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Manuscripts and Rare Books

With more than 900 illuminated manuscripts, 1,250 of the first printed books (ca. 1455 - 1500), and an important collection of post-1500 deluxe editions, this extraordinary collection chronicles the art of the book over more than 1,000 years. The collection is from all over the world, and from ancient to modern times. It features deluxe Gospel books from Armenia, Ethiopia, Byzantium, and Ottonian Germany, French and Flemish books of hours, as well as masterpieces of Safavid, Mughal and Ottoman manuscript illumination. It also includes important first printed editions of ancient texts by great thinkers such as Aristotle and Euclid, diaries written by Napoleon and intricate bindings crafted by Tiffany. The early printed book collection highlights the experimental nature of the first attempts at printing. Some of these books have been illuminated by hand, and many are unique objects. 

Walters Ex Libris

Explore digitized manuscripts, bindings, and single leaves from the collection of the Walters Art Museum.

The Walters Ex Libris
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Image for Funerary Papyrus

Funerary Papyrus

Egyptian Artist
ca. 304-30 BCE (Ptolemaic)
W.551
On view
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Image for The Book of the Faiyum

The Book of the Faiyum

Egyptian Artist
1st century BCE-2nd century CE (Greco-Roman)
W.738
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Image for Beneventan Sacramentary-Missal

Beneventan Sacramentary-Missal

Venetian Artist
2nd half 11th century
W.6
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Image for Undecorated;in Greek uncial scrawls;

Undecorated;in Greek uncial scrawls;

551
W.519
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Image for Fragment of the Book of Exodus

Fragment of the Book of Exodus

Coptic Artist
8th century
W.739
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Image for Qur'an

Qur'an

Islamic Artist
3rd century AH/AD 9th century (Abbasid)
W.553
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Image for Qur'an

Qur'an

Islamic Artist
3rd century AH/AD 9th century (Abbasid)
W.552
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Image for Collection of Works by Augustine, Didymus the Blind, and Quodvultdeus

Collection of Works by Augustine, Didymus the Blind, and Quodvultdeus

2nd half 9th century (Medieval)
W.2
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Image for Freising Gospels

Freising Gospels

2nd half 9th century (Medieval)
W.4
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Image for Qur'an

Qur'an

Islamic Artist
late 3rd century AH/AD 9th century-5th century AH/AD 11th century (Abbasid)
W.554
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Image for Gospel Book

Gospel Book

first half 10th century
W.524
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Image for Gospels

Gospels

French Artist
early 10th century (Medieval)
W.1
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Image for Corvey Gospel fragment

Corvey Gospel fragment

German Artist
ca. 950-975 (Ottonian)
W.751
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Image for Lectionary

Lectionary

German Artist
ca. 1000 with later additions (Medieval)
W.9
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Image for Gospels

Gospels

French Artist
late 10th century (Medieval)
W.3
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Image for Gospel Book

Gospel Book

Greek Artist
ca. 1000
W.527
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Image for Gospel Lectionary

Gospel Lectionary

Syrian Artist
11th-13th century (Medieval)
W.550
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Image for The Mondsee Gospels and Treasure Binding with the Evangelists and Crucifixion

The Mondsee Gospels and Treasure Binding with the Evangelists and Crucifixion

11th-12th century with later additions and alterations (Medieval)
W.8
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Image for Gospels

Gospels

German Artist
early 11th century (Medieval)
W.5
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Image for Qur'an

Qur'an

Islamic Artist
5th century AH/AD 11th century-6th century AH/AD 12th century (Abbasid)
W.555
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Image for "Imperial" Menologion with Scenes of Martyrdom

"Imperial" Menologion with Scenes of Martyrdom

Byzantine Artist
ca. 1025-1050 (Byzantine)
W.521
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Image for Reichenau Gospels

Reichenau Gospels

German Artist
mid 11th century (Medieval)
W.7
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Image for Gospels

Gospels

German Artist
2nd half 11th century (Medieval)
W.14
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Image for Leaf of a Missal with the Crucifixion and Canon of the Mass

Leaf of a Missal with the Crucifixion and Canon of the Mass

German Artist
late 11th-early 12th century
W.757
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Image for Gospel Book

Gospel Book

French (?) Artist
ca. 1100 (Medieval)
W.17
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Image for Acts and Epistles of the Apostles with Liturgical Readings

Acts and Epistles of the Apostles with Liturgical Readings

Byzantine Artist
early 12th century, with 14th and 15th century additions
W.533
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Image for On Christian Rulers

On Christian Rulers

early 12th century (Medieval)
W.12
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Image for Qur'an

Qur'an

African Artist
6th century AH/AD 12th century
W.556
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