The Cambridge Illuminations
|The author in his study, at the beginning of St. Bonaventura’s
treatise on the fourth book of the Sentences of Peter Lombard.
Florence and Naples, 1484. CUL MS Gg.3.22, f. 1r.
The Middle Ages gave us the book as we know it today. In the course
of the 4th century AD the papyrus scroll was replaced by the volume
– first written on animal skin known as parchment, and later
on paper. Preserving ancient history, literature, and science, manuscripts
accommodated medieval religious and secular texts, and disseminated
the works of the early Renaissance, of Dante, Petrarch, and Chaucer.
Cambridge is among the world’s richest treasuries of Western
manuscripts. Collectively, the holdings of the Fitzwilliam Museum,
the University Library, and the Colleges of Cambridge present the
history of manuscript production from late antiquity to the Renaissance.
Over 200 illuminated manuscripts from seventeen Cambridge libraries
are displayed within eight thematic sections at the exhibition’s
two venues, the Fitzwilliam Museum and the University Library.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research
Council, Blackwell Green (A Member of the Heath Lambert Group), Cambridge
Education, Cambridge University Press, Mr Gifford
Combs, Sam Fogg, the Friends of Cambridge University Library, the
Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, International Partners on behalf
of Melvin Seiden, Ridgeons, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.