CCC MS 180, f. 1r, detail


10- 11 April 2014

Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Following the success of last year’s Parker Library symposium and exhibition on Herbert of Bosham, it was decided to establish an annual event celebrating important but neglected figures in English medieval history.  Adam Easton (d.1397) is long overdue for serious scholarly attention.  The image shown here is from Easton’s copy of the De pauperie salvatoris of Richard FitzRalph, archbishop of Armagh (Parker Library MS 180).

The full conference programme and booking form are now available.

Please email the Parker Library staff if you have any questions.

MS 180, f.1r

A two day conference on Adam of Easton will be held in the Parker Library on 10 & 11 April 2014. Speakers will include Anne Hudson, Lynda Dennison, Patrick Zutshi & Nicholas Vincent.

The full conference programme and application form will be available here in the early spring. In the meantime, please contact Dr Joan Greatrex with any questions.

The Parker Library was turned into a party space last week when we held a book launch.  Dr Mara Kalnins, Life Fellow of the College, and formerly University Reader in Modern English Literature, is the author of The Ancient Amber Routes: Travels from Riga to Byzantium. It is part tourist guide, part travelogue, but mainly a cultural history of  the ancient amber routes and a catalogue of amber artefacts.

There is no British distributor, but the book can be purchased from The Baltic Shop for £40, inclusive of postage and packing.  Alternatively, please email Dr Kalnins, who will arrange to have a copy sent to you.

MS 93, f. 132r

MS 93, f. 132r

This is the Ordinal for use by the choir of Exeter Cathedral, with instructions for chants and music prescribed for use in the Mass and daily offices at Exeter, as ordained by John Grandison, bishop of Exeter, 1327-69. The manuscript dates from the beginning of the fifteenth century, but the lavish illuminated borders have been further enhanced later in the century. The initials “W.S” my allude to William Steele, archdeacon of Totnes, c. 1370. The Calendar of the manuscript includes, as a “major double” festival, the dedication of Exeter Cathedral, commemorated there annually on 21 November.  

Portrait in the Parker

One of the more unusual requests we have had at the Parker Library recently is for the Wilkins Room to be used as the backdrop for a photographic portrait.  Kate Peters and her photography team, Dave and Selina, arrived at Corpus with a vast array of lighting and equipment to capture a portrait of Professor Susan Rankin.  Professor Rankin has worked extensively on manuscripts in the Parker collection, and recently produced a beautiful facsimile of the Winchester Troper (CCCC MS 473). We were flattered and delighted that she chose to use the Parker as the setting for her portrait; part of a new commission celebrating the achievements of four female Fellows from Emmanuel College.  We are very much looking forward to seeing the final result!

Photography in action in the Parker Library

Kate Peters capturing Professor Rankin with the Winchester Troper

An unusal sight in the Library of a whole table set up by the make-up artist

An unusal sight in the Library of a whole table set up by the make-up artist

MS 79, f. 210r

MS 79, f. 210r

Bells were the most widely-heard musical isntruments of the mIddle Ages, ringing loudly form belfries and church towers. For many people, bells were the only available measurements of the passage of time, and peals of bells marked great festivals and public occasions. This is from the Pontifical of Guy de Mohun, bishop of St Davids 1397-1407, showing here the service for blessing bells. An acolyte holds the book as the bishop raises his right hand. The silver bells are suspended in the windows of the belfry. The manuscript was probably begun for Guy de Mohun, who was consecrated bisop on 8 September 1398. Parker Library MS 79, f. 210r.

MS 253, f. 140v

MS 253, f. 140v

This English Romanesque manuscript contains several texts by Augustine of Hippo (354-430). Towards the end, a late twelfth-century hand has added a sequence, or hymn, for the feast of Saint Augustine, “Interni festi gaudia, nostra sonet armonia…”, ‘At the joy of our own festival, our song rings forth…’ sometimes attributed, probably wrongly, to the Augustinian canon, Andrew of St-Victor (d. 1175). This is an extremely early example of musical notes on a stave. The feast of Saint Augustine is on 28 August. Parker Library MS 253, f. 140v.


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