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Walters Ms. W.760, Beaupre Antiphonary, Vol. 2

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Beaupre Antiphonary, Vol. 2

Text title
Beaupre Antiphonary


Illuminated in Hainaut ca. 1280 and completed in 1290, this collection of richly illuminated Cistercian manuscripts is a rare example of those being produced in Flanders at the end of the thirteenth century. Fourteen extant large historiated initials, as well as flourished and decorated initials, and an abundance of amusing drolleries facilitate a liturgical narrative within the text. However, additions and removals within the text and imagery tells much about the use and history of the manuscript. This manuscript is the second volume of the three-volume set destined for use on the abbess’ side of the choir at the Cistercian abbey of Sainte-Marie at Beaupré (diocese of Cambrai). The liturgical contents of this volume provide musical settings from the Assumption of the Virgin (Aug. 15) through Advent. Two sets of antiphonaries, each composed of three volumes, were originally created for the abbess and prioress of Beaupre. Of these two sets, the Walters Art Museum houses three volumes: two volumes from the set intended for the abbess and one volume from the set designated for the prioress. A fourth associated volume was created later to supplement W.759. It should be noted that apart from the volumes housed at the Walters, there survive four cutout initials from the other volumes. However, in 1865, these manuscripts were regrettably lost in a fire that spread from a house adjacent to Sotheby’s, where the books were being prepared for sale. In addition to the manuscripts' rich illumination, there is also a wealth of historical evidence throughout. Added at the beginning of each volume is a full-page inscription that details ownership Indeed, the full-page French and Latin inscriptions found at the beginning of all three volumes, with little variance, convey a wealth of information. This exceptional occurrence details ownership and in the first volume reads, “Antiphonaire pour sevir dans le Choeur du coté de la Dame Prieure. Depuis le Fête de l'Assumption de Notre Dame jusqu'à Noël.” Further information on provenance can be gleaned from the illumination itself; the third volume (W.761) contains an author portrait of the scribe/artist, a Cistercian monk named Johannes de Toussens (fol. 1r), while the manuscripts' patroness who married into the de Viane family is depicted with a younger woman named Clementia on fol. 3v of vol. 1 (W.759). Donations by members of the de Viane family to Sainte-Marie of Beaupré were recorded from 1244 to 1293. Since the volume’s assemblage, there have been updates in two major campaigns: ca. 1475-1500 at which time select thirteenth-century Offices were replaced in part by revisions and by additions placed at the end of the volume (see W.762 for supplement) and the second campaign in the eighteenth century at which time some thirteenth and fifteenth-century leaves were removed, changes were made to both neumes and text passim, and additions were added at the end of the volume or in the Supplement. The first of these campaigns was presumably for abbess Jacqueline Hendricx (1473-1500), the second in the eighteenth century likely for the last abbess, Angéline de Lossy (1755-96), after which point the abbey was seized during the French Revolution. Drolleries are most often found on pages with historiated initials, and principally focused on centered bas-de-page scenes. While many drolleries were effaced, some traces of these images can be recognized by their shadowy outlines. Many of these erasures are thought to be at the hand of John Ruskin, who is also credited with authoring a separate table of contents, as well as several transcriptions of the Latin text found on numerous leaves. Truly a remarkable work, this multi-volume antiphonary was generously gifted to the Walters Art Museum in 1957 at the bequest of the Hearst Foundation.


Dated 1290 CE








The primary language in this manuscript is Latin. The secondary language of this manuscript is French, Old (842-ca.1400).

