Author: Elizabeth Biggs

Parker on the Web is here!

I came back from the holidays last week to the exciting news that another digitisation project is complete- the Parker Library on the Web is now freely available. It’s a fabulously beautiful collection, with lots of really stunning manuscripts, so it’s well worth a virtual browse through their books.   Durham, oddly is only represented Read More …

Feeding the Reformation

I’m going to wander away slightly from the Durham library this week and look at a wonderful set of records from London’s National Archives. Despite the distance to London (it could take a week or more on horseback), Durham’s bishop Cuthbert Tunstall spent quite a lot of the 1530s and 1540s travelling back and forth Read More …

Whose book was it anyway?

I’m very lucky that I get to look at a huge number of really beautiful books from Durham and call it work. One of my favourites so far is this eleventh-century gradual. It’s not the most spectacular book I’ve worked with, but it’s pretty special nonetheless. Click through the images at that link and I hope Read More …

Luther at Durham

2017 marks five hundred years since Martin Luther (supposedly) nailed his famous theses to the church door in Wittenberg and so set off the set of conflicts and changes in the European Church that we now call the Reformation. In 1517 Durham was still a monastery. Luther’s writings first really reached England in 1519, in Read More …

Tunstall in the Library

The last Catholic bishop of Durham, Cuthbert Tunstall, liked to promote his family. Most of those men who can be identified as being in his service were related to him. Tunstall was born in 1474 at Hackfurth in Yorkshire, and his family correspondingly were also from the north-east as well as Lancashire.   After years Read More …

Working in the Cathedral

It feels appropriate to be writing this brief post in today’s cathedral library, the Sharp Library, underneath the immense wooden timbers of the roof in the old monastic dormitory. I’m looking up at the same beamed ceiling that all the monks at Durham would have known although the current windows and the book-presses are all Read More …