Corpus Christi College Oxford

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500 years of treasures from Oxford

To mark the College's 500th anniversary, a selection of forty-nine manuscripts and early printed books, ranging in date from the 10th to the 17th centuries, was shown in America for the first time.  The exhibition took place at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., February 4 – April 30, 2017, and then moved to the Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History, New York, May 14 - August 6, 2017.  Included in the exhibition are some of the earliest recorded gifts made by the Founder and the first President, in particular the latter’s bequest of an incalculably important group of Anglo-Hebrew manuscripts.  It encompasses the College’s involvement with the translation of the ‘Authorized’, or ‘King James’ version of the Bible, and also includes two of the Founder's silver-gilt episcopal objects, normally on display at the Ashmolean Museum.

For further information, see the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Yeshiva University Museum.  CJH also have a capsule site, 500 years of treasures from Oxford.  Some photos of the exhibition installation can be seen here.  There is also a blog, written by the exhibition curator, Peter Kidd. A Treasures exhibition virtual tour of the exhibition is also now available on the College website.

Magna Carta: law, liberty, legacy

Corpus manuscript MS 157 has been lent to the British Library for their exhibition (13 March-1 September 2015) marking the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Digital images from this manuscript, including the visions of Henry I on pages 382-383 can be found on the Early Manuscripts at Oxford University website (follow the links to Corpus, and MS 157).

Manifold greatness: Oxford and the making of the King James Bible

The Bodleian Libraries' exhibition, Manifold greatness: Oxford and the making of the King James Bible (22 April-4 September 2011), featured many items from Corpus' collection of early printed books and its archives.  John Rainolds, President from 1598 to his death in 1607, proposed the idea of a new translation in 1604, and one of the two Oxford translating committees met in Corpus. A version of the Bodleian exhibition, including two Corpus items, then travelled to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

In Hilary Term 2011, a series of lectures was held at the College as a prelude to the exhibition. They are now available as audio and video podcasts on iTunes U, under the title ‘King James Bible lectures'. Fellows, Library and Archives staff were involved in a range of television and radio programmes, including the three part series broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2011.

The Salian Dynasty: power in transition

The Historical Museum of the Palatinate at Speyer celebrated two anniversaries in 2011 (the 950 year anniversary of the dedication of Speyer Cathedral and the 900 year anniversary of the coronation of the last Salian Emperor) with its exhibition The Salian Dynasty: power in transition (April to October 2011). On display until the middle of July was the Corpus manuscript MS 157, the 12th century Chronicle of world and English history by John of Worcester. Digital images from this manuscript can be found on the Early Manuscripts at Oxford University website (follow the links to Corpus, and MS 157).

Online exhibitions

Excerpts from Henry Jackson's letter recording a performance of Othello at Oxford - The collaborative online repository Shakespeare Documented includes an image from CCC MS 304, William Fulman’s extracts from a letter originally written in 1610 by the Corpus Fellow Henry Jackson.  The letter describes performances of Shakespeare’s Othello and Jonson’s The Alchemist in Oxford by the King’s Men, and was displayed as part of the Bodleian Library's 2016 exhibition Shakespeare's Dead.

Manifold greatness: the creation and afterlife of the King James Bible - The Folger Shakespeare Library’s online exhibition featuring contributions by Corpus Fellow in English, Helen Moore, and Archivist Julian Reid.  The site was amongst five winners of the 2012 RBMS (Rare Books and Manuscripts Section) Leab Exhibition Awards from the American Library Association (read the ALA press release). The Awards recognize outstanding exhibition catalogues issued by American or Canadian institutions in conjunction with library exhibitions, as well as electronic exhibition catalogues of outstanding merit issued within the digital/Web environment.

Crossing borders: Hebrew manuscripts as a meeting place of cultures - Two Corpus manuscripts were lent for this temporary exhibition at the Bodleian Library (December 2009 to May 2010)

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Images of the New World

Some Corpus manuscripts have been digitised as part of the early digital project: Early manuscripts at Oxford University (follow the links to Corpus). Others are available through DIAMM, the Digital Image Archives of Medieval Music.

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