Digitized Music from Christ Church Library

Efforts are currently underway to digitize music holdings from Christ Church Library, University of Oxford (GB-Och). This is part of a larger joint effort between Christ Church Library and the Bodleian Library (GB-Ob) to digitize important Western, Byzantine, music, Hebrew, and Arabic manuscripts and early printed books. The collection is presented on the Digital Library website.

The complete music manuscripts can be seen on the Music Manuscripts page along with detailed catalog descriptions. So far, sixteen music manuscripts have been digitized: a late 16th century manuscript copied in table-book format (see image), a collection of William Byrd masses, an incomplete set of Tudor partbooks copied and once owned by John Baldwin, and a complete set of Tudor partbooks principally in the hand of Robert Dow. New digital versions continue to be added.

The manuscripts being digitized are significant to the history of English music and also shed light on the practice of music at Christ Church. Christ Church's online catalog provides complete and thorough coverage of the library's holdings of printed and manuscript music.

Currently, the RISM online catalog has over 2,600 sources of music manuscripts and printed music from Christ Church, and this number continues to grow. From the Bodleian Library, RISM has nearly 10,000 sources.

Image: Mus 45, table-book, late sixteenth century, f. 2v. "O vos omnes" by Robert White. Courtesy of Christ Church Library and used with kind permission.

Category: Electronic resources

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