that many of our most important medieval manuscripts and early printed books will be added to the Cambridge Digital Library on an ongoing basis.