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Archives and Special Collections: Illuminated Manuscripts & Religious Texts

Archives and Special Collections is a repository for materials contained in a variety of formats: books, manuscripts, correspondence, journals, photographs, posters, maps, original drawings, theatre programs, archival documents, and other materials.

Illuminated Manuscripts, Exact Facsimiles

  • The Book of Kells
    The supreme achievement of Irish Celtic Art and a pre-eminent example of an illuminated manuscript.
  • Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry
    A prayer book of exceptional quality, full of great beauty. It is a rich compendium of brilliant small paintings and it ranks among the great masterpieces of the Middle Ages.
  • Les heures de Turin-Milan
    An illuminated prayer-book. Initially commissioned by the Duc de Berry in 1380. This work was importantly advanced by Jan van Eyck, producing his only known miniatures. It was completed by van Eyck's group of illuminators after his death. The original manuscript, which is a missal despite its title, now resides in the Museo Civico d'Arte Antica in Turin.
  • The Ellesmere Chaucer
    From the Huntington Library of Marino, California, this manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, made soon after 1400, is the most famous of all English literary, illuminated manuscripts, featuring twenty-three portraits of the storytellers, including Chaucer himself. (The acquisition of this facsimile is especially dedicated to the memory of the late LIU Post Professor of English, Dr. Richard Griffith).

Bibles and Liturgical Texts

Archives and Special Collections is home to an exceptional collection of Bibles and Christian liturgical texts which present a pleasing variety of language, engraving, type style and binding. The volumes contain an impressive representation of the rich liturgical and scholastic traditions of Western Europe as well as examples from further afield.

Commentary on the Psalms of David, 1506

Apparently first printed in 1491 with the title, Expositio in Psalterium, this commentary on the Psalms of David is the earliest book in Special Collections, printed in January, 1506.

Contemporary leather binding with tooled decorations on the cover, with vestiges of metal clasps. Text in Latin. Printer's device on title page. The last three leaves contain: "Francisci Petrarchae poetae lureati Psalmi peniteniales elegantes devoti."

Underhill Collection

A collection of mostly classics of Quaker literature, sixty-four books and several issues of three serials, donated to the LIU Post library by a member of the Underhill family. Although containing predominantly 18th and 19th century publications, there are some 17th and 20th century items as well. The collection ranges from a George Fox 1674 classic and Robert Barclay's 1765 An Apology for the True Christian Divinity  to a 1983 issue of the News and Views of the Underhill Society.

Contact Information

Archives and Special Collections

B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library
LIU Post Campus
Long Island University
Brookville, NY 11548

Telephone: (516) 299-2880

Email: jarron.jewell@liu.edu

Hours: 9:00-5:00, Monday-Friday