Lost Manuscripts

Project information:

Project coordinator: Dr David Rundle
Project address: http://www.lostmss.org.uk/
Project contact: drundle@essex.ac.uk
Online since: October 1, 2015

Access arrangements


Public content: Yes
Content with login required: No
Content with open sign up: No

Themes and Topics


Manuscript fragments, Manuscripts, Harsnett Collection, Centre for Bibliographical History, Pre-Reformation History

About the project:


The aspiration of this project is to provide the groundwork for that transformation by building up — funding permitting — a union catalogue fragments in the British Isles in a series of stages. As explained in more detail in the discussion of the principles of cataloguing fragments, each cutting is taken as having a dual identity and the process of cataloguing responds to this double nature: fragments are described as individual entities, and those which can be identified as coming from a ‘lost manuscript’ are also gathered together and that re-imagined codex given its own description and its own shelfmarks. Seeking a designation for those codices which, because their elements are dispersed, can be in many places and in none, we have chosen to conceptualise them as the manuscripts of Babel.

The first stage of this ambitious undertaking is a pilot project intended to experiment and test the possibilities. Generously funded by the University of Essex, its focus is the range of manuscript fragments to be found in volumes owned by Samuel Harsnett (1561-1631), archbishop of York (1629-31), which are now housed in the Special Collections of the University’s Library.