Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts: Home

Pre-1600 Manuscripts at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library

About This Guide

This guide provides a handlist of manuscripts at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library that are dated to 1600 or earlier, along with information on resources for conducting research on medieval and early modern manuscripts. It is a work in progress and will be updated regularly with new information during 2022. If you have any questions or comments, please contact N. Kıvılcım Yavuz, Ann Hyde Postdoctoral Researcher.

About Kenneth Spencer Research Library and Its Collections

Kenneth Spencer Research Library is the rare books, manuscripts, and archives library of the University of Kansas. The Library is home to Special Collections (established in 1953), the Kansas Collection (founded before the turn of the twentieth century by the University's first librarian, Carrie Watson), and the University Archives (established in 1969).
The Library is open to all researchers, regardless of academic affiliation or place of residence.
Further information on the history of the library as well as its collections and opening hours may be found on the website of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library

About Pre-1600 Manuscripts at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Kenneth Spencer Research Library ranks among the top fifteen libraries in North America for holdings of medieval and early modern manuscripts (source: Melissa Conway and Lisa Fagin Davis, “Directory of Collections in the United States and Canada with Pre-1600 Manuscript Holdings”). 
The most comprehensive published guide to the pre-1550 holdings of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library is Ann Hyde's A Checklist of Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Department of Special Collections, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas published in 1996, which is available open access on KU Scholar Works.
The majority of the manuscript holdings of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library have records (with varying degrees of detail) as part of the online KU Libraries Catalog, with a small number also having Finding Aids. Currently, some 229 manuscripts with selected images are also included in the Digital Scriptorium, the digital platform of the consortium of American libraries and museums committed to free online access to their collections of pre-modern manuscripts. 

How to Consult Manuscripts at at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Kenneth Spencer Research Library is open to all researchers, regardless of academic affiliation or place of residence. Manuscripts can be consulted at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library Marilyn Stokstad Reading Room. See the Use Collections page on the Kenneth Spencer Research Library website for further details.

Librarian

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N. Kıvılcım Yavuz
she/her
Contact:
Kenneth Spencer Research Library
+1-785-864-1472
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