The 12th-century Cartulary of Reading Abbey gives a list of works held at the medieval libraries at Reading Abbey and Leominster Priory. The book lists are typical library catalogues of this period. Each is arranged roughly by subject, and includes Bibles, works of the Church Fathers, historical texts and liturgical works.
The list of Reading books has recorded 196 items, and 49 appear on the Leominster list. Through textual evidence such as book contents and ownership marks, modern scholars have identified 35 surviving manuscripts featured on the lists, nine of which are currently housed at the British Library.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Alison Ray
- Christian religion and belief, Making manuscripts, History and learning
Through the evidence of surviving manuscripts, Alison Ray explores the collections of medieval libraries and how these libraries grew and changed over time.