Medieval books at U of G library

Books dating back to the late Middle Ages are often locked behind glass in museums and archives, but the University of Guelph’s McLaughlin Library borrowed nine medieval manuscripts and allowed people to touch and flip through them as they would any other book.

Ranging from a thirteenthcentury English Bible and a fifteenth-century German Office of the Dead to a copy of Juvenal’s Satires made in mid-1400s Italy, these literary and artistic works provided experiential learning for several hundred U of G students this semester.

Other visitors from seniors to school children also had handson access to the medieval European manuscripts.

“That’s what so unique about this – touching and turning the pages and getting a closeup look,” says history professor Susannah Ferreira, whose students worked with the manuscripts.

U of G was the second institution in Canada to borrow part of the collection of Les Enluminures – a Chicago rare book dealer – under the company’s manuscripts in the curriculum program.