The College maintains a regular series of physical exhibitions in both the Old Library and Longwall Library which are curated by affiliated academic staff and fellows, the librarian and archivist, and other members of the College. Some of these exhibitions have been converted to online exhibition for the permanent enjoyment for all; other online exhibitions are narratives that have been crafted specifically for an online environment.
The Wolsey Manuscripts
Only half a decade before England broke with the Roman Catholic Church, two intensely beautiful liturgical manuscripts were made for the country’s leading cleric. For Thomas Wolsey, cardinal and first minister of Henry VIII, only the best would do: the manuscripts had to be handwritten, not printed, and were to be produced by the leading artisans of his day. Over time, these books moved in and out of royal and cathedral libraries and eventually found their way back to Oxford, in Magdalen College and Christ Church. Explore the two lectionaries side-by-side and read expert commentary in this online exhibition. wolseymanuscripts.ac.uk/
Fragments of Note
Most of the music that survives from medieval England is preserved in fragments of manuscripts, scraps which have been cut from the original books and used for other purposes. Magdalen College is one of the few small research libraries in the country to preserve an exceptional collection of such fragments, dating from the middle of the twelfth to the late fifteenth centuries, a collection which testifies to the developments in musical style, as well as in the production of musical books. Engage with these fragments and listen to them come to life again in this online exhibition. http://fragmentsofnote.magd.ox.ac.uk/
The Flora & Fauna of Magdalen College
More than most Oxford colleges, Magdalen is home to a hugely diverse variety of plants and animals – from the famous deer herd to the occasionally glimpsed wild birds and mammals inhabiting the college’s extensive park land. These extensive grounds, a lucky consequence of having been the first college founded outside Oxford’s old city walls, have allowed the College to play host to a long history of animal life, maintained and wild parkland, from prize-winning pigs to enormous trees. Wander the grounds and learn some of our natural history in this online exhibition: http://florafauna.magd.ox.ac.uk/