University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

An Inventory of Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Center



Sort as: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection
Title: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection
Dates: 11th-17th centuries (bulk 15th-17th centuries)
Abstract: Collection contains 215 Medieval or Renaissance manuscripts.
Extent: 134 bound or custom-boxed items, plus 4 document boxes, 1 oversize folder, 6 oversize boxes, and 1 framed item. (84.42 linear feet)
Language: Manuscripts are written in several languages, including Dutch, English, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Middle English, Old English, and Spanish.
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Scope and Contents

The Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection is a gathering of 215 Medieval or Renaissance manuscripts that date from the eleventh through the seventeenth centuries (bulk fifteenth through seventeenth centuries). Each item has a designated shelf mark (HRC 1 through HRC 225) and the items are organized by shelf mark number.

The manuscripts are written in several languages—including Dutch, English, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Middle English, Old English, and Spanish—and originated from a variety of countries—among them Austria, Bohemia, Bolivia, Byzantium, England, Flanders, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, and the United States.

A substantial number of the texts are religious in content, though a number of other general subjects—including alchemy, architecture, astronomy, botany, cartography, classical literature, diplomacy, drama, genealogy, government, heraldry, history, kings and rulers, law, literature, mathematics, medicine, monasticism and religious orders, music, philosophy, poetry, science, and war—are also represented.

The earliest manuscript in the collection (HRC 29) is an eleventh-century codex of various texts compiled by Abbot Ellinger of Tegernsee, which is informally known as the "Bede manuscript" since Bede's De Natura Rerum is the first text.

Because of their magnificent illuminations, the best-known medieval manuscripts in the collection are the books of hours, which contain prayers and offices used for devotion by the laity. Of the eleven books of hours in the collection, all of them dating from the fifteenth-century, seven came from France, which was a major center for the production of such books during that era. The most notable of these—known as the "Belleville Hours" (HRC 8)—was made for the Belleville family, who, from the eleventh-century until the French Revolution, owned large land estates.

The collection also contains Biblical texts and service books used in church liturgy or worship, such as antiphonaries, breviaries, graduals, rituals, prayer books, psalters, and sermons. Among these is a fifteenth-century German ferial psalter and hymnal (HRC 114) important for its stylistic relationship to the Gutenberg Bible and early printed psalters.

Another major category of manuscripts includes classical texts, with copies of works by Cicero, Horace, Ovid, and Plato among others, as well as literary works from the Middle Ages, whose texts were composed by Chaucer, Dante, and Petrarch.

The historical documents in the collection represent a number of English, French, and Spanish monarchs as well as notable persons such as Oliver Cromwell, Martin Luther, John Milton, Sir Isaac Newton, Abraham Ortelius, and Sir Walter Raleigh. Among the types of documents present are charters, commonplace books, contracts, correspondence, decrees, deeds, diaries, government records, indentures, letters patent, minutes, notarial documents, notes, papal bulls, petitions, pontificals, receipts, reports, speeches, and writs.

A complete index with identified names of authors of texts or signers of documents in the collection is included in this finding aid.


Restrictions

Access:

Most items are open for research, though some are restricted from handling due to condition. Digital facsimiles of the restricted items are available.


Related Material

Other collections at the Ransom Center containing additional early manuscripts include: George A. Aitken Collection, Eastern Manuscripts Collection, Clay Tablets and Cones Collection, Kraus Map Collection, Lanza-Acosta Bolivian Collection, Arthur Livingston Papers, Papyri Collection, Pforzheimer Manuscript Collection, Ranuzzi Collection, Shelley Family Collection, and the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Collection.


Separated Material

This collection was previously known as the Pre-1700 Manuscript Collection. During recent cataloging, ten items that were found to post-date 1700—or that were more appropriate to another Ransom Center collection (e.g. the Eastern Manuscripts Collection)—were removed from this collection.


Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Purchases and gifts, 1960-1989. Collection consists of items from various collections, including George Atherton Aitken, W. H. Crain, Carlton Lake, Edward A. Parsons, Thomas Phillipps, Walter Emile Van Wijk, Evelyn Waugh, John Henry Wrenn, and others.

