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Book of Hours and Student Bible

The Library has acquired two outstanding medieval manuscripts, elevating the Library’s rare books collection and significantly contributing to firsthand teaching and learning at the University.

The “student Bible” was made in Oxford, England around 1250 — a time when student Bibles were produced for university students and professors for their daily studies — and is the only one of its kind in a Canadian collection. The “Book of Hours,” a private devotional book from the 15th century, contains remarkable hand-painted illuminations. 

Siân Echard, Head of UBC’s department of English, has already used both texts as teaching and learning tools in her class and notes their importance to hands-on learning. “All of the senses get engaged in a way that just doesn’t happen with a facsimile.”

Book of Hours and Student Bible

Siân Echard, Head of the UBC Department of English, Ingrid Parent, UBC University Librarian, and Dr. Kenneth Fung, contributing donor. Photo Credit: Don Erhardt

These recent acquisitions were purchased at auction in December 2015, thanks to generous donor funds. “Their efforts have enabled UBC Library to enhance its medieval collections for research, learning and enjoyment,” remarks Ingrid Parent, UBC’s university librarian.

Both manuscripts can be viewed in the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections area of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre or as digitized versions online.

For more information, see the UBC Media Release “Centuries-old medieval manuscripts added to UBC Library collection,” (Mar. 21).

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