Support material


Parchment of medium to heavy weight, well selected and prepared; extensive use evident from revisions dating from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, as well from cockling, stains, and grime; endleaves of thick modern parchment were added by rebinder after 1904


Foliation: i+258+iii

Three methods of foliation: first method is roman numerals in brown ink at the center-left margin of every verso, possibly from second half of the nineteenth century, numbers reset after fol. 194v, "clvi" repeated in fols. 145v and 146v, "cc" skipped on fol. 178v, "cc.xvii" used instead of "cc.xvi" on fol. 193v, "cc.xvii repeated on fol. 194v, fols. 256-258 unfoliated; second method is possible eighteenth century pagination numbers 1-528 to represent fols. 1r-253v, written in black ink on top right corner of text in rectos and top left corner of text in versos; third method is post-1957 CE pencil foliation on top right corner of rectos, labeled fols. 1-258 (used here)


Formula: Quires 1-16: 8 (fols. 1-128); Quire 17: 6 (fols. 129-134); Quire 18: 8 (fols. 135-142); Quire 19: 8, with seventh and eighth folios cancelled (fols. 143-149); Quire 20: 6 (fols. 149-154); Quires 21-23: 8 (fols. 155-178); Quire 24: 4 (fols. 179-182); Quire 25: 4 (fols. 183-186); Quires 26-27: 8 (fols. 187-202); Quire 28: 10, with first, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth folios cancelled, stubs remain (fols. 203-207); Quires 29-34: 8 (fols. 208-255); Quire 35: 6, with fourth, fifth, and sixth folios cancelled, stubs remain (fols. 256-258)

Catchwords: Often extant in original text, found at lower right on last verso of quire, some cropped, in text hand; some catchwords are partially cut-off; the only quires with no evidence of catchwords: 8, 17, 25, 29, 30, and 35

Comments: Missing quire after fol. 182


34.3 cm wide by 48.0 cm high

Written surface

fols. 1r - 258v: 23.2 cm wide by 34.6 cm high

fols. frontflyleafiv,r - frontflyleafiv,v: 27.4 cm wide by 29.6 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 8-16
  3. There are 8 staves of plainsong notation (each stave composite of four staff lines) alternating with 8 lines of text, creating a total of 16 lines; pitch indicated by neumes

