19 May 2017

The Medieval Hebrew Manuscripts Given by John Claymond

John Claymond (d.1537), first President of Corpus Christi College,
as depicted on his funerary brass in the College Chapel
Books in Hebrew in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, fall into three groups. There are miscellaneous printed books acquired at a variety of dates ranging from the first years of the College's existence, to 21st-century electronic versions. There are also a few miscellaneous manuscripts acquired from various sources, mostly before the 18th century. For the present we will look at the third, most important, group: the seven 13th-century English manuscripts given to the College by John Claymond, the first President. They have been described as "the most important collection of Anglo-Hebrew manuscripts in the world".

Each of these seven deserves a separate blog post, but we will provide here a brief overview.

14 Apr 2017

A Greek First Edition and its Manuscript Exemplar


In addition to books that are overtly "treasures", the exhibition includes a number that require the visitor to look closely in order to understand why they are so special, unusual, or important. The great interest of two such books only becomes apparent when they are placed side by side.

2 Mar 2017

The Trilingual Library: Latin

MS 50 and MS 84, as exhibited together at the Folger
Printed books and manuscripts in Latin occur in every section of the exhibition, except those devoted exclusively to Greek and Hebrew books, so it did not seem necessary to include many in Section II, specifically devoted to "Latin", one of the three main languages of the Trilingual Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

In the Folger arrangement this section consists of two pairs of books. I hope to devote a blog post to each pairing, of which this is the first.

18 Feb 2017

"Pray for the soul ..."


A large number of the books listed in the 1589 catalogue of the Library (to be the subject of a later blog post) can be conclusively identified with books still in the collection today, thanks to the fact that they include inscriptions recording that they were given by Richard Fox, who died in 1528: they ask readers to pray for the soul of Richard Fox, former bishop of Winchester, founder of Corpus Christi College, who is recorded as having given the book.