Microfilms of Ushaw College Medieval Manuscripts

Scope and Content

Negative microfilms (black and white) of Ushaw College MSS 1-37, 41-45, with 3 reels of colour positive film of selected openings, initials, etc. from MSS 2-3, 5, 8-11, 12-15, 17-18, 20-24, 29, 34-35, and 41-43. The manuscripts, which include several fragments, date from the 8th to the 16th centuries. They include Bibles, liturgical books, books of hours, theological, devotional and historical texts, and one Turkish manuscript.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ushaw College, Durham (the name by which St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw is commonly known) is a Roman Catholic seminary for the north of England, and a descendant of the English College, Douai, which was founded in 1568 by William Allen and closed in 1793 by the French Revolution. The Douai library did not survive the Revolution, and the medieval manuscripts now in the Ushaw library have been acquired from a variety of donors, both clerical and lay.

These microfilms derive from a filming project carried out in 1985-1986 by the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library, St John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota, to film all medieval manuscripts in Durham libraries. Master negatives, and a set of positives, are held by Hill, which produced this set of duplicate negatives for the college.


In order of manuscript number, preceded by the 3 reels of colour film.

Access Information

These films were deposited by the college for security purposes. They may not be used for consultation, but positive copies may be supplied, if permission is first obtained from the Ushaw librarian. Positive copies may similarly be obtained from the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Ushaw College, 1994

Other Finding Aids

Summary word-processed list. Ushaw MSS 1-8, 10-24, 26-36 and 41-43 are described in N.R. Ker and A.J. Piper, Medieval manuscripts in British libraries, vol.4 (Oxford, 1992), 505-551.

Alternative Form Available

The films are duplicate masters from a filming project carried out by the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library (St John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota, U.S.A.), which also holds master negatives.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Sub-Librarian, Special Collections (e-mail PG.Library@durham.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. The Library will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


Rhodes, Jan, Ushaw College Library (Durham, 1994)  Sharratt, Michael, The origin and growth of the Ushaw Library, Northern Catholic History, 24 (1986), 22-34

Additional Information

Ushaw College, Durham