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Collection: The Shape of Content in Christian Books, Broadsides, and Prints
Example of one-volume portable Bibles popular in the thirteenth century. Includes decorated initials and filigree pen work in the margins.
This devotional and instructional volume can be read in either of two directions. The rectos of each leaf are numbered and can be read sequentially while the versos are printed upside down and also numbered for reading in a separate order and…
Produced in Flanders for use in England, this richly illuminated manuscript includes a set of eight illustrations of scenes from the Infancy of Christ, such as the Annunciation and the Nativity, which traditionally introduced the eight sections of…
Produced for instruction in the basic doctrines of the Catholic faith, this unusual book consists of full-page painted images accompanied by brief explanations written in Dutch on the facing pages. Later owned by the Carmelite friars of Nijmegen in…
In this Latin Bible printed in 1483, a late sixteenth-century English reader has inserted paper slips bearing handwritten English prologues for each book of the Bible. These added texts were transcribed directly from the prologues published in the…
Published by one of Rome's leading sixteenth-century engravers, this striking devotional image depicts St. Benedict of Nursia (ca. 480–543), the founder of Western monasticism. The broadside includes a central image of the saint and fourteen…
Intended to be used at Christmas time, this broadside provides the texts for a selection of fourteen popular carols that was not otherwise available in a hymnal. The inexpensive and ephemeral nature of the broadside is underlined by the low quality…
Intended for young readers, this rhyming German lithographic broadside narrates the story of Christ's Passion by means of a rebus, combining printed text and sixty-three hand colored images that stand in for particular words.
This French calendrical manual features several fold-out plates, three volvelles, twelve sliding paper strips for tracking the weekdays of every month, and the exhibited adjustable table for determining the major moveable feasts. This table utilizes…
This Ethiopian manuscript on parchment is preserved with its sturdy leather folding case, called a maḫdär, which features a shoulder strap. The carrying case was essential for the daily use of the book, as it not only gave protection to the book, but…
Known as a Breverl, this devotional amulet belongs to a genre that enjoyed widespread popularity among Catholics in eighteenth-century Bavaria and Austria and was believed to offer talismanic protection to its owner. It usually consisted of a printed…
Engraved devotional tryptich on paper depicting the Virgin and Child; both figures enshrined at center, depicted as hovering over ill or injured person to left and right. The single sheet of paper was cut and folded to form a small envelope that…
Miniature manuscript "library" of pious thoughts; each with a German keyword written on a small card, all housed alphabetically in six slipcase "volumes" with gilt red morocco spines (A-D; E-H; I-M; N-Q; R-U; V-Z) within a book-shaped box (9.5 cm).
Intended for private devotion, this homemade pin cushion encloses a devotional manuscript featuring eight French prayers or mottos in praise of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The object consists of two heart-shaped green velvet covers with gold cloth…
In the exhibited exposition on the Psalms, the printer eliminated the need for rubrication, printing suitably elaborate initials and border decoration along with the text. Such books had the advantage of being ready for use as soon as they were…
An illustrated scroll displaying a moving series of color-printed illustrations called "An Illuminated Life of Christ Chronologically Arranged. Masterpiece Paintings by the World's Great Artists." When the entire scroll has been displayed, the lower…
In this comprehensive study of biblical sources by the Dutch Protestant theologian Herman Witsius, revelation plays a large role in the chapter of the Tabernacle of the Ark of the Covenant. The Tabernacle was equipped with a curtain that concealed…
Eighteenth-century Eucharistic treatise with an illustration of the Mass ceremony in progress, showing a simpler form of cartagloria on the altar in front of the priest.
This Sammelband of four fifteenth-century publications by Johannes Trithemusm is preserved in its original monastic binding. Chancery quatro, 211 x 144 mm.
A guide to the study of the Gospels, bound for the Franciscans of St. Anne in Bamberg. Chancery folio, 292 x 210 mm. Double column, 47 lines.
The purpose of this book was to expose John Wesley as a plagiarist by comparing Samuel Johnson's Taxation no Tyranny (1745) and Wesley's A Calm Address to our American Colonies (1775) in parallel columns. Wesley freely adapted the writings of others…
The most popular private devotional tract of the fifteenth century, bound in Bavaria and owned by the Augustinian canons of St. Nicolaus, Passau. Chancery octavo, 114 x 106 mm. Single column, 22 lines.
The "pear" is covered in green and yellow painted buckskin surmounted by a stem, while the torso is in crushed white buckskin. Within the two-part leather "box" is a manuscript by the calligrapher Michael Sull, the leaves of which echo the shape of…
This early printed papal bull announced that indulgences would be granted to penitent Christians who made donations to benefit the church of St. George and Mary Magdalen in Nördlingen, Germany. It contains many of the essential formulas of the…
This folding triptych, known as a cartagloria, bears the essential texts of the Latin Mass that a priest needed to have visible during the Eucharistic ceremony. Complementing the central images of Christ on the Cross and the Last Supper, the…