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Manuscript Books  

A guide to original manuscripts in the UH Libraries' Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts Collection, plus resources for learning more about manuscripts.
Last Updated: Aug 18, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Manuscripts and Facsimiles Print Page

Manuscripts in Special Collections

Book of Hours, Use of Sarum. [France, Northern/Belgium, 13--?].

To find a list of original manuscripts in Special Collections, visit the library catalog and enter "Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts Collection" in the Author field. The UH Libraries hold 12 original manuscript books and 6 original manuscript leaves.

To view medieval manuscripts, visit Special Collections. Because of their fragile condition, we normally permit viewing of only one manuscript per day.


What is a manuscript?

A manuscript is a handwritten book. The word manuscript comes from the Latin "manu scriptus"... literally "written by hand."

Manuscript books were used from the 4th century through the 16th century. They were written on parchment (animal skin) and often decorated with initials, borders, and miniature scenes in paint and gold leaf. 


What is a facsimile?

A facsimile is an exact copy, particularly of written or printed material. Special Collections and the Architecture and Art Library both hold many facsimiles of manuscript books. Try searching the library catalog with the subject heading "Illumination Of Books And Manuscripts."


What is Special Collections?

Special Collections is the department of the Library that collects and makes available rare books and archival materials. We hold over 60,000 books, including medieval and Renassance manuscripts, books printed before 1501, books on Texas and the West, and more. Our archival collecting areas include the University Archives, Women's Archives, Houston History Archives, and Houston architecture, literature, and performing arts. Our books may be found in the Library catalog by limiting searches to Subcollection SPEC COLL, and our archival collections may be browsed or searched in Archon. We continue to add digitized materials from our collections to the UH Digital Library.

Your Special Collections Librarian

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Julie Grob
Contact Info
Special Collections
114 University Libraries
Houston, TX 77204-2000
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Digitized Manuscripts in Libraries and Museums

Anglo American Legal Tradition

National Archives, London, UK

*digitized by O'Quinn Law Library, UH

Bodleian Library

University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

The British Library

London, UK

Domesday Book

National Archives, London, UK

The Getty Museum

Los Angeles, CA

Houghton Library

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Koninklijke Bibliotheek

The Hague, The Netherlands

The Morgan Library and Museum

New York, NY

The Walters Art Museum

Baltimore, MD


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