Processed by:

John Kirkpatrick, April Adamson, Sidney Tibbetts, Joan Sibley, and Aine McVey, 2009


Item-level Descriptions

Detailed item-level descriptions and digital facsimiles of restricted items are available in a searchable database.


Sources:

Carl-Mitchell, Charlotte. "Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the HRHRC." Library Chronicle N.S. no. 35 (1986):88-105.

Carl-Mitchell, Charlotte and Karen Gould. "List of HRHRC Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts." Library Chronicle N.S. no. 35 (1986):106-113.


 Name Index 

  • Abraham bar Hiyya Savasorda, circa 1065-1136 -- HRC 31
  • Abulafia, Abraham ben Samuel, 1240-circa 1292 -- HRC 30
  • Albret, Henri II d', Baron de Miossans, b. circa 1590 -- HRC 121
  • Alciati, Andrea, 1492-1550 -- HRC 179
  • Allacci, Leone, 1586-1669 -- HRC 96
  • Allin, Thomas, Sir, 1612?-1685 -- HRC 162
  • Angoulême, Henri d', 1551-1586 -- HRC 122
  • Apsley, Allen, Sir, 1616-1683 -- HRC 183
  • Ausonius, Decimus Magnus -- HRC 29
  • Bacon, Francis, 1561-1626 -- HRC 91
  • Baumann, A. N. G. -- HRC 54
  • Bede, the Venerable, Saint, 673-735 -- HRC 29
  • Benedict VII, Pope, d. 983 -- HRC 105
  • Berkel, Abraham van, 1630-1688 -- HRC 96
  • Berno, Abbot of Reichenau, d. 1048 -- HRC 29
  • Bigland, Ralph, 1711-1784 -- HRC 195
  • Blake, Robert, 1599-1657 -- HRC 150
  • Blow, John, d. 1708 -- HRC 85
  • Bonaventure, Saint, Cardinal, circa 1217-1274 -- HRC 44
  • Bonfils, Immanuel ben Jacob, 14th century -- HRC 31
  • Borgia, Cesare, 1476?-1507 -- HRC 202
  • Browne, Matthew, Sir, fl. 1601 -- HRC 188
  • Carier, Benjamin, 1566-1614 -- HRC 66
  • Cataneo, Girolamo -- HRC 60
  • Catherine de Médicis, Queen, consort of Henry II, King of France, 1519-1589 -- HRC 171
  • Catherine, of Aragon, consort of Henry VIII, King of England, 1485-1536 -- HRC 213
  • Catholic Church -- HRC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 61, 63, 114, 144, 145, 146, 147
  • Catullus, Gaius Valerius -- HRC 32
  • Charles I, King of England, 1600-1649 -- HRC 76
  • Charles II, King of England, 1630-1685 -- HRC 77, 78, 204
  • Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, 1500-1558 -- HRC 50, 197, 200
  • Chaucer, Geoffrey, d. 1400 -- HRC 46, 143
  • Cicero -- HRC 36
  • Clement IV, Pope, d. 1268 -- HRC 198
  • Clement VII, Pope, 1478-1534 -- HRC 208
  • Coape, Henry -- HRC 166
  • Cobellutius, Scipione, Cardinal-Priest of St. Susana, 1564-1626 -- HRC 207
  • Collado, Luis -- HRC 64
  • Contarini, Domenico, 1585-1675 -- HRC 98
  • Cosimo I, Grand-Duke of Tuscany, 1519-1574 -- HRC 170
  • Cotton, R. -- HRC 149
  • Crasset, Jean, 1618-1692 -- HRC 110
  • Cromwell, Oliver, 1599-1658 -- HRC 81, 82
  • Cromwell, Thomas, Earl of Essex, 1485?-1540? -- HRC 209
  • Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321 -- HRC 45
  • Davison, John -- HRC 154
  • Dennis, John, 1657-1734 -- HRC 175
