Medieval Mastery: Manuscripts from the Richard and Mary Rouse Collection

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 10:00am to Saturday, March 30, 2019 - 5:00pm

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The bound manuscripts, fragments, illuminated leaves, documents, and scrolls featured in this exhibit are tools for discovery about the history and culture of Western Europe during the medieval and Renaissance periods. Some are visually striking, while others may appear ordinary, worn, or disheveled. But whether pristine or tattered, together they form a trail of breadcrumbs leading the curious researcher to greater understanding of a time and place otherwise beyond our reach. 

Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus Richard Rouse and his wife, Mary, built illustrious careers combining their own deep curiosity with rigorous scholarship and profound generosity. Together, they have studied, taught with, written about, and assembled a collection of manuscripts that form a prism of insight into the beginnings of the book trade, the people who created and disseminated handwritten books, and those who read and studied them. Through years of scholarly collaboration with UCLA Library curators and the steady building of their own personal collection, Richard and Mary have formed a world-class teaching collection. They put it to practical use through many years of teaching paleography not in the classroom, but in the Library, where students could work directly with the manuscripts in hand as “authentic witnesses” to the social history of Western Europe. This exhibit incorporates treasures from the most recent of three gifts that the Rouses have generously donated to the UCLA Library Special Collections, along with other holdings from the collection used in their teaching. 

The UCLA Library Special Collections is proud and honored to have worked in partnership with Richard and Mary Rouse in serving UCLA’s teaching and research mission for nearly half a century and presents this exhibit, with deep gratitude, in their honor. 

Please see Celebrating Richard and Mary Rouse for information about an event being held in their honor.


Library Special Collections (Research Library)