Sacra et Profana: Music in Medieval Manuscripts - Houston Collections

October 10, 2012 - February 8, 2013, M.D. Anderson Library

"Nothing exists without music, for the universe itself is said to have been framed by a kind of harmony of sounds, and the heaven itself revolves around the tone of that harmony."

- Isidore of Seville

Original Medieval Manuscripts at the University of Houston Libraries

The University of Houston Libraries’ Special Collections is fortunate to have among its collections twelve complete medieval manuscripts, codex books written and decorated entirely by hand. The earliest of these dates from ca. 1250-1300, with examples up to ca. 1450-1499. In addition, the department owns seven single leaves dating from the same period.


While these books and leaves form only a small part of Special Collections’ holdings, they do figure largely in academic instruction at the University of Houston, thereby getting significant use by faculty and students. In an effort to preserve these one-of-a kind resources and to make them more widely available, we have just completed digitization of the entire Book of Hours (Use of Reims), displayed in the current exhibit. The entire manuscript will become available in the Digital Library within the current academic year, 2012-13. Other of our manuscript books also have been targeted for future digitization.

Selections from University of Houston Libraries' Special Collections

Highslide JS
Book of Hours (Use of Sarum)
Monks chanting Office of the Dead.
Highslide JS
Book of Hours (Use of Utrecht)
King David praying, with harp in foreground.
Highslide JS
Pontificale
Typical 16th century French-Flemish foliated decoration, with marginalia.

Links to Other Institutions Taking Part in the Exhibit

Permalink: http://info.lib.uh.edu/p/mmm-houston-collections