In addition to our programme of papers, posters, and workshops, we have arranged visits to the University of Glasgow’s Special Collections! In these visits you will be able to see some of the Special Collections’ manuscript and early printed treasures on display.

There are four 30-minute sessions taking place on Monday 22nd August, between 12pm and 2pm. After you register, you will receive an email including an online form about additional events. On this form you will be able to sign up for one of these sessions.

Archives and Special Collections have selected a range of manuscripts and early printed books from their extensive collection. The items on display during the session includes:

Chaucer’s The Romaunt of the Rose (MS Hunter 409), England: ca. 1440-1450
Glasgow’s (incomplete) unique copy of (allegedly) Chaucer’s poem! Marked up to be used as a copy text for William Thynne’s 1532 edition of Chaucer’s works.

Chaucer: An ABC (MS Hunter 239), England: 15th Century
Chaucer’s translation of a prayer from the French allegorical poem Pèlerinage de la Vie Humaine is found here in an otherwise anonymous English prose translation of the work.

Medical receipts (MS Hunter 117), England: Fifteenth Century
One of a small but important corpus of late medieval English medical recipe books collected by Dr William Hunter (1718-1783). He notes this on the front flyleaf as being a ‘great collection’.

John Wycliffe: New Testament (MS Hunter 191), England: late Fourteenth Century
Although we do not know who originally owned this eminently portable copy of Wycliffe’s Bible, there are numerous sixteenth and seventeenth-century ownership inscriptions on the flyleaves – including a note that it belonged to John Lewis (1675-1747), an early biographer of Wycliffe.

Lydgate: Fall of Princes (MS Hunter 5), England: ca. 1470-1480
A massively de-luxe copy but not quite complete – some pages are missing (probably pillaged for the decoration) and a seventeenth-century reader has noted that there is a misbound quire – helpfully adding instructions about turning eight leaves backwards and forwards to rectify the matter.

Gower: Confessio Amantis (MS Hunter 7), London: ca. 1425
A seventeenth century inscription indicates that the book was owned by the Benedictine Abbey of Bury St Edmonds: if this is correct, then this copy is likely to have been read by John Lydgate.

John Bellenden: Hystory and Croniklis of Scotland (Sp Coll Bn6-d.18), Edinburgh: Thomas Davidson, ca. 1537
This is a translation into the “vulgar and commoun langage” of Scots of Hector Boece’s Latin history of Scotland (Paris: 1527). It is the earliest book printed in Scotland held at Glasgow’s Archives & Special Collections.