The British Library has the most extensive collection of English medieval and late medieval manuscript holdings.

Only a handful of medieval artists’ model books like this one survive. Macclesfield Alphabet Book is of outstanding significance for re-assessing the role of individual and workshop production of luxury books in late-medieval Britain. It is filled with fourteen different types of alphabets, ranging from simple letters in Gothic script to large coloured anthropomorphic initials modelled after fifteenth-century woodcuts or engravings. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.

Provenance

By descent through the Earls of Macclesfield since circa 1750 as part of the Shirburn Library.


British Library

96 Euston Road, London, Greater London, NW1 2DB
01937 546546
Website

Opening times

Main building

Mon – Thu, 9.30am – 8pm

Fri, 9.30am –​6pm (Sat until 5pm)

​Sun, 11am-5pm

Treasures Gallery and PACCAR exhibitions

Tue –Thu, 9.30am-8pm, Mon & Fri until 6pm, Sat until 5pm, Sun 11am – 5pm



Exhibitions at British Library

Back to top