Beyond Words

Beyond Words Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston

The first exhibition to showcase highlights of illuminated manuscripts in the Boston area.

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About the Collection

An ambitious collaborative digital and physical exhibition project

Beyond Words is notable for the size of its curatorial team, the number of lending institutions, and a multi-venue display.

The exhibition presents more than 260 outstanding manuscripts and printed books from nineteen Boston-area collections, dating from the ninth to the seventeenth centuries. The exhibit is supplemented by an extensive catalog, a three-day symposium, and public programming.

Given Boston’s importance in the nation’s history and culture, the history of manuscript collecting in the city provides in microcosm a mirror of the much larger history of taste for things medieval in what, at the time, remained a largely Protestant nation. The material hidden in Boston-area collections adds a new and in some ways surprising chapter to this story.

Beyond Words

Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston

The first exhibition to showcase highlights of illuminated manuscripts in the Boston area.

Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America