Hereford Cathedral Library and Archives present a wide variety of changing exhibitions and displays throughout the year, drawing from our extensive collections. Our exhibitions feature manuscript and early printed books, archive documents, artefacts and loan items. There are usually three themed exhibitions each year but we also display single items for shorter periods such as the 8th century Hereford Gospels and Magna Carta. These displays are located within the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library exhibition. Admission to the Temporary Exhibition is included in the Mappa Mundi ticket price.
Food For The Soul Through Learning:
The rediscovery of the Cwm Jesuit Library at Hereford Cathedral
This exhibition celebrates the conclusion of the Cwm Jesuit Library project (2011-2014), a major joint research venture between Swansea University and Hereford Cathedral, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council [AHRC].
This is a three-year funded collaborative doctoral project to analyse and examine the little-known Cwm Jesuit Library, seized from the Jesuits by Anglican authorities under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Hereford in December 1678, brought to Hereford Cathedral in February 1679, where it had remained, largely unexamined, until this project began in October 2011.
For the last three years, Hannah Thomas, a doctoral student at Swansea University, has been working through the collection to piece together the hidden importance of this rare 17th century Catholic missionary library. Initially it was thought that the collection consisted of some 170 volumes – Hannah has discovered that, in fact, some 350 volumes survived from the Cwm at Hereford Cathedral.
The current exhibition details her findings, with examples of important inscriptions, signatures, provenance marks and other evidence that has been uncovered during the past three years. The collection is the largest surviving 17th century Jesuit missionary library in England and Wales, and is hugely important in revealing hidden elements of the survival of Catholicism in post-Reformation Britain, as well as the strength of support for Catholicism in Wales and the Marches throughout the 17th century.
The exhibition will be open from Monday 15 September 2014 until Saturday 3 January 2015 (normal admission charges apply).