Manuscripts and Special Collections

‘Saints, Sinners and Story Tellers’ exhibition opens soon

April 9th, 2010 at 11:04

Saints, Sinners and Story Tellers
Medieval Wollaton Manuscripts at the University of Nottingham

Illuminated detail from LM6

This new exhibition opens on Friday 30 April 2010 and continues in the Weston Gallery at the Lakeside Arts Centre on University Park until Sunday 1 August 2010.

It features a local collection of manuscript volumes which offer an extraordinarily rich perspective on the literary tastes and religious faith of our medieval ancestors. Illustrated French romances and fourteenth-century texts in English demonstrate the move of literature from Latin to native languages, while a single leaf records in English the life of St Zita, the Italian saint of housekeepers.

The volumes in question represent a remnant of the rich library collection formerly housed at Wollaton Hall, together with the magnificent Wollaton Antiphonal. Such books have faced many risks to their survival over the centuries and original binding features are often lost in later repairs. While the Wollaton volumes all remain fragile, they provide valuable evidence about their first creation and use.

The decoration of medieval volumes is an essential part of their charm for modern readers. The Antiphonal’s conservation programme allows the display of more than one illuminated page, and digital images enable the details of illustrations to be viewed for the first time.

For more information on the Wollaton Library project, see the website.

A series of talks, events and concerts are happening at the same time as the exhibition. See the news and events page for details.

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