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English Corner

The Harvard Law School Library’s Historical & Special Collections is pleased to announce the release of several early manuscript digital collections of likely interest to students and scholars of late medieval and early modern Anglo-American law and history.

ENGLISH MANOR ROLLS: We recently began a multi-year project to conserve and digitize our collection of English manor rolls. The collection consists of 170 court rolls, account rolls, and other documents from various manors, ranging in date from 1282 to 1770. For a complete description of the collection, see the finding aid, which will change and grow as digital images of the rolls become available. Links to the images, along with improved descriptions of the rolls, will be added as the project progresses. We welcome your suggestions for improved descriptions; email with your feedback. For more information, visit

REGISTERS OF WRITS: With funding from the Ames Foundation and the Harvard Law School Library, we have digitized our entire manuscript collection of 19 registers of English legal writs, dating from about 1275 to 1476. A link to the online collection is available here: Cataloging information for each writ may be found by searching Harvard’s library catalog, HOLLIS, and browsing by “other call number”: HLS MS XXX.

MAGNA CARTA and ENGLISH STATUTORY COMPILATIONS: To celebrate Magna Carta’s 800th birthday, the Ames Foundation and the Harvard Law School Library have digitized our entire manuscript collection of English statutory compilations, dating from about 1300 to 1500. A link to the collection is available here: Search HOLLIS as described above for cataloging information.

ENHANCING THE ONLINE DESCRIPTIONS: The Ames Foundation has begun a project to fully describe the contents of these registers and statutes. Visit to read more about the project, to see an example of a fully-described manuscript (HLS MS 184), and to find out how you can help.

The portrait was sold to benefit the museum's acquisition fund at the 2013 Old Masters sale at Sotheby's.

"The manor roll collection consists of 170 court-rolls, account-rolls, and other documents from various manors, ranging in date from 1282 to 1770."

"In a bid for fair copyright laws that will benefit citizens and researchers across Europe organisations including the Wellcome Trust, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals, Royal Museums Greenwich and the Open Rights Group have called for much needed reforms. "

Suggestion for a tweet:

"Tweet your support and spread the word: We need #faircopyright across Europe. Show your support: London Manifesto "


Michele Combs, as comment to:

"In total, there are more than 4 million images in the Commons. The collection has been viewed more than 1.3 billion times and the Flickr community has added 53 million tags, 1.5 million faves, and 220,000 comments."

Cary Street, Richmond, Va.

"The exhibition 'Ingenious Impressions: the coming of the book' is now up
and running at the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow.

This exhibition showcases 64 of the 1000+ incunabula found in the
University's Special Collections, tracing their development from
manuscript to print and their 500 years of ownership history. Based on
the research of a nearly completed five year project to catalogue the
books in detail ( this is a
rare opportunity for books from our Special Collections to be on public
display. It's a feast for bibliophiles, so do visit if you are in

For more info on what's on show and exhibition opening times etc, see:

See also our project blog: "

Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (Winter 2014), pp. 1337-1340 (toll access)


"Most revealing is Bredekamp’s contribution: his refusal to recognize his own methodological failure is not only saddening, but also counterproductive. To put it bluntly, as has been done in the German press: if one of the world’s foremost art historians is incapable of seeing the difference between a 1610 drawing by Galileo and a 2005 forgery, what does that say about art history (or art historians)? [...]

Are we, then, at a methodological impasse, where forgeries are unidentifiable?

The answer is a definite no. As the volume shows, what matters is the right approach. Nicholas Pickwoad, a new addition to the group, shows in his illuminating and characteristically brilliant chapter on the book’s structure that this analysis alone would have been sufficient to cast deep doubt on SNML’s authenticity. We now have a clear methodological directive: analyze bindings first, as this is where mistakes are most visible to the trained eye. It’s a short-term solution, though, that will disappear once the knowledge gap between binders and Pickwoad diminishes."

See also


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