Manuscript Collections

Special Collections maintains a small collection of manuscripts that date from antiquity to the present.  The collection is intended to demonstrate the physical characteristics of the book before printing, and it contains a wide variety of scripts and materials from various time periods.  From antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, the collection includes:

  • Eight cuneiform tablets from the Ur III and Old Babylonian periods
  • Around a dozen manuscripts in book form, ranging in date from ca. 1150 to ca. 1600
  • Over 200 leaves and fragments, including seventeenth century book collector John Bagford’s manuscript leaves and fragments, Fragmenta Manuscripta, dating from the eighth to the seventeenth century
  • A handful of leaves from the Koran, palm leaf manuscripts, and other examples of manuscripts from non-Western cultures

Finding Aids for Manuscript Collections

Cuneiform Tablets

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Special Collections holds eight cuneiform tablets whose exact provenance is unknown. Seven of the tablets were donated to MU Libraries by the…

Fragmenta Manuscripta

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​Fragmenta Manuscripta is a collection of over 200 manuscript leaves and fragments dating from the eighth to the seventeenth century. Originally…

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts

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The collection is available to all researchers. Request materialsfor use in the Special Collections reading room. These materials have been collected…

Modern Manuscripts and Correspondence, ca. 1700-1992

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Special Collections holds modern manuscript materials in the form of books, correspondence, and personal papers. These materials were collected at…

Pages from the Past Collection

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Pages from the Past is a collection of manuscript and rare book leaves compiled and sold by a New York book dealer Alfred W. Stites from 1964 to 1967.…

Selected Items

Civil law with gloss

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Provenance: John Bagford (1650s-1716) to St. Martin-in-the-Fields; sale 1861 to Sir Thomas Phillipps, n.15758; his sale 22 May, 1913, lot 742; Sir…

Part 1: Letter Part 2: Note

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Provenance: John Bagford (1650s-1716) to St. Martin-in-the-Fields; sale 1861 to Sir Thomas Phillipps, n.15758; his sale 22 May, 1913, lot 742; Sir…

Bible, glossed

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Contents: Contains Philippenses 2, with commentary.

Psalter, glossed

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Provenance: John Bagford (1650s-1716) to St. Martin-in-the-Fields; sale 1861 to Sir Thomas Phillipps, n.15758; his sale 22 May, 1913, lot 742; Sir…

De virginibus ad Marcellinam sororem suam De viduis

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ff. 48 - Bound, s. XV, in vellum, with the flap from the back cover folded over the text block. Paper - 220 x 155 mm - 36 long lines, frame ruled. 3…

Epistulae

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Contents: Contains part of a letter of Arnulf of Lisieux to pope Alexander III.

Chess problem

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Contents: From the same manuscript as Fragmenta Manuscripta 194.

Consuetudinary

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Provenance: John Bagford (1650s-1716) to St. Martin-in-the-Fields; sale 1861 to Sir Thomas Phillipps, n.15758; his sale 22 May, 1913, lot 742; Sir…

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