‘Gather your song’: virgin saints in the Barking Hymnal

The page above is from a 15th-century hymnal in the Wren Library, showing the hymn Tibi Christe, splendor patris. It has enjoyed a respectable place in English church music tradition, appearing in the 1906 English Hymnal as Thee, O Christ, the Father’s splendour. (It did not quite make the cut when the New English Hymnal …

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Trinity Lends to Thomas Becket Exhibition [I]

Trinity College has loaned three manuscripts to the exhibition ‘Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint’ which opens at the British Museum on 20 May 2021. In three blog-posts in coming weeks we will take a closer look at these manuscripts in the context of the story of Becket's life and cult. Thomas …

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Money matters: the discovery of an unpublished letter by Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)

Duchcov Castle, Bohemia, 2nd  December 1791. Giacomo Casanova, the famous 18th-century Italian adventurer, has just received a letter from his nephew Carlo, a would-be entrepreneur living in Dresden. In his letter, Carlo asked his uncle for money on behalf of Sala, a Dresden merchant, who was apparently claiming the payment of a debt previously contracted …

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Questions on Criticism: Arthur Balfour’s Romanes Lecture on literary criticism and beauty (1909)

Among the material recently acquired by the College is a collection of documents relating to Trinity alumnus and former Prime Minister Arthur James Balfour (Add.MS.a.616). Following his entry into Parliament in 1874, much of Balfour’s early career was focused on Ireland, where he remained staunchly against Irish home rule and oversaw the redistribution of land …

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Greek Manuscripts

A guest blog by Project Cataloguer, Dr Matteo Di Franco. The Wren Library is home to a stunning collection, ranging from medieval manuscripts to 20th-century rare editions, and since 2019 its Greek manuscripts have been receiving new and in-depth attention, thanks to the Polonsky Foundation Greek Manuscripts Project. This is a collaborative project between the …

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Conservation of Lexicon Alchemiae (1612) from Isaac Newton’s private library

A guest blog by Conservator, Monika Stokowiec. It was a very exciting opportunity to work on a book which belonged to Isaac Newton and not something many book conservators have chance to do in their professional careers. At first sight the book did not seem in too bad a condition as the binding has been …

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Thomas Hebbes’s Pocket Diary

This year we begin a series of posts looking at new acquisitions. Almost all the books in the Wren Library were presented to the College, and the tradition of giving books to the College continues to this day. As well as donations of books, the College has been presented with various financial gifts by alumni …

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