fols. 1r - 258v:
  1. Title: Beaupre Antiphonary
  2. Contents: Transcriptions of Latin text in lower margins of several folios, believed to have been added by John Ruskin, written in black ink, ca. second half of the nineteenth century, passim; Loss of eighteen leaves evinced by gaps in Arabic numeral foliation; text losses after fols. 96, 122, 122e*, 148, 182, 194, 206: vigils for Christmas Day on a Sunday (after fol. 96); Decollation of St. John the Baptist (after fol. 122); Nativity of the Virgin (after col. 122e*); Exaltation of the Cross (after fol. 132); 11,000 Virgins (after fol. 148); St. Clement, St. Catherine (after fol. 182); St. Nicholas (after fol. 194); Common of Saints: apostles, four evangelists, one martyr (after fol. 206)
  3. Hand note: Written in textura prescissa in black and dark brown ink; editions in textura formata with an attempt to imitate original scribe; plainsong notation composite of neumes in dark brown and staff lines in red ink
  4. Decoration note: Fourteen historiated initials extant (4-10 lines), one residing in Oxford; nineteen gold decorated initials, twelve in Office of St. Catherine, seven in heading to Office of St. Catherine on Oxford leaf (1 line of plainsong notation + 1 line of text); flourished initials of four sizes and shapes: (a) largest examples found in Temporale beginning at first responsory in Matins, Sanctorale embellish Offices of St. Clement, Apostles, Evangelists (fols. 180r, 196r, 209); (b) at select openings to antiphons, responsories, hymns beginning on fol. 8v, same in size as (a); at secondary text openings, red and blue alternately, same size as (a); (d) additions made in the later portion of the fifteenth century, hymn opens with handsomely flourished initial, same in size as (a); plain colored initials present in late fifteenth-century additions; borders at text openings with historiated initials, gold burnished on dark brown bole, bracket-shaped, lower border completely separate unit at times (fols. 113v, 122v); drolleries are extensively effaced, at time partly reconstructable from shadowy outlines; preservation of drolleries on several leaves extracted from Antiphonary, including St Catherine leaf at Oxford, suggests at least some effacement possibly predates John Ruskin's removal of this leaf, among others; nearly all text divisions in red, with exceptions: gold, red, blue, rose, green on extracted opening leaf to Office of St. Catherine; red and blue for octave of Office of St. Catherine, initials illuminated
fols. frontflyleafiv,r - frontflyleafiv,v:
  1. Title: Title Page
  2. Incipit: Antiphonaire pour servir dans le choeur du cote de la dame prieure.
  3. Contents: Blank recto of parchment title page bound in reverse, added page ca. eighteenth century; inscription explains the volume's use on the prioress's side of the choir from the Assumption of the Virgin to Advent
  4. Hand note: Roman capitals in red ink
  5. Decoration note: Image in lower margin of a basket of flowers, red ink
fols. 1r - 96v:
  1. Title: Temporale
  2. Rubric: Incipiunt antiphonae a kalendis augusti usque ad Kalendas septembris in sabbatis ad magnificat dicende
  3. Incipit: Sapientia edificavit sibi domum
  4. Contents: Fols. 1r-36r: Saturday Offices from mid-August through November; fols 36r-45r: Sundays IX-XXV after Pentecost; fols. 45r-96v: Advent
  5. Text note: Text gap after fol. 96; two leaves with Office of the Nativity
  6. Decoration note: Decorated initials (2-6 lines)
fols. 97r - 258v:
  1. Title: Sanctorale
  2. Rubric: In assumptione beate marie ad veperas antiphona.
  3. Incipit: Que est ista que ascendit sicut aurora
  4. Contents: Fols. 97r-110v: Assumption of the Virgin; fols. 111r-v: St. Lawrence octave; fols. 111v-122v: St. Bernard feast and octave; fol. 122v: Decollation of St. John the Baptist; fols. 123r-132r: Nativity of the Virgin; fols. 132v-136r: Exaltation of the Cross; fols. 136r-148: St. Michael; fols. 148r-149v: 11,000 Virgins; fols. 149v-161r: All Saints; fols. 161v-172r: St. Martin; fols. 172r-179v: St. Cecilia; fols. 179v-182v: St. Clement; fol. 183r: St. Catherine; fols. 183v-194v: St. Andrew; fols. 195r-258v: Common of Saints including one martyr (fols. 207r-218r, incomplete), and Cues to Commemorations (fols. 255v-256r)
  5. Text note: Text gap after fol. 122 of four leaves, after fol. 132 of two leaves, after fol. 148 of twelve leaves, after fol. 182 of an unknown number of leaves (including opening illumination of the Office of St. Catherine currently at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), after fol. 194 of an unknown number of leaves, and after fol. 206 of three leaves
  6. Decoration note: Fourteen historiated initials on fols. 97r, 100r, 113v, 122v, 123v, 137v, 152r, 163r, 172r, 173r, 185r, 220r, and 230v; two historiated initials, both appearing on fol. 100r
fols. 122a,r - 122e,v:
  1. Title: Added Offices, unbound quire
  2. Incipit: ...fidelium strauitque rectas
  3. Contents: Offices added in the final quarter of the fifteenth century including Decollation of St. John the Baptist (beginning imperfectly), and a hymn in honor of St. Bernard (ending imperfectly)
  4. Text note: These folios are currently unbound and housed in book box with manuscript
fols. imageindexfront - imageindexback:
  1. Title: Table of Contents, unbound
  2. Contents: Table of contents written on rectos of modern parchment
  3. Hand note: Second half of the nineteenth century, light black ink, believed to be the hand of John Ruskin


fol. 97r:

  1. W.760, fol. 97r
  2. Title: Initial "Q" with the death of the Virgin
  3. Form: Historiated initial "Q," 3 lines of plainsong notation + 3 lines of text
  4. Text: Assumption of the Virgin, Vespers
  5. Comment:

    Remnants of marginalia along bottom of the page, removed in the nineteenth century

fol. 100r:

