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 …

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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 …

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Trinity College has lent two manuscripts to a fabulous new exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World looks at the imaginative world of the medieval bestiary. A bestiary is a compendium of animals - mythical and real – which usually highlights the religious …

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The Life and Adventures of Peter Wilkins, a Cornish Man

A previous blog celebrated the 300 year anniversary of the publication of Robinson Crusoe in 1719. From the outset, the popularity of Defoe's novel gave rise to a whole genre of new work known as 'Robinsonade'. This literature employed quintessential elements from Robinson Crusoe such as shipwrecked sailors, pragmatic realists and saved pilgrims. The first …

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The Interior of the Wren Library

Our next few blog posts will focus on aspects of the interior decoration of the Wren Library. Christopher Wren's decorative design was not followed for the original ceiling of the library which instead was unadorned. The intention may have been to add painted decoration but it was not until 1850 that the more ornamental ceiling …

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Photograph of the Month: Henry Martyn Taylor, mathematician

Henry Martyn Taylor (1842–1927) was an undergraduate at Trinity and later a Fellow. A mathematician who contributed to the study of geometry, he is also remembered for an innovation which made mathematical texts more accessible to blind people. After catching influenza at the age of 52, his sight was damaged and he eventually became completely …

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Photograph of the Month: Graduate Students 1976

This month we welcome new students to Trinity and shortly they will all visit the Wren Library to sign the Admission Book. College Statutes were altered to allow the admission of women to the college in 1975. This photograph dates from 1976, the year that female graduate students first arrived. Marian Hobson was elected the …

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Discovering Newton

Earlier this week we welcomed members of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers to the Library. Their visit was part of a symposium to mark the 350th anniversary of Newton’s argument that the Earth’s gravity influenced the moon, counter-balancing its centrifugal force. Among the items on display were personal effects which belonged to Newton …

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Wittgenstein’s Letter to the Garden Committee

The papers of the eminent philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein are available via the Wren Digital Library. Outwith this archive, however, is a curious letter he addressed to the Garden Committee of the College in 1934, of incidental interest because of his studied objections to their plans for the Fellows' Garden. The area of land to the …

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