Manuscripts for Medieval Studies Project: First manuscript online

The first digitised manuscript from the Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project has been published online and is accessible via the Library’s Digital Collections site.

Part of the Virtual Trinity Library Programme, the project is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and focuses on sixteen important manuscripts used in the teaching of medieval studies.  

The fifteenth-century manuscript (TCD MS 360) was once in the possession of Queen Elizabeth I’s famous astrologer, the mathematician John Dee (1527-1608/9), but its true significance lies in its status as the earliest surviving catalogue of the oldest recorded book collection in England. This was the library founded at Canterbury in the late sixth century by the Christian missionary St Augustine (d.604).

TCD MS 360 f.27r – opening page of the main catalogue list

The manuscript, which references over 1,700 texts, is a hugely important resource for anyone with a scholarly interest in the development of library collections during the medieval era. 300 of the texts identified within it are now housed across collections including the British Library, The Parker Library, the Bodleian Libraries and more. This is the first time it has been made so widely accessible, and the current project has utilised recent research in producing a detailed catalogue entry and bibliography of secondary sources. This is available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, MARLOC.

You can read more about the Manuscripts for Medieval Studies project on our Research Collections blog. For more details on the contents and context of this manuscript, see this blog post.

There are many more manuscripts which will be featured as part of this project, and further updates and posts will appear on the Virtual Trinity Library website, the Research Collections blog, @TCDResearchColl twitter, and @TCDLibrary Instagram.

Estelle Gittins

Virtual Trinity Library is a digitisation initiative of the Library of Trinity College Dublin’s most valued collections. It will conserve, catalogue, curate, digitise and research these unique collections of national importance, making them accessible to a global audience, from schoolchildren to scholars.