Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts of the UCLA Library Special Collections: I. The Richard and Mary Rouse Collection

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts of the UCLA Library Special Collections: I. The Richard and Mary Rouse Collection

By R. H. Rouse and M. A. Rouse
2017 | 512 pp. | 978-0-86698-525-3 | Cloth 6 x 9 in
MRTS 472 | $75.00 |

The Rouse Collection contains 140 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts ranging through the fields of paleography, codicology, and social history as embodied in the commissioning, making, reading, study, and dispersal of hand-written books. It is a teaching collection that includes examples, often fragmentary, of many different sorts of manuscripts whose forms and scripts represent the widest possible variety of times, places, genres, and Western languages, and comprises not only Latin but vernacular texts as well. This volume has descriptions of the manuscripts, manuscript leaves, and documents that were collected over a thirty-year period and presented to the UCLA Library Special Collections in 2005 and 2011.

Many of the smaller pieces in the Rouse Collection have an importance that belies their insignificant appearance: ninth-century bifolia preserve a liturgical text marginally juxtaposed with the corresponding lectiones taken from the homilies of Haimo of Auxerre, a format not seen elsewhere (MS 116); two early-thirteenth-century bifolia contain significant variant readings in the Middle French romance Athis et Profilias (MS 68); bifolia from early fourteenth-century Oxford afford a unique example of the working methods of the Franciscans who were jointly compiling the Tabula septem custodiarum (MS 96); manuscript calendars preserve as annotations informative names of persons and places (e.g., MSS 11, 41, 102), as does the obituary of the long-vanished parish church of St-Jean-d’Ocques in Burgundy (MS 87); a pile of 60 scraped and apparently anonymous parchment leaves play a key role in the reconstruction of an elaborate books of hours painted by a known illuminator, the Master of the Brussels Initials (MS 32).

There are also variations of five different manuscript rolls: a ten-foot-long fourteenth-century genealogical roll of the kings of England (MS 49); two small rolls of income properties belonging to twelfth-century cathedral canons divided by prebend (MS 134); an homage roll mentioning Sir John Fastolf and a rent roll of the tenants of Sir Richard Lee of Hertfordshire (MSS 53 and 61); a royal act of Louis XII in roll form that mentions the infamous Gilles de Rais (MS 131); and even a nineteenth-century Esther roll in Hebrew (MS 99).
The Richard and Mary Rouse Collection at UCLA is out of the ordinary and this catalog will make its contents available to others for research and teaching.


R. H. and M. A. Rouse
with the assistance of Stacey Graham and Rhiannon Knoll

Bindings described by Kristen St. John
Musical notation described by Gillian Gower