Medieval manuscripts in IWU’s Special Collections

The Ames Library is pleased to participate in IWU’s “A Year with The Saint John’s Bible”! The first volume completed for The Saint John’s Bible project, Gospels & Acts, will be a featured part of many campus activities and presentations in Spring 2018. From June – December 2018, we will have the Pentateuch Heritage Edition.

Illuminated initial letter Q

16th Century illuminated Q

The original is on vellum and was created in using traditional medieval techniques of calligraphy and illumination. Illinois Wesleyan’s Special Collections holds 11 vellum leaves of medieval manuscripts (see more images below) and one bound folio of liturgical music created in that same era.

Manuscripts, meaning documents created by hand, are part of the historical evolution of books and one of the many book arts traditions used to enhance the way we convey information. Some manuscripts like The Saint John’s Bible are illuminated, or decorated, also by hand and hand bound.

The Special Collections vault in Tate Archives & Special Collections on the library’s 4th floor holds these and thousands of other unique items that curious minds are welcome to explore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.