The thought, art, and culture of the book in the Middle Ages is well represented in the Rare Book Collection. Classes and researchers holds a strong teaching collection of manuscript leaves and codices, along with printed theological and devotional books. In addition, facsimiles of key works in the study of European art, history, and literature are widely used in the classroom. One large collection of facsimiles can be traced in our online catalogue through their donors: George W. Radimersky and Ruth Radimersky.
A collection of approximately forty incunabula (books printed before 1501) provide a good overview of the diverse approaches to European printing in a variety of regions and languages before the beginning of the sixteenth century.
The collections also show renaissance efforts to reproduce and edit works from classical antiquity. A working list of editions of Greek and Latin Classical Authors contains hundreds of volumes printed by European and American printing houses between the fifteenth and the nineteenth centuries, showing the diversity of works across time. These are accompanied in the collections by translations of the works into English and adaptations of the classical past in visual culture, maps, and emblems.
This video pulls back the layers of use found on the pages of a medieval New Testament.