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Manuscripts and Printed Books

The Medici Psalter and Hymnal
Italy, Florence, c.1480 MS 37-1950



The Department of Manuscripts and Printed books houses world-class collections fit for a National Library under the roof of a fine arts museum.

They range from early printed books to modern literary autographs, including works by Thomas Hardy and Virginia Woolf, from the archives of novelists and poets to the correspondence of painters and composers, from autograph scores by Handel and Elgar to early printed music, and from ninth-century Byzantine Gospel Books to Persian miniatures and to some of the finest medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in existence.

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Mu.Ms.168. Fitzwilliam Virginal

The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, early 17th century


Jude the Obscure - original manuscript

Jude the Obscure, by Thomas Hardy, original manuscript - chapter one, c.1894


MS 1-1911. Lohrasp Enthroned, from the Shahnameh

Lohrasp Enthroned, from the Shahnameh (detail), Persian, c.1540