Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections

From September 12, 2016 through January 16, 2017, the Boston Public Library participated in the largest exhibition of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts ever held in North America.

A city-wide collaborative effort involving nineteen area institutions, Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections featured more than 260 rare books and manuscripts created between the ninth and seventeenth centuries. The BPL contributed 36 medieval and early Renaissance manuscripts to this endeavor, most of which were conserved and/or cataloged with Associates funding during 2015-2016. These singular items were displayed at the exhibitions’ three venues: Harvard’s Houghton Library, Boston College’s McMullen Museum, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. After Harvard, the BPL was the largest lender of materials to this show. More than 50,000 visitors attended the exhibitions.