Manuscripts

COLLECTION HIGHLIGHTS

ABOUT THE COLLECTION

The Getty Museum established the Department of Manuscripts in 1983 with the purchase of one of the finest private collections in the world, assembled by Peter and Irene Ludwig of Aachen, Germany. Since then, the Museum has built an expansive and balanced representation of the art form, with holdings totaling over 200 complete books and individual leaves that span the ninth to sixteenth centuries. Featuring exceptional European illuminations—including Ottonian, Romanesque, Gothic, International Style, and Renaissance examples—the collection also contains a small but important group of Byzantine, Armenian, and Ethiopian objects.

Illuminated manuscripts are sensitive to light and can only be on display for short periods of time. In addition to large-scale international loan exhibitions, a rotating selection of artworks from the permanent collection can be viewed year-round at the Getty Center.

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CONTACT INFO

manuscripts@getty.edu

RECENT ACQUISITIONS

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CURRENTFUTURE EXHIBITIONS

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VIRTUAL EXHIBITIONS

Renaissance Splendors of the Northern Italian Courts
This presentation celebrates the magnificent objects that emerged from the context of northern Italian courts through an array of visual riches fit for the highest-ranking members of Renaissance society.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Food in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
The cultivation, preparation, and consumption of food formed the framework for daily labor and leisure in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It is not surprising to find activities centered around this subject abounding in the pages of manuscripts.

Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages
During the medieval period, hope mingled with fear concerning death and the afterlife, providing stirring subjects for manuscript illumination.

FEATURED VIDEO

An illuminated manuscript is a book written and decorated completely by hand. Illuminated manuscripts were among the most precious objects produced in the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, primarily in monasteries and courts. Society's rulers—emperors, kings, dukes, cardinals, and bishops— commissioned the most splendid manuscripts.

Watch more videos about the Collection

CURATORIAL STAFF

Elizabeth Morrison

Senior Curator / Department Head

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Kristen Collins

Curator

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Larisa Grollemond

Assistant Curator

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Bryan C. Keene

Assistant Curator

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Elizabeth Morrison

Senior Curator / Department Head

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Kristen Collins

Curator

Bio +
Larisa Grollemond

Assistant Curator

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Bryan C. Keene

Assistant Curator

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STUDY ROOM

Admission to the Manuscripts Department Study Room is by application and appointment only.

Access to the original manuscripts is limited due to their rarity and the special handling requirements for this fragile material. We consider applications to study manuscripts in the collection only from qualified researchers with a demonstrated need for primary source materials. Applications require a letter of recommendation from a professor or professional contact in the field.

All interested parties may apply to access slides, microfilm, photographs, and research files about the collection.

Researchers should apply far in advance of a possible appointment to allow time for curators to review your application. Before applying, please use catalogues, microfilms, facsimiles, photographs, the website, and other photography reproduction sources to the greatest extent possible.

To request an application, e-mail manuscripts@getty.edu.


Banner caption: [sample text] Sketch, Hans Scharoun, ca. 1940s. Akademie der Künste, Hans-Scharoun-Archiv, no. 2475. Courtesy Akademie der Künste, Berlin