University of British Columbia: Centuries-Old Medieval Manuscripts Added to Library Collection
The acquisition of two outstanding medieval manuscripts – including a rare 13th-century Bible – has bolstered UBC Library’s rare book holdings and provided valuable, real-life texts for teaching and learning.
“These were very strategic acquisitions,” said Siân Echard, head of UBC’s department of English. “They bring the Library’s medieval collection to an entirely new level.”
UBC Library purchased the titles by auction in December. They include a “student Bible” and a private devotional book called a Book of Hours. Both purchases were entirely donor-funded; the Bible cost about $172,000, while the Book of Hours cost about $39,000.
Student Bibles were typically produced in Paris for the university market so pupils and professors could use them for their daily studies. However, UBC Library’s Bible was made in Oxford, England around 1250, making it the only one of its kind in a Canadian collection.
The thick, gorgeous manuscript features intricate text in Latin, which is punctuated by blue and red initials. Notes from past users are scribbled in the margins, while a handwritten “concordance” – or reference section – is featured at the back.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.