Art books from across Europe donated by Professor Nigel Morgan

The generosity of Professor Nigel Morgan to the University Library has been written about before in our blog, in an April 2015 post.  Since then, Professor Morgan’s donations have continued to come in, and the collection only yesterday of the latest batch of treasures provides a good reason for giving an update.

Each book donated by Professor Morgan, Emeritus Honorary Professor of the History of Art in the University of Cambridge and Sandars Reader in 2013-2014, contains a heading in the catalogue record for him as the donor.  An advanced search in iDiscover which combines his authorised form (Morgan, Nigel J.) with the formula former owner and specifying the UL as the holding library brings up at the time of writing well over 900 results.  The latest donation contains nearly 100 volumes, so before long the results will number over 1,000.

The books which Professor Morgan donates to the UL are chiefly about medieval art, with Christian art and symbolism the most commonly used subject heading in the books’ catalogue records.  The Morgan donations have a great many beautifully illustrated volumes among them.  These lovely books (and journals) are very welcome additions to our collections.  Looking at the iDiscover list of results, the language drop-down list to the right shows that German is the main language (318 as of 11/5/19), followed by French, English, Italian, and Serbian.  The presence of Serbian in the top five reflects Professor Morgan’s interest in medieval church art in the former Yugoslavia.  The list of languages goes on and on – stretching across Europe from North to South and West to East, reaching at the eastern extreme Georgian and Armenian.

Some of the recently received German books

The latest tranche of donated books continues the pattern of subject and language spread.  German is still the most common language (37), this time followed by English (20, the majority of which are publications from Slavic countries), with books also in a good ten other languages. This time, Professor Morgan has included two lovely sets in Hungarian.  Each set is about a Books of Hours held in Hungary – one in Budapest and one in Eger.  Each has a commentary volume which accompanies a colour facsimile of the original Book of Hour.  The Eger set (images below) is a mere 86mm high.  Books which are 10cm or under in height and width are termed miniature books and this set will be carefully stored in the UL’s smallest box sequence.

There are many lovely books in this latest delivery, with the absolutely exquisite Libro de Horas de los siete pecados capitales facsimile (2003) the prime example.  An image from this is at the start of the blog post, with others below.  Our sincere thanks go to Professor Morgan for his great generosity in providing the UL and its current and future readers with such riches.

Mel Bach

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