Remembering the Reformation


Luther's Bible
A Bible that may have owned by Luther. Biblia (Lyon: Jacques Sacon, 1522). LPL: E75 1522**

In the popular imagination the Reformation started with Martin Luther nailing his ninety-five theses to the door of All Saints’ Church, Wittenberg, on 31 October 1517.  This scene has been described in books and plays and depicted in paintings, prints and on screen, innumerable times over the centuries. Yet, it is likely this event did not take place, or at least not in the way it is now remembered. How we remember, or indeed misremember,  is the theme of a wonderful new online exhibition  to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the AHRC funded project Remembering the Reformation and Cambridge University Library, Lambeth Palace Library and York Minster Library. It features 130 items from the collections of these libraries and six other institutions across the UK. Books, manuscripts, prints and objects from Lambeth Palace Library’s collection feature prominently in the exhibition, including a Latin Bible thought to have been owned by Luther (above) and a primer (below) used by a family of Yorkshire recusants with five hand-coloured woodcuts stitched or pasted in.

Stitched in hand-coloured woodcut in Thys prymer of Salysbury use … (Paris: Thylman Karver for Johan Growte, 1534). LPL: [ZZ] 1534.46.

Over the coming weeks we will blog about some of our favourite LPL items that feature in the exhibition and will also feature guest blogs from the Remembering the Reformation team.

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