The Theodore Psalter – Medieval manuscripts blog

Beasts, birds and fishes; illustraded page of Theodore Psalter, British Library AddMS 19352

Beasts, birds and fishes; illustrated page of Theodore Psalter, British Library AddMS 19352

From time to time — perhaps too often for everyone’s tastes — these pages feature old manuscripts.

These documents are tucked away in libraries and monasteries around the world; previously mentioned examples range from the National Library of Australia to St Gallen in Switzerland and the Humanist Library in Selestat; there are many more.

Words, music and art

I admit to a fascination with old calligraphic relics, particularly in this context when they combine both psalms and music, preferably with fine calligraphy and a little illumination. Apart from the artistic value, they often expand our understanding of history and the evolution of the practice of singing old texts (e.g.>)

However, these treasures tend to be tucked away in controlled back rooms and access to the real thing is difficult. We are fortunate that so many texts have now been digitised and are readily available online.

British Library blog

A recent post by the British Library manuscripts blog misses out on the music dimension, but it features decorated psalters. It’s worth a re-blog for those interested: Art in the margins: the Theodore Psalter – Medieval manuscripts blog.

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