A banquet of books: Magdalen College Library special collections in four courses


via Zoom

Event type



6 May 2021



The Old Library at Magdalen has been closed to visitors for 12 months, and we’ve been working on ways to bring books to you!  Sign up to this event and we will livestream four of our favourite books to your home, with commentary by the College Librarian, Lucy Gwynn, and the Assistant Librarian, Will Shire.

On the menu:

Magdalen MS Lat 213, A stunning mid-15th century manuscript of Confessio Amantis by Robert Gower. A crown jewel of English literature in an early copy with a long history at Magdalen.

Magdalen MS Lat 5, an early 15th century Book of Hours with beautiful illuminated decorations and illustrations.  A small, very personal and very rich book, which functions both as an object of worship and a work of art.

Arch.B.I.5.6., Erasmus’s Novum Instrumentum omne (1516), his commentary on the New Testament. The Magdalen copy has received extensive attention from a Catholic censor and many of its words have been cut out or blacked out.  It’s fascinating proof of the work that went into making books ‘safe’ for readers!

Arch.C.II.5.5., Johann Remmelin’s A survey of the microcosme: or, the anatomy of the bodies of man and woman (1695). A beautiful hand-coloured copy of Remmelin’s famous anatomical ‘flapbook’, this book has elaborate layers of pasted flaps in its anatomical depictions, allowing the reader to ‘dissect’ the body and reveal the organs in three dimensions.

If that tempts your appetite, please sign up by emailing us at library@magd.ox.ac.uk.  We look forward to seeing you.