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Treasures at Christ's College, Cambridge: Treasures in Focus #7 - Donations Book [Christ's College, MS 23]
The manuscript is dated on its opening folio as 1623 and therefore post-dates Lady Margaret herself by some considerable time, but it is significant in being the earliest extant document held by the College that provides us with a list of the books she presented. We must assume that the anonymous scribe was working from contemporary documents which now no longer survive. Concerned that her new foundation should be provided with books from the very outset, Lady Margaret gave a collection of 40 titles, 27 of which remain in the Old Library today. All of the books were in Latin, and focussed on the subjects most relevant to the needs of the first scholars; theology forms the bulk of the collection as one might expect, but there are also books on arts, law and one medical text. The manuscript is interesting to us not just for the most obvious reason of recording the donation from our benefactor, but also for what this demonstrates about the character of Lady Margaret. For example, all of the items listed are printed; there was no manuscript material given which adds weight to the argument that she offered significant support to printers and the newly flourishing book trade in general. As mentioned, all of these books were in Latin, yet we know that Lady Margaret could only read in English and French, so these books were obviously not donations from her own collection; they were being specifically purchased to be given to the College for use by its students. -- blog post has image of title page with coats of arms of Lady Margaret and her 3 husbands and her device which became the arms of the college
16thC  17thC  books  libraries  university  Cambridge_University  manuscripts  printing  education-higher  Bolingbroke-family  patrons  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader

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