Worcester Cathedral Library

September 20th 2018

The visit started well with coffee and cakes provided by the Cathedral and meeting the librarian Dr. David Morrison, before entering the Library which houses the second largest collection of mediaeval manuscripts in any cathedral in the UK including music ranging from mediaeval to Elgar, documents used by academic researchers, ancient artefacts and even some relics of King John.

The group was shown a veritable feast of manuscripts laboriously created with inks made from iron and oak gall and written on stretched and dried animal skins, the oldest and most delicate of which was calfskin. Scribes used pens made from bird feathers such as goose and robin, depending on the size of the script required. Documents were decorated with colourful illuminations of bright reds, blues and even gold. The treasured Worcester Anthiphoner was also shown which is a liturgical service manuscript from around 1230 and hidden during the reformation, and still occasionally sung today by the men of the Cathedral Choir.