227 manuscripts dating from the 8th- to the 15th-century.The library at Hereford Cathedral is famous as one of the few surviving `chained libraries'; but the contents of the books secured to the seventeenth century presses are less well known. There are 227 western manuscripts, of which about half have been at the cathedral since before the Reformation. They range in date from the eighth to the fifteenth century, and include finely-illustrated patristic books of the twelfth century, a large collection of Oxford University legal textbooks, and books of civil and canon law from the end of the thirteenth century. Over half the volumes survive in largely intact medieval bindings.
The catalogue, begun by the late Sir Roger Mynors and completed by Professor Thomson, reflects the particular strengths of the collection. The many glossed books are described using a particularly effective system devised by Sir Roger Mynors. An introductory essay by Michael Gullick describes the medieval bindings, and the plates cover not only illumination and bindings, but medieval pressmarks and ownership inscriptions, as well as examples of scripts.
18 colour, 110 black and white, 6 line illustrations
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A comprehensive and consistent approach, difficult to believe it will ever be superseded... ensplendoured by a large number of informative plates, no fewer than forty-five of them in full colour...contribute(s) a good deal to our knowledge of the circulation of books and the places where they were made. MEDIUM AEVUM Thomson's introduction is required reading for anyone interested in medieval books and libraries. The same can be said about Gullick's account of the bindings, which breaks new ground... As for the catalogue itself... my guess is that this one will survive very well. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW Majestic catalogue...the library has here received a worthy monument. SPECULUM