  1. W.760, fol. 100r
  2. Title: Initial "U" with entombment and Coronation of the Virgin
  3. Form: Historiated initial "U," 5 lines of plainsong notation + 5 lines of text
  4. Text: Assumption of the Virgin

fol. 113v:

  1. W.760, fol. 113v
  2. Title: Initial "B" with St. Bernard
  3. Form: Historiated initial "B," 2 lines of plainsong notation + 2 lines of text
  4. Text: St. Bernard feast and octave

fol. 122v:

  1. W.760, fol. 122v
  2. Title: Initial "B" with St. John the Baptist
  3. Form: Historiated initial "B," 2 lines of plainsong notation + 2 lines of text
  4. Text: Decollation for Sr. John the Baptist

fol. 123v:

  1. W.760, fol. 123v
  2. Title: Initial "N" with the Nativity of the Virgin
  3. Form: Historiated initial "N," 2 lines of plainsong notation + 2 lines of text
  4. Text: Nativity of the Virgin

fol. 137v:

  1. W.760, fol. 137v
  2. Title: Initial "F" with St. Michael and the Dragon
  3. Form: Historiated initial "F," 2 lines of plainsong notation + 2 lines of text
  4. Text: St. Michael, Vespers

fol. 152r:

  1. W.760, fol. 152r
  2. Title: Initial "I" with heads of saints
  3. Form: Historiated initial "I," 6 lines of plainsong notation + 6 lines of text
  4. Text: All Saints

fol. 163r:

  1. W.760, fol. 163r
  2. Title: Initial "H" with St. Martin
  3. Form: Historiated initial "H," 2 lines of plainsong notation + 2 lines of text
  4. Text: St. Martin, Vespers

fol. 172r:

  1. W.760, fol. 172r
  2. Title: Initial "U" with Martyrdom of St. Cecilia
  3. Form: Historiated initial "U," 1 line of plainsong notation + 1 line of text
  4. Text: St. Cecilia, Vespers

fol. 173r:

  1. W.760, fol. 173r
  2. Title: Initial "C" with St. Cecilia's Wedding Feast
  3. Form: Historiated initial "C," 2 lines of plainsong notation + 2 lines of text
  4. Text: St. Cecilia

fol. 185r:

  1. W.760, fol. 185r
  2. Title: Initial "D" with St. Andrew Martyred
  3. Form: Historiated initial "D," 2 lines of plainsong notation + 2 lines of text
  4. Text: St. Andrew, Matins

fol. 220r:

  1. W.760, fol. 220r
  2. Title: Initial "A" with pope and bishop
  3. Form: Historiated initial "A," 2 lines of plainsong notation + 2 lines of text
  4. Text: One Martyr, Matins

fol. 230v:

  1. W.760, fol. 230v
  2. Title: Initial "A" with unknown saint with crosier accompanied by two Cistercian monks
  3. Form: Historiated initial "A, 2 lines of plainsong notation + 2 lines of text
  4. Text: One Martyr, Matins


The binding is not original.

Late medieval binding possibly extant when acquired by John Ruskin, ca. 1850; rebound in England, after 1904; modern crimson velvet, worn; modern parchment pastedowns and endleaves; spine rounded and covered in red morocco; five compartments; gilt title "Antiphonarium Ecclesie S. Mariae de Bello Prato I MS. AD 1290"; red drop-front box, curved red morocco spine compartmentalized and titled the same as volume


Made for abbess Beatrix of Grammont (1269-93/94 CE), at Sainte-Marie of Beaupre; illuminated in Hainaut in 1290 by the Cistercian monk Johannes de Toussens (see author portrait on fol. 1r of vol. III, W.761)

Abbess Jacquemine Hendricx, after 1476, Cistercian abbey of Sainte-Marie of Beaupré at Grimmage; extensive revisions, first of two major campaigns, begun under her

Abbess Angéline de Lossy (1755-96), eighteenth century; second campaign of extensive revisions; abbey seized during French Revolution and subsequently sold in 1797; church destroyed soon thereafter

