Special Collections Pre-1600 Manuscripts


An Introduction

The Wellesley College Library's Special Collections contain approximately 100 pre-1600 bound manuscripts and fragments, encompassing humanist, liturgical, and secular texts. Approximately one half of these are in the Plimpton Collection of Italian literature and poetry, given to Wellesley College in 1900 by Mr. George Arthur Plimpton in memory of is wife, Frances Taylor Pearsons Plimpton, class of 1884.

The remaining non-Plimpton manuscripts vary in age and content. Some were given over 100 years ago by Wellesley College founder, Henry F. Durant, who believed in building a strong library of primary research materials for the students. Other gifts have come from devoted alumnae, faculty, and College presidents.

Never fully described until 2000, the present complete catalog was prepared by Dr. Lisa Fagin Davis, with funds generously provided by the Friends of the Library.

Using this database, a full description of each manuscript is available in both HTML and PDF format.

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