This special study day will provide an introduction to the medieval manuscripts of Salisbury Cathedral, one of the most beautiful of British cathedrals, and will take place in the Cathedral’s fifteenth-century library. It will also serve as an introduction to the history of book production in medieval England, through study of the different types of evidence that can be excavated through the study of surviving books, documents and fragments in a single repository.

Salisbury Cathedral Library began in the late eleventh century, with the establishment of a scriptorium at the Cathedral’s first site at Old Sarum. In the mid-fifteenth century, the books were moved to the newly-constructed library room, above the cloister of the present cathedral, where they have remained.  Today, the collection consists of over 200 manuscripts, including many made in the Cathedral’s scriptorium in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and over 10,000 printed books, dating from 1473 to the modern day.

This short course is part of the London Rare Books School programme.

Course Information

Course Fees

  • Standard: £90
  • Concession*: £65


Course Structure

  • 11 May 2024: 10:00-16:30

Participants have the choice to join an optional guided tour of the Cathedral at 2 pm.

Tea and coffee will be provided, but delegates must make their own arrangements for lunch.

Note: Lunch is available to purchase in the Cathedral Refectory. Alternatively, there are other cafés within the Cathedral Close, or within easy walking distance in the city. Participants can also bring a packed lunch, which can be eaten outdoors if the weather is suitable, or in the cloister if not.


Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury SP1 2EJ

This course will take place at Salisbury Cathedral and delegates must make their own way there. Visit the Salisbury Cathedral website for directions.

Accessibility note: The Cathedral Library is accessible only via a staircase consisting of 37 steps.

Course Enquiries

If you have any enquiries relating to this short course, please contact the IES Events Office:

Course Tutor