Decorative Papers in the Dryden Album

The Dryden Album (R.14.23) is known for its beautiful images of Greek and Turkish costume but Susanne Krause, a paper decorator and researcher based in Hamburg, has recently drawn our attention to the fact that the interleaved papers in the album are also of special significance. When the album was catalogued in 1902, the interleaved …

Continue reading Decorative Papers in the Dryden Album

Thorvaldsen’s Statue of Byron

The Wren Library contains an exceptional collection of sculpture. One of the highlights is the magnificent statue of George Gordon, Lord Byron by Bertel Thorvaldsen. Byron, one of the greatest of English Romantic poets, was admitted to Trinity College Cambridge in 1805. He was at first “miserable and untoward to a degree …. wretched at …

Continue reading Thorvaldsen’s Statue of Byron

Manuscript Owners and a Newly-Identified Manuscript from the Austin Friars, London

Some medieval manuscripts will have had several owners and often information about these people can be found within the manuscripts themselves. This is often a simple statement of ownership such as that found at the bottom of folio 1 of manuscript B.15.1 which tells us that at one time it belonged to the Benedictine Cathedral …

Continue reading Manuscript Owners and a Newly-Identified Manuscript from the Austin Friars, London

“… touches the very soul of anyone who first sees it”: the woodcarving of Grinling Gibbons in the Wren Library

Knowledgeable visitors to the Wren Library are quick to spot the magnificent woodcarvings which adorn pediments, alcoves, wainscoting and bookcases.  They often ask for confirmation from the Wren Attendants as to the identity of the carver and smile in the pleasure of recognition and self-congratulation at the answer they receive.  The fact that the name …

Continue reading “… touches the very soul of anyone who first sees it”: the woodcarving of Grinling Gibbons in the Wren Library

Commonplace Books and the Apocalypse: Anne Sadleir’s Manuscripts at Trinity

Anne Sadleir (1585-1670) is remembered as the woman who gave the famed Trinity Apocalypse (R.16.2) to the college. In some ways we know little about her: there is no surviving portrait and few biographical details exist. Anne was the eldest daughter of the prominent lawyer, Sir Edward Coke (1552–1634), who enrolled at Trinity but who …

Continue reading Commonplace Books and the Apocalypse: Anne Sadleir’s Manuscripts at Trinity

Pierre Belon’s Book of Fish

This small printed book  - La nature & diuersité des poissons, avec leurs pourtraicts, representez au plus pres du naturel  -  bound in white vellum arrived at Trinity Library as part of the Crewe Collection in 2016.  It is full of illustrations of fish and animals of the sea including some fantastical creatures.  Printed in …

Continue reading Pierre Belon’s Book of Fish

In celebration of Eid al-Fitr

This year, the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr begins on the evening of Tuesday 4th June. The festival marks the end of Ramadan, a month-long period of fasting and reflection. During Ramadan the Holy Qur’ān was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). This blog looks at two copies of the Qur’ān along with a book of Sufi …

Continue reading In celebration of Eid al-Fitr