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Incunabulum

The Collection The Beinecke Library’s Medieval and Renaissance collections document the history of human thought from the Byzantine era through 1600. The first medieval manuscript recorded in the Yale collection was acquired in 1714, and was the gift of Elihu Yale. An illustrated copy of the Speculum humanae salvationis , it attracted the special attention of Yale President Ezra Stiles, who read the manuscript and annotated it in the 1790s. The systematic collecting of medieval manuscripts at Yale, however, dates from the late nineteenth century, and the most active period for collecting was after 1930.

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