The records of medieval St Andrews in the University of St Andrews Library

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the collecting, curating, and assembling of documents, manuscripts and printed books in Medieval St Andrews as evidenced by the extant holdings within the University’s collections today. The presence of books in the town from the foundation charter of the Augustinian priory in 1144 up to the foundation of the University is explored, presenting detail on the book holdings of the various monastic houses in St Andrews. University administrative records are analysed for references to record-keeping practices and conscious acts of curation, and there is also an attempt to identify the lacunae through the depredations of reformation and riot. Of particular significance is the College of St Leonard, since many of the Priory’s printed books that survived the reformation did so because they were in the custody of the college, which peacefully transitioned through the Reformation. Provenance markings in books, including ownership inscriptions and shelf and catalogue markings, are used to reconstruct how former curators looked after their collections. Together with internal evidence on record-keeping practices, this enables an analysis of cartularies, catalogues, and inventories as well as selected books themselves which provide invaluable evidence for complicated and fluid ownership stories and collection building in St Andrews.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew approaches to the archive in the Middle Ages
Subtitle of host publicationcollecting, curating, assembling
EditorsEmily N. Savage
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003181033
ISBN (Print)9781032019277, 9781032019284
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2024

Publication series

NameStudies in medieval history and culture


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