Prior Wibert’s Waterworks Plan

A guest blog by Professor Paul Bennett, Director of Canterbury Archaeological Trust from 1984 to 2020. In the mid-1160s, when Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury, a map was drawn of the Cathedral and its surrounding Benedictine Priory buildings to show a newly built aqueduct and its structures within and outside the city walls. This …

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Cake, Caraway and Commemoration

A commonplace book typically includes notes and passages from literature compiled as work of reference. Manuscript R.2.45 is an example of this kind of memoranda and was probably put together by the printer William Bowyer (1699–1777) sometime in the 1750s. This is a very personal miscellany including many ‘stories’, description of the parts of a …

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Recent Additions to the Wren Digital Library (10)

L.11.33, Habitus praecipuorum populorum This German Trachtenbuch (Costume book) was printed in Nuremburg in 1577. The introduction is signed by Hans Weigel and most of the woodcuts are by Jost Amman. Costume books of this kind began to be produced in the second half of the sixteenth century. There are 219 single page woodcuts that …

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Ulysses: some editions at Trinity

February 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses. This blog highlights some of the inspiration for Joyce’s influential, if controversial, book and some of the different editions owned by Trinity College. Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey, Joyce’s Ulysses contains parallels to the Greek classic. The original epic poem tells the story …

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Conservation of a Pocket Bible

Conservator Edward Cheese has recently completed the repair of a medieval pocket Bible (B.10.21) in a project which, owing to its complexity and the Covid lockdown, took over three years to complete. In this blog he describes the meticulous conservation process. Prior to conservation the manuscript was in an extremely fragile state: the opening leaves …

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In Defence of Christmas

A blog by Dr. Dan Sperrin, Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College Cambridge. Dr Sperrin is writing a history of satire. He is also a caricaturist and has provided the illustrations for this blog. According to some, there is nothing friendly about Father Christmas. In a short satirical prose skit devised in 1658 by a …

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Wittgenstein and Photography: New Insights

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Fellowship admission photograph, 1929. F.A.II.7[2] One of the most famous images of Ludwig Wittgenstein is the photograph which he sent to Trinity College as a requirement for his election to a scholarship in 1929. A new exhibition at the Leopold Museum in Vienna allows us to see this photograph in a new light. The …

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Recent Additions to the Wren Digital Library (9)

O.1.31, Carmen de Algorismo and Massa Compoti This manuscript contains two booklets by the same scribe. The first is a mathematical text Carmen de Algorismo and has an explicit on f.18v. The explicit indicates the end of a unit of text and may provide information such as the title, the author, the scribe, or the …

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