Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts Catalogue

The Princeton University Library is pleased to announce the long-awaited publication of its two-volume catalogue, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library, by Don C. Skemer; incorporating contributions by Adelaide Bennett, Jean F. Preston, William P. Stoneman and the Index of Christian Art (Princeton, N.J.: Department of Art and Archaeology and the Princeton University Library, in association with Princeton University Press, 2013), vol. I: xxv, 483 pages, 88 pages of plates; vol. II: xix, 558 pages, 40 pages of plates): color illustrations; 30 cm. The catalogue is available from Princeton University Press. This illustrated catalogue, with nearly 400 color illustrations, provides full textual and codicological descriptions of upwards of 450 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Most of the manuscripts are in the Manuscripts Division, in the Robert Garrett (Class of 1897), Grenville Kane, Robert Taylor (Class of 1930), and Princeton series. Also found in these collections are more than 250 separate miniatures, leaves, and cuttings. The catalogue also covers a number of manuscripts in the Cotsen Children’s Library, the gift of Lloyd E. Cotsen (Class of 1950); and a small number of other manuscripts in other manuscript series or bound with printed books.

The Library has one of the finest collections of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in North America, chiefly in the Manuscripts Division, but complemented by the holdings of the Scheide Library. The manuscripts range in date from the 8th to 16th centuries. About a third of the manuscripts in the catalogue are illuminated or illustrated. While Latin texts are predominant, Princeton has excellent holdings of vernacular manuscripts in Middle English, as well as in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch or Flemish, and other languages. Byzantine and post-Byzantine Greek manuscripts are described in a separate catalogue, Greek Manuscripts at Princeton, Sixth to Nineteenth Century: A Descriptive Catalogue, by Sofia Kotzabassi and Nancy Patterson Ševčenko; with the collaboration of Don C. Skemer (Princeton, N.J.: Department of Art and Archaeology and Program in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University, in association with Princeton University Press, 2010), xxix, 304 p., [174] p. of plates of color and black-and-white plates; 31 cm. This catalog covers the holdings of the Manuscripts Division, The Scheide Library, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Princeton Theological Seminary. It is also available from Princeton University Press.

Publication of the new catalogue will be celebrated in an international conference organized by the Index of Christian Art: “Manuscripta Illuminata: Approaches to Understanding Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.” The conference will be held at Princeton University on October 25–26, 2013. For information about the conference and its speakers, go to

For information about Princeton manuscripts, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, at

Jean de Meun as author. Garrett Ms. 126, fol. 29v. Gift of Robert Garrett, Class of 1897. Not to be reproduced without permission of the Princeton University Library.














St. Luke painting the Virgin Mary. Princeton Ms. 87, fol. 17r. Gift of Edna Reed, from the collection of David Aiken Reed, Class of 1900. Not to be reproduced without permission of the Princeton University Library.