parker library. corpus christi college.


Matthew Parker was a figure of the English Reformation and a benefactor to the University of Cambridge. An avid book collector who salvaged medieval manuscripts dispersed at the dissolution of the monasteries, his greatest tangible legacy is his library of manuscripts and early printed books (which span more than a thousand years) entrusted to Corpus Christi College and continuously housed there since 1574.

The Parker Library’s holdings of Old English texts accounts for nearly a quarter of all extant manuscripts in Anglo-Saxon, including the earliest copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (c. 890) thought to have been commissioned by Alfred the Great as he pushed for greater use of the language. The Library also includes everything from monastic books from the early Dark Ages to illuminated manuscripts (The Bury Bible c. 1135) and autograph letters from Anne Boleyn and Martin Luther.

Parker Library on the Web is an undertaking of Corpus Christi College, the Stanford University Libraries and Cambridge University Library, to produce a digital copy of every imageable page of most manuscripts in the Parker Library.

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