Bryn Mawr College’s Single Leaf Manuscripts Collection comprises an eclectic assembly of manuscript leaves in a variety of languages and given by a number of donors. For the most part, these manuscripts originated in Europe and concern religious or legal subjects. A majority of the manuscripts are medieval, but the collection contains documents from other time periods including Greek, Arabic, and Coptic papyrus fragments, some of which date to as early as the first and second century CE. The collection also contains many French, English, and American documents which date from the sixteenth to twentieth century CE.
The Single Leaf Manuscripts Collection features several dozen medieval manuscripts donated by Sigmund Harrison. Most of these are religious texts and written in Latin. Additional highlights of this collection, gifts of Felix Usis, include six papal bulls, a document sealed by Queen Elizabeth I, a legal document signed by Louis XV, a letter signed by Philip II of Spain to the man in charge of supplies for his armada, and a few Arabic manuscripts, including one with an extraordinary illustration of a medieval battle scene.
Among the other manuscript leaves in this diverse collection are medieval English land grants (1292-1438 CE) given by Howard Lehman Goodhart and Phyllis Goodhart Gordan; medieval and early modern Greek liturgical texts given by Howard Lehman Goodhart; medieval Spanish legal documents with penwork notarial seals; early modern French and English legal documents provided by Doreen Canaday Spitzer and others; a letter signed by Henry IV of France, the contribution of Miriam Coffin Canaday; and two grants of nobility sealed by Holy Roman Emperors.