Turning a Very Old Leaf
01 January 2018
In all of our conversations with customers and associates, we often talk about documents, copies and
pages per minute. Well there’s one interesting page-turning item you may not have known about and it
is reportedly the oldest existing book in America which means you probably won’t be allowed to drop on
the glass to make your own copies. We’re talking about an antique Biblical manuscript housed in the
University of Mississippi.
The medieval manuscript fragments focus heavily on the works of Priscian and Titus Livy as well as
classic Christian texts. Priscian, a 5th-century Constantinople-based Latin grammarian,
composed Institutiones grammaticae, an extensive work explaining Latin grammar through literary
works. Religious works in this collection include fragments from The New Testament, a Book of Hours, a
French Missal and the Golden Legend. A final notable work is that of Titus Livy, a Roman historian,
created by Giacomo Curlo, a prominent 15th century scribe.
These fragments were created by scribes between the 10th and 15th centuries. A few of the
manuscripts are illuminated, ranging from simple flourishes to elaborate illumination. Other leaves
composing these texts can be found at various institutions throughout the World.