John Ruskin, London, ca. 1850; likely his erasures of marginalia and grotesques

Sotheby and Wilkinson sale, London, 19 February 1863, lot 742

London, June 1865, fire from house next to Sotheby and Wilkinson spread and destroyed three of the volumes of which nine cut-out initials survive

Arthur Severn (cousin of John Ruskin) and Mrs. Severn, London, ca. 1900-02/1904

Henry Yates Thompson, 1902, his bookplate; his sale, London, Sotheby's, June 22, 1921, lot 67

Bernard Quaritch, London bookseller, after 1921

Sir A. Chester Beatty, his sale, London, Sotheby's, June 7, 1932, lot 15

Spanish Art Gallery, London, after 1932

William Randolph Hearst, San Simeon, California, before 1951


Walters Art Museum, January 1957, gift of the Hearst Foundation


The Works of John Ruskin. Edited by E.T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. London: George Allen, 1904; Vol. 6: p. 335 (fig. 99); Vol. 12: p. 494 (fig. 28); Vol. 33: pp. 489ff (Pl. xl).

Cockerell, Sydney Carlisle. “LXXXIII. Antiphoner of the Cistercian Abbey of Beaupré, near Grammont.” In A Descriptive Catalogue of Twenty Illuminated Manuscripts Nos. LXXV to XCIV…in the Collection of Henry Yates Thompson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1907; pp. 55-74.

Van den Gheyn, J. "L'antipohnaire de l'abbaye de Beaupré près Grammont." Handelingen van de Oudheid- en Geschiedkundige Kring van Audenarde 2 (1908-1909): 195-200; pp. 195-200.

Thompson, Henry Yates. Illustrations of One Hundred Manuscripts in the Library of Henry Yates Thompson. Vol. 6. London, 1916; no. LXXXIII, Pls. XII-XXIII. • Cockerell, Sydney Carlisle and Edward Fairbrother Strange. Catalogue of Miniatures, Leaves, and Cuttings from Illuminated Manuscripts. Exhibition Catalogue: Victoria and Albert Museum. London: H.M. Stationary Office, 1923; p. 11.

Millar, Eric G. The library of A. Chester Beatty: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts. Vol. 2. Oxford: J. Johnson at the Oxford University Press, 1930; pp. 88-103, no. 63, Pls. CXXXIII-CXXXIX.

De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 2. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 1688, cat. no. 4.

Boeckler, Albert. Abendländische Miniaturen bis zum Ausgang der romanischen Zeit. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter and Co., 1938; pp. 51-52.

Loomis, Roger S., and Laura H. Loomis. Arthurian Legends in the Middle Ages. New York: Oxford University Press, 1938; p. 92.

Miner, Dorothy. "The Antiphonary of Beaupré." Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 9/8 (1957): 3-5; pp. 3-5.

Faye, Christopher U., and William Henry Bond. Supplement to the Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York: Bibliographical Society of America, 1962; p. 199, nos. 574, 577.

Dearden, J.S. "John Ruskin, the Collector: With a Catalogue of the Illuminated and Other Manuscripts Formerly in His Collection." The Library 21/2 (1966): 124-154; pp. 135, 136, 153.

Stones, M. Alison. "Illumination of the French Prose Lancelot in Flanders, Belgium, and Paris, 1250-1340." Ph.D. diss., University of London, 1970-1971; pp. 85, 111, 236-237, 244, 265 (n. 6).

Dearden, J.S. "Portrait of a Bibliophile XVI: John Ruskin, 1819-1900." The Book Collector 21 (1972): 203-213; p. 203.

Dearden, J.S. "Bulletin codicologique." Scriptorium 27 (1973); pp. 123 (cat. no. 79).

Glorieux, Therese. "Provenances monastiques des manuscrits medievaux des anciens pays -bas meridionaux de la iv serie a la bibliotheque royale albert ier a bruxelles." Miscellanea codicologica F. Masai Dictata. Vol. 2. Edited by Peter Cockshaw (Les Publications de Scriptorium, 8, 1979) 559-575; cat. nos. 19, 39.

