Durham Cathedral Library MS. B.II.35 Bede and other historical texts
This week will be our last ‘Colour your own medieval manuscript’ for the time being (until we can digitise some more manuscripts and find more images that need colouring!). We are ending on a high note with not one, but FIVE uncoloured initials from Durham Cathedral Library MS. B.II.35 Bede and other historical texts.
If you want to colour in an original full page, we have given you the largest of the letters to download, which already has a few highlights in red and green ink. The colouring book style version contains all five letters, with a little of the neighbouring text.
Durham Cathedral Library MS. B.II.35 contains a number of different works, but all of our letters come from Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica, which he completed in 731. This manuscript dates from the 11th century and was given to Durham Priory Library by William of St Calais, who became Bishop of Durham in 1080. Although the first initial in this book (on f.38v) was coloured in red, green, and blue ink, the others were only drawn out in brown and, occasionally, red ink:
These initials are similar to those in another of the books donated by William of St Calais, a Bible created in Normandy in the late 11th century, known as Durham Cathedral Library MS. A.II.4 – Bible of William of St Calais. This manuscript is lavishly decorated throughout, but here is one particularly spectacular example:
We hope you have enjoyed our ‘Colour your own medieval manuscript’ series, we have certainly enjoyed looking at our manuscripts in a slightly different light! Digitisation has not yet resumed, but we hope it will do soon, and in the meantime, we will continue to highlight our collections and post project updates on this blog, and on Twitter (Durham Cathedral Library: @BedesBooks and Palace Green Library: @PalaceGreenLib).