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Bookcase I, Shelves 1 and 2, In A Catalogue of Books From Llanthony

Bookcase I, Shelves 1 and 2, In A Catalogue of Books From Llanthony

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1350

Shelfmark: Harley MS 460

Item number: f.3r

Length: 29.5

Width: 19.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Medieval monks kept inventories or lists of the books in their libraries. These lists represent important evidence for determining where a manuscript was held during the middle ages. The lists also suggest what the intellectual interests of a community may have been, as well as the sources available to an author who worked in a particular location. This list of books was once part of a larger book containing theological writings and sermons which belonged to the Augustinian canons of Llanthony, in Wales, as we know from an inscription on a scrap of vellum which is bound in it. Llanthony was dissolved in 1539, this book and others kept by Richard Hart, the monastery's last prior, who passed them on to his nephew John Theyer. On the first page, the contents of Armarum I (Bookcase I) are listed shelf by shelf, each shelf given a heading in red. Some of the books are merely listed by size and number of volumes, others by contents. For example, there was a copy of Haymo of Auxerre's writings (near the end of Shelf 1) and a glossed (with translation written between the lines) copy of the gospels in "one great volume" (near top of Shelf 2).

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