Cambridge University Library


Sacred Scripts: World religions in manuscript and print

Detail from a Hindu manuscript. An episode from the Bhagavata Purana. Krsna in the form of a young cowherd plays his flute to entice the cowgirls in an illustration from a 17th century kalapustaka, a lavishly illustrated manuscript from Nepal.

MS Add. 864, figures 137 and 138


Detail from a decorative block print of a Hebrew blessing; late 14th century C.E. The Hebrew text from Deuteronomy 28:6 reads: 'May you be blessed as you arrive and as you depart'.

From the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Or. 1080 J50


Detail from a miniature illustrating the first verse of John's Gospel chapter 1, from a volume in the British and Foreign Bible Society collection. The Society was founded in 1804 with the aim of supplying Bibles and New Testaments on a world-wide basis. In its first year there were some sixty-seven languages into which at least one book of the Bible had been translated; now two hundred years later there are over two thousand.


Kasuga Omiya Wakamiya gosairei no zu
Detail from an illustrated book about the Shinto festival at Kasuga Shrine, Nara.
Printed in Japan, 1742.


Banner image: Detail from the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, circa 1455, the first book produced in Europe using moveable metal type. Illustration added by hand to the printed text. From the collection of A.W. Young, given to the University Library in 1933.