Manuscript Data

The project will publish an online listing of all known Insular Manuscripts dating before c. 850.

A classified list of Anglo-Saxon charters on single sheets can be found here (courtesy of Prof Simon Keynes' Kemble website, hosted at the University of Cambridge). This list includes 87 charters (royal diplomas and vernacular documents) written in England before AD900.

Our list includes more than 500 books written in Ireland, in England, and in the scriptoria of monasteries founded by Irish and English missionaries in Francia and northern Italy. By the mid ninth century, these continental houses had switched to using Caroline minuscule – the script that was developed in the later eighth century and which became ubiquitous throughout Francia during the later years of the reign of Charlemagne (768–814) and his son, Louis the Pious (814–40). This transition can be seen very clearly in this book from Fulda, now Munich, BSB Clm 14641, which was the burial place of the West Saxon missionary, Boniface (d. 754) and which maintained the use of insular scripts longer than most. On folio 31v a scribe using an insular script copied out the epitaph of Charlemagne, filling in a space at the foot of the page, following a copy letters attributed to Jerome and Gregory the Great. That scribe was using Caroline minuscule, but he struggled to suppress the insular habits that he had learned long before – for example the letter g shaped like a 5.

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Contact Us

Prof. Joanna Story, Principal Investigator

Dr Pragya Vohra, Network Facilitator

insularmss@le.ac.uk

AHRC PhD Studentship at the British Library

Franco-Saxon manuscripts in the ninth century

The competition for an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Programme studentship at the British Library has now closed.
Supervisors: Prof. Jo Story (UoL) and Dr Kathleen Doyle (BL)

Click here for more info

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