  • Dering, Edward, Sir, 1598-1644 -- HRC 155
  • Dickinson, Edmund, 1624-1707 -- HRC 129
  • Edward II, King of England, 1284-1327 -- HRC 214
  • Edward, King of England, circa 1003-1066 -- HRC 215
  • Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533-1603 -- HRC 57, 216, 217, 218
  • Elsynge, Henry, 1577-1635 or 6 -- HRC 158
  • Estrades, Godefroi Louis, comte d', 1607-1686 -- HRC 134
  • Étampes-Valençay, Léonor d', circa 1585-1651 -- HRC 118
  • Fagon, Guy-Crescent, 1638-1718 -- HRC 108
  • Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, 1608-1657 -- HRC 95
  • Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, Gonzalo, 1478-1557 -- HRC 51
  • Festus, Sextus Pompeius, 2nd cent. -- HRC 29
  • Fitzneale, Richard, circa 1130-1198 -- HRC 58
  • Fonte, Bartolommeo, 1445-1513 -- HRC 38
  • Frankland, Thomas -- HRC 149
  • Freeman, Oliver, b. 1591 -- HRC 119
  • Froissart, Jean, 1338?-1410? -- HRC 48
  • García Salat, Vicente, d. 1614 -- HRC 64
  • Gargrave, Robert -- HRC 156
  • Garon, Louys, circa 1580-circa 1635 -- HRC 225
  • Gesner, Konrad, 1516-1565 -- HRC 96
  • Giovanni d'Andrea, circa 1270-1348 -- HRC 153
  • Gondi, Pierre de, Cardinal, 1533-1616 -- HRC 120
  • Gonzaga, Ludovico, titular Bishop of Mantua, 1458-1511 -- HRC 210
  • Gostling, John, circa 1650-1733 -- HRC 85
  • Gough, William -- HRC 167
  • Great Britain, Privy Council -- HRC 221
  • Gregory I, Pope, circa 540-604 -- HRC 116
  • Gregory IX, Pope, circa 1170-1241 -- HRC 191
  • Greville, Fulke, Baron Brooke, 1554-1628 -- HRC 152
  • Gronovius, Jacobus, 1645-1716 -- HRC 96
  • Guicciardini, Francesco, 1483-1540 -- HRC 100
  • Guido, de Monte Rocherii, 14th century -- HRC 53
  • Guise, Louis II de Lorraine, 1555-1588 -- HRC 159
  • Guthry, Henry, circa 1600-1676 -- HRC 87
  • Haddock, Richard, Sir, circa 1629-1715 -- HRC 162, 163
  • Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, 1594-1612 -- HRC 57
  • Henry III, King of England, 1216-1272 -- HRC 220
  • Henry IV, King of France, 1553-1610 -- HRC 83, 168
  • Henry VII, King of England, 1457-1509 -- HRC 192, 203
  • Henry VIII, King of England, 1491-1547 -- HRC 199
  • Herrera, Andrés Fernandez de -- HRC 117
  • Herrick, Robert, 1591-1674 -- HRC 79
  • Higford, William, 1581?-1657 -- HRC 89
  • Hollys, John, of Houghton in Nottinghamshire -- HRC 219
  • Horace -- HRC 35
  • Howard, Thomas -- HRC 164
  • Hugh, of Saint-Victor, 1096?-1141 -- HRC 43
  • Innocent VIII, Pope, 1432-1492 -- HRC 198
  • James I, King of England, 1566-1625 -- HRC 57
  • Jenkins, Leoline, Sir, 1623-1685 -- HRC 141
  • Juana of Castile, 1479-1555 -- HRC 49
  • Julius III, Pope, 1487-1555 -- HRC 198
  • Lamberti, Marco -- HRC 101
  • Louis XIII, King of France, 1601-1643 -- HRC 169
  • Lucian, of Samosata -- HRC 39
  • Luther, Martin, 1483-1546 -- HRC 59, 189
  • Lydgate, John, 1370?-1451? -- HRC 143
  • Machiavelli, Niccolò, 1469-1527 -- HRC 206
