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Early and Central Middle Ages, c.650-c.1200 AD: The Manuscript Record: Parts 1 and 2

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About this Collection

Introduction: Early and Central Middle Ages, c

Introduction:Early and Central Middle Ages, c.650-c.1200 AD: The Manuscript Record: Parts 1and 2


The manuscripts included in this collection cover the wholeperiod of Old English Literature (c.650-1000 AD) and represent the Anglo-Saxon,Latin, and other traditions extant in Britain to the end of the twelfthcentury.


Parts One and Two are based on the rich holdings ofCambridge University Library, together with one item from the Ely Chapter andDiocesan archive (the Anglo-Saxon Charter of c.974) which is housed at theUniversity Library.


All items listed in N. Ker's Catalogue of Manuscriptscontaining Anglo-Saxon (Oxford, 1957) for Cambridge University Library areincluded, as are those listed in H. Gneuss's A preliminary list ofmanuscripts written or owned in England up to 1100 (published in Anglo-SaxonEngland 9, pp. 1-60, Cambridge, 1981).


The range of the material featured includes literary,theological, and philosophical works, Psalters, Lives of Saints, Charters,Gospels, Historical Miscellanies, and Bestiaries. The selection has beendeliberately generous as so few manuscript sources exist for this period.Virtually all extant manuscripts of the British origin are included. Majorauthors represented include Aelfric, Aldhelm, Bede, Boethius, Gregorius andWulfstan.


This guide provides a complete list of manuscripts includedtogether with a brief description of contents for each manuscript, a newlyattributed date, and Ker and Gneuss references where relevant. Full descriptiveentries of the manuscripts selected from the "Two-Letter" series areprovided at the beginning of the first reel of Part One. These are taken fromthe Cambridge University Library's own Catalogue of Manuscripts (1856-67). Forease of reference the Contents of Reels together with the brief descriptionsare also reproduced at the beginning of each reel.



A Note on Dates


The contents of reels in this guide provide newly attributeddates for many of the manuscripts. This is the product of scholarshipundertaken since the publication of the Cambridge University Library Catalogueof Manuscripts (1856-1867). These new dates are provided as a guide only andconform to the following scheme:



xi in

xi 1

xi 2/4

xi med

xi 3/4

xi 2

xi ex



Two other abbreviations occur in the contents of reels,following the brief descriptive entries.


these are:


K indicating that the manuscript is listed by Ker.


G indicating that the manuscript is listed by Gneuss.