Rare Book Room

Digital versions of books and broadsides from the library’s Special Collections.

The materials in this collection are made available for use in research, teaching and private study. Texts and images from this collection may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior permission from Davidson College . Although these texts and images are made publicly accessible for the limited uses described above, they are not all in the public domain. Where copyright persists in this material, that right is owned either by Davidson College, the original copyright holder, or by the creators of the object or their descendants. When use is made of these texts and images, it is the responsibility of the user to secure any necessary permissions and to observe the stated access policy, the laws of copyright and the educational fair use guidelines.

Emblematum libellus
Emblematum libellus
A 1544 book of emblems by Andrea Aiciati
Leaf from a Liturgical Book
Leaf from a Liturgical Book
4 pages; illuminated on vellum
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian Church, Leaf 94 verso.,...
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian Church, Leaf 94 verso.,...
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, Leaf 94 verso.
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, Leaf 91 recto,...
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, Leaf 91 recto,...
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, containing chant in neumatic notation. Leaf 91. Antiphonal. Music
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, Leaf 91 verso,...
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, Leaf 91 verso,...
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, containing chant in neumatic notation. Leaf 91. Antiphonal . Music.
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, Leaf 94 recto,...
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, Leaf 94 recto,...
Leaf from a liturgical book of the Western Christian church, containing chant in neumatic notation. Leaf 94. Antiphonal. Music
Medieval Bible Leaf
Medieval Bible Leaf
Leaf 1 of a medieval manuscript Bible
Medieval manuscript Bible, leaf 2 recto, Three leaves from a Medieval manuscript...
Medieval manuscript Bible, leaf 2 recto, Three leaves from a Medieval manuscript...
[no. 2.] Judges, ch. 2-3 [recto], 2 columns, 49 lines, 220.47 B58L 1250 no. 2 [recto]
Medieval manuscript Bible, leaf 2 verso, Three leaves from a Medieval manuscript...
Medieval manuscript Bible, leaf 2 verso, Three leaves from a Medieval manuscript...
[no.2.] Judges, ch. 2-3 [verso], 2 columns, 49 lines, 220.47 B58L 1250 no.2 [verso]
Poems, Cowper fore-edge paintings
Poems, Cowper fore-edge paintings
Poems by William Cowper with double fore-edge paintings.
The Bullard Book of Hours
The Bullard Book of Hours
A book of hours was a private devotional book, a compilation of prayers and biblical texts to be read at the eight 'hours' of the liturgical day beginning with Matins and Lauds in the very early morning and proceeding from Prime (about 6:00 AM) through Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, and Compline. Each book of hours is unique, but by the fourteenth century a structure had evolved which provided for certain cycles of hours, one in celebration of the Virgin Mary, one recalling the passion of Jesus, and one on the Holy Spirit. This particular book of hours contains all three of these cycles and follows the traditional pattern in other ways, as well, beginning with a Calendar and starting with the actual text with passages from each of the gospels and with the two traditional prayers to the Virgin. An illumination on a particular subject marks each new part of a cycle as it moves through the day. In the Hours of the Virgin cycle, for example the Annunciation to the Virgin is the subject associated with Matins just was the Visitation is associated with Lauds, the Nativity with Prime, the Annunciation to the Shepherds with Terce, the Adoration of the Magi with Sext, the Presentation in the Temple with Nones, the Flight into Eygpt with Vespers, and the Coronation of the Virgin with Compline. All the lines in the manuscript are lightly ruled in red to ensure an even appearance, Each short devotional passage begins with an illuminated letter; decorative illuminated bars fill out incomplete lines. The marks over words indicate letters with have been omitted. This book was probably in existence 150 years before the invention of the printing press.