The Parker Library
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Christopher de Hamel
- Wonderfully illustrated with 40 sumptuous images
- Traces the history of this unique collection
The Parker Library, named after Archbishop Matthew Parker (1504–75), former master of the College, is a treasure house of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and early printed books. The magnificent collection was given to the College by Parker and includes the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, principal source book for early English history, and the best manuscript of Chaucer’s Troilus. No less important to the collection are also the Middle English, French and Latin texts on subjects ranging from alchemy and astrology to music and medicine. The collection comprises over 600 manuscripts, around 480 of which were given by Parker, who also donated around 1000 printed volumes. The collection includes a 6th-century Gospel book from Canterbury, which is used for the enthronement of each new Archbishop of Canterbury, the oldest illustrated Latin Gospel book now in existence. There are around 40 Old English manuscripts, as well as two of only half a dozen extant giant Romanesque Bibles – the Bury Bible from the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds and the Dover Bible, from Dover Priory, a cell of Canterbury. This wonderfully illustrated and informative booklet traces the history and character of the unique and extraordinary collection of the historic Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
Christopher de Hamel is the Donnelley Fellow Librarian of the Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.