"Abbaye de Beaupré à Grimminge." Monasticon Belge 7, Province de flandre orientale. Vol. 3. Liège: Abbaye de Maredsous, 1980; pp. 309-310, 314.

Plotzek, Joachim M. Die Handschriften der Sammlung Ludwig. Vol. 2. Cologne: Schniitgen-Museum der Stadt Köln, 1982; pp. 70, 80.

Hauck, Alice H.R. "John Ruskin's Uses of Illuminated Manuscripts: The Case of the Beaupré Antiphonary." Arts Magazine 56 (1981): 79-83; pp. 79-83; fig. 3.

Calkins, Robert G. Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1983; pp. 234-242, 248, Pls. 21, 131-132.

Hauck, Alice H.R. "John Ruskin's Use of Illuminated Manuscripts and Their Impact on His Theories of Art and Society." Ph.D. Diss., Johns Hopkins University, 1983; pp. 60-61, 72-73, 76-77, fig. 15.

Büttner, F.O. Imitatio Pietatis: Motive der christlichen Ikonographie als Modelle zur Verähnilichung. Berlin: Gebrüder Mann Verlag, 1983; pp. 135, 206.

Thomson, James. C. Music Through the Renaissance. Dubuque: W.C. Brown Publications, 1984; pp. 54, 55, 60, fig. 3.4.

Gaspar, Camille and Frédéric Lyna. Les principaux manuscrits à peintures de la Bibliothèque royale de Belgique. Brussels: Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, 1987; p. 199.

Wieck, Roger S. "'O Sing unto the Lord a New Song' Music Manuscripts from the Middle Ages." The Walters Art Gallery Bulletin 40, no. 2 (April 1987): 1-3, detail on cover of fol. 173

Randall, Lilian M.C. "From Cîteaux Onwards: Cistercian-Related Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. In Studies in Cistercian Art and Architecture. Vol. 3. Edited by Meredith P. Lilich, 111-136. Kalamazzo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1989; p. 113.

Burin, Elizabeth. "Manuscript Illumination in Flanders". The Walters 45 no.4 (April1992):4-5.

Stones, M. Alison. "Madame Marie's Picture-Book: A Precursor of Flemish Painting Around 1400." In Flanders in a European Perspective: Manuscript Illumination around 1400 in Flanders and Abroad. Proceedings of the International Colloquium, Louvain. Edited by Maurits Smeyers and Bert Cardon, 429-443 Leuven: Peeters, 1995; pp. 429-443.

Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 3, Belgium, 1250-1530. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1997; pp. 26-56, cat. no. 219.

Newman, Paul B. Daily Life in the Middle Ages. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.. 2001, p. 29 (fol. 173).

Bennett, Adelaide. "Continuity and Change in the Religious Book Culture of the Lowlands in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries." In Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold (800-1475). Edited by William Noel and Lee Preedy, 166-179. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2002; p. 178.

De Hamel, Christopher. "Books in the Church." In Medieval Mastery: Book Illumination from Charlemagne to Charles the Bold (800-1475). Edited by William Noel and Lee Preedy, 46-55. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2002; p. 51.

Gummlich, Johanna Christine. Bildproduktion und Kontemplation.: Ein Überblick über die Kölner Buchmalerei in der Gotik unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Kreuzigungsdarstellung. Weimar: Verlag und Datenbank fur Geisteswissenschaften, 2003; p. 128, 132.

Greenia, George D. "The Bigger the Book: On Oversize Medieval Manuscripts." Belgisch tijdschrift voor philologie en geschiedenis 83/3 (2005): 723-745; p. 743.

Hunt, Elizabeth Moore. Illuminating the Border of French and Flemish Manuscripts, 1270–1310. London: Routledge, 2006; p. 180 (n. 26).


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Catalogers: Herbold, Rebekah; Shartrand, Emily

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Schuele, Allyson; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Valle, Chiara; Wiegand, Kimber


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.