Peter Kidd: A "New Intellectual Current"
Treasures from Oxford displays manuscripts in Middle English, too, including Piers Plowman and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Bequeathed to the college in the 1600s, the works were an unusual addition.
"English literature was not a serious subject for scholarly study at the time," says Kidd. Today, of course, the same English manuscripts are a significant holding.
A final section, which suggests the range of the Corpus Christi collection, includes works of early science, among them a letter by Isaac Newton and a printed book by Galileo.
The highlights of the exhibition, however, will be "different for each person," says Kidd. His advice is to "walk along the gallery until something catches your eye, and go from there."
The Lapworth Missal, with its 14th-century illustration of the crucifixion, "is the most artistically significant item—and the gold is spectacular."
To other visitors, he says, the "complexity of the page layouts" that compare Hebrew and Latin may appeal instead—reflecting the multiple languages to which Fox devoted the college and its library.