MS 262: The Little Gidding Harmonies

This Special Collections post explores the biblical harmonies compiled by a religious community at Little Gidding in the seventeenth-century. One of the harmonies, The Whole Law of God, resides at St John’s College. The Little Gidding community provides a fascinating insight into the creation of this manuscript, and the many individual harmonies the community produced.Continue reading “MS 262: The Little Gidding Harmonies”

Special Collections Quizzes

We are recreating the quiz first presented as part of the exhibition celebrating the opening of St John’s new Library & Study Centre in October 2019. Can you see if a text is printed or handwritten? Do you recognise languages even if you can’t read them? Can you distinguish between paper and parchment from aContinue reading “Special Collections Quizzes”

Stars & Surgery: History of Science Collections at St John’s College Library

Our Hilary Term 2020 exhibition focuses on astronomical and medical items in the library’s special collection. A mix of manuscripts, letters and early printed books, Stars & Surgery provides a glimpse into the understanding of science in the past. Read about some of the highlights below. This exhibition is an extension of the event ThinkingContinue reading “Stars & Surgery: History of Science Collections at St John’s College Library”

Special Collections Today and Tomorrow

Our Michaelmas term exhibition celebrates some of the key treasures of St. John’s College. Aptly named Special Collections Today and Tomorrow, the exhibition spans the new Library & Study Centre, the 17th century Laudian Library, and the 16th century Old Library, and exhibits a wide range of our Special Collections. Read on to find outContinue reading “Special Collections Today and Tomorrow”

‘Impulse of Delight’: Paul Tod on MS17

In Trinity Term, the College invited me to write a short piece for the catalogue of the exhibition to mark the opening of the new Study Centre, describing two pages of the College’s manuscript MS17. This manuscript is a mathematical compilation, largely concerned with the methods needed for computing the date of Easter. The twoContinue reading “‘Impulse of Delight’: Paul Tod on MS17”

Royal Intrigues

Our Trinity Term exhibition celebrates all things royal, with items from the 15th century to the 18th century. You can explore some of our key themes here. Marriage . . . In laudem matrimonij oratio, Cuthbert Tunstall, 1519 This early printed book contains speeches given at the wedding of Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIIContinue reading “Royal Intrigues”

“To delight and entertain”: Children’s Literature in the Special Collections

This blog post explores texts in our special collections written and created for children, and the ways in which this genre has evolved through the centuries. These items span from Ancient Greek stories and 17th century fatherly advice, to Victorian adventurers and mischievous modern poems. Links throughout the post will allow you to learn moreContinue reading ““To delight and entertain”: Children’s Literature in the Special Collections”

James Joyce in the Collection of Livres d’Artistes

This month’s blog post on the Library’s Livres d’Artistes is written by Tom Cullimore, a previous trainee and recent Assistant Librarian at St John’s College Library. The Library has a collection of livres d’artistes – you can find out more about these texts by reading Tom’s previous blog post. This collection includes two visual interpretationsContinue reading “James Joyce in the Collection of Livres d’Artistes”

‘By herself’: rediscovering the history of women at St John’s College, Oxford

This year St John’s College is celebrating the establishment of its new Women’s Network with a Women’s Festival on the 10th March 2018. As part of the festival, the Library has collaborated with Archives and Paintings to create an exhibition on the history of women at St John’s, from its founding in 1555 through to theContinue reading “‘By herself’: rediscovering the history of women at St John’s College, Oxford”

Literary Landscapers: horticulture in the special collections

November’s blog post featured Philip Miller’s Gardeners’ dictionary (1731), collecting names and offering advice for his fellow gardeners. This month the Special Collections blog further explores the theme of horticulture in early printed books.