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English Medieval BooksThe Reading Abbey Collections from Foundation to Dispersal$
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Alan Coates

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207566

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207566.001.0001

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The Acquisition, Housing, and Management of the Book Collections

The Acquisition, Housing, and Management of the Book Collections

(p.113) 7 The Acquisition, Housing, and Management of the Book Collections
English Medieval Books

Alan Coates

Oxford University Press

Individual monks of Reading Abbey acquired books for themselves that subsequently passed into the abbey’s collections on their deaths. The procedure at Reading would probably have been broadly similar to that followed at St Augustine’s, Canterbury, as outlined in its fourteenth-century customary. Evidence for the appropriation of monks’ books by Reading Abbey may be found in the book list in the Fingall Cartulary, which contains references to donations by twelve named figures (contemporary book lists from other houses, notably the 1202 list from Rochester, also record the names of donors). Two of the donors whose names appear in the Reading list held high office in the abbey: Anscher, the second abbot (1130–1135), and sub-prior Anselm. Other donations to the abbey include a small, two-volume Bible and a glossed Pentateuch. Donors range from Thomas of Hyde to Adam de Dimmoc, Hugh of Buckingham, Master Martines, Hugh Physicus, and Master Gilbert. A great many of the surviving twelfth-century manuscripts appear to have been copied at or for the abbey.

Keywords:   Reading Abbey, monks, donations, book collections, Fingall Cartulary, Anscher, Anselm, Bible, Pentateuch, twelfth-century manuscripts

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