  • Marie de Médicis, Queen, consort of Henry IV, King of France, 1573-1642 -- HRC 172
  • Marshall, George -- HRC 135
  • Mary, Queen of Scots, 1542-1587 -- HRC 56
  • Massachusetts Bay Company -- HRC 157
  • Meath, William Brabazon, 1st Earl of, 1580-1651 -- HRC 136
  • Medici, Lorenzo de', 1449-1492 -- HRC 211
  • Milton, John, 1608-1674 -- HRC 127
  • Milton, John, circa 1563-1647 -- HRC 128
  • Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727 -- HRC 129, 130, 131, 132, 182
  • Orléans, Louis, duc d', 1372-1407 -- HRC 161
  • Ortelius, Abraham, 1527-1598 -- HRC 55
  • Ovid, 43 B.C.-17 or 18 A.D. -- HRC 34
  • Paleotti, Gabriello, Cardinal, 1524-1597 -- HRC 102
  • Paul III, Pope, 1468-1549 -- HRC 198
  • Petrarca, Francesco, 1304-1374 -- HRC 47
  • Philip II, King of Spain, 1527-1598 -- HRC 201, 205
  • Philip III, King of Spain, 1578-1621 -- HRC 111
  • Philipot, John, 1589?-1645 -- HRC 195
  • Philips, Katherine, 1631-1664 -- HRC 151
  • Plato -- HRC 29
  • Pocquelin, Louis -- HRC 222
  • Porcelets de Maillane, Jean des, Bishop of Toul, circa 1581-1624 -- HRC 207
  • Pseudo-Jerome -- HRC 29
  • Pseudo-Phalaris -- HRC 38
  • Purcell, Henry, 1659-1695 -- HRC 85
  • Pure, Michel de, 1620-1680 -- HRC 109
  • Quarles, Francis, 1592-1644 -- HRC 66
  • Raleigh, Walter, Sir, 1552?-1618 -- HRC 185
  • Rohan, Anne Marguerite de, 1664-1721 -- HRC 124
  • Rohan, Armand Gaston Maximilien de, Cardinal, 1674-1749 -- HRC 123
  • Roquelaure, Gaston-Jean-Baptiste, duc de, 1617-1683 -- HRC 125
  • Rucellai, Giovanni, 1475-1525 -- HRC 103
  • Sacro Bosco, Joannes de, fl. 1230 -- HRC 62, 140
  • Sallust, 86-34 B.C. -- HRC 115
  • Sanvito, Bartolomeo, b. 1435, calligrapher -- HRC 35
  • Scipio -- HRC 39
  • Scott, Thomas, 1580?-1626 -- HRC 79
  • Sedley, Charles, Sir, 1639?-1701 -- HRC 133
  • Sergeant, John, 1622-1707 -- HRC 73
  • Shelley, Edward -- HRC 160
  • Shelley, Thomas -- HRC 160
  • Shorlaker, Joane -- HRC 165
  • Siemienowicz, Kazimierz, d. 1651? -- HRC 113
  • Siluis, Tacius, notary -- HRC 99
  • Sixtus IV, Pope, 1414-1484 -- HRC 196
  • St. George, Henry, Sir, 1625-1715 -- HRC 195
  • Temple, John, Sir, 1600-1677 -- HRC 92
  • Thomas à Kempis, 1380-1471 -- HRC 43
  • Thomas, Aquinas, Saint, 1225?-1274 -- HRC 42
  • Tibullus -- HRC 32
  • Tippetts, John, Sir, d. 1692 -- HRC 163
  • Totnes, George Carew, Earl of, 1555-1629 -- HRC 75
  • Treherne, George, d. 1528 -- HRC 137
  • Upton, Nicholas, 1400?-1457 -- HRC 177
  • Valerius Maximus -- HRC 37
  • Vega, Lope de, 1562-1635 -- HRC 138
  • Venning, Ralph, 1621?-1674 -- HRC 84
  • Verherent, Antonius -- HRC 140
  • Vermigli, Pietro Martire, 1499-1562 -- HRC 51
  • Vettori, Francesco, 1474-1539 -- HRC 206
  • Walker, Edward, Sir, 1612-1677 -- HRC 173
  • Walton, Izaak, 1593-1683 -- HRC 93
  • William III, King of England, 1650-1702 -- HRC 86, 174
  • Winthrop, Fitz-John, 1638-1707 -- HRC 126
  • Wolsey, Thomas, 1475?-1530 -- HRC 212