Welcome to the Special Collections Facsimile exhibit: Facsimiles of Illuminated Manuscripts in Special Collections. This exhibit is designed to showcase illuminated manuscript facsimiles in the University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections.  

The Middle Ages of Western Europe are commonly dated from around the 5th century until the Protestant Reformation starting in 1517.

The facsimiles presented here, of course, represent manuscripts known to have been created before the advent of printing. This on-line presentation offers a brief look at some important, extremely rare, and influential manuscripts which are now made available in facsimile form.

A fine art facsimile re-creates an original document or manuscript in a copy that is as faithful to the original as possible. The word "facsimile" comes from the Latin ("fac simile") and means "make it the same". It represents the faithful rendition of originals, particularly of manuscripts. Contemporary facsimile documents are generally produced by a photographic process. Most modern-day facsimiles are created using offset printing methods in limited numbered editions. 

Scholars desire to examine original documents whenever possible, but the facsimile offers an opportunity to study illumination and lettering styles, output from several important scriptoria and schools, and texts created by hand usually on parchment or vellum. Each entry in the exhibit will identify the repository where the original manuscript is located. 

The University of Arizona Library continues to acquire fine art facsimiles, so this is not a comprehensive list. It does offer a learning object that is used with several art and history course sessions held in Special Collections. For additional inquiries about facsimiles at the University Library, please contact us at askspecialcollections@u.library.arizona.edu or consult the library's online catalog at http://www.library.arizona.edu/


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