New Bridwell Library Exhibition Showcases Illuminations, Manuscripts Dating Back to 12th Century


[Book of Hours. Use of Rome]. [Florence or Fiesole, ca. 1480]. Illuminated manuscript on vellum,
signed by Biagio di Piero di Jacopo da Fiesole.


DALLAS (SMU) -- “Inscribed Illuminations and Inspirations: Manuscripts at Bridwell Library,” the fall 2016 exhibition in the Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries, opens Monday, Aug. 8 and will be will be on display until Friday, Dec. 16.

Surveying the wide range of manuscripts in Bridwell Library Special Collections representing the Christian, Judaic and Islamic traditions, the exhibition includes items produced between the 12th and 19th centuries in numerous locations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

The array of texts, languages, letterforms, illuminations and illustrations provides evidence of both known and unrecorded scribes, artists, readers and owners as well as insights into the cultural, historical, bibliographical and aesthetic contexts in which these manuscripts were created.  

These works both complement and supplement printed holdings in significant collecting areas for Bridwell Library, including scripture and worship, devotion, theology and church history, and religious instruction and study. Focusing on these genres, Bridwell Library continues to build a diverse and instructive collection of manuscripts, many of which demonstrate how handwritten books and documents remained essential facets of religious and intellectual life following the introduction of printing in Europe in the mid-15th century.

For more information about the exhibit, visit


Perkins School of Theology, founded in 1911, is one of five official University-related schools of theology of The United Methodist Church. Degree programs include the Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Music, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Ministry, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Pastoral Music as well as the Ph.D., in cooperation with The Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.