The University of Manchester Library's Middle English manuscripts are of paramount importance to key subject areas, including literature, history, theology, linguistics and art history.
In response to demand for improved access, the Library has received funding from JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee) to digitise all 41 manuscripts (c 12,000 images) and to make them publicly available via a dedicated project website. This is the cornerstone of a more ambitious project for a Manchester Medieval Digital Library, which will contain manuscripts in other languages and incunabula (books printed before 1501).
The manuscripts include key works of medieval literature, such as the Canterbury Tales and John Lydgate's two major poems, the Troy Book and Fall of Princes. There are also numerous copies of the New Testament, translated into English by John Wycliffe, the fourteenth-century radical and church reformer. Other notable works include several copies of the Brut, the medieval history of England, meditations on the life of Christ, a legal commonplace book and medical recipes.