Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts from the National Library of Scotland

Of interest to medievalists and early modern historians more generally, the NLS has completed its digitisation project for Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts (pre-1700 manuscripts), including the Brus, Wallace, Bannatyne, Auchinleck and Asloan manuscripts.  The early manuscripts listings have been updated to show these.  While some important resources (e.g. the Carver Choirbook) were already available online, the latest additions help to contextualise and deepen our understanding of the early Scottish repertoire, in particular, the sacred music of the pre-Reformation period.  Highlights include:

  • The Carver Choir Book (The Scone Antiphonary) – an anthology including the extant works of Robert Carver, along with material in the repertoire of the Chapel Royal, compiled in the first half of the 16th century – Adv.MS.5.1.15.
  • The Iona Psalter – copied in England c.1200 for use by a Benedictine prioress based in Iona
  • The Sarum Processional – made in England but reflecting the widespread use of the Sarum rite in 15th century Scotland
  • The Lesmahagow Missal – 13th century, including music, thought to have been produced in Scotland, with references to St Kentigern – MS16495 with MS16495A.

Other material in this completed project could also be of interest to those researching patronage and influence networks, while literary manuscripts provide insights into Renaissance poetic form and meter, both of which impact the form and rhythms of music e.g. the Bannatyne Manuscript, and the Asloan Manuscript, which also has a digitised printed edition from the Scottish Text Society, 1923-5.

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