Literary treasures from Corpus Christi College at Oxford arrive in Washington

“500 Years of Treasures From Oxford” focuses on items from the college’s first 100 years.

1517

The year Corpus Christi College at Oxford was founded by Richard Fox, bishop of Durham in 1494 and Winchester in 1501, who began by donating books to its library.

3

Number of major languages initially studied in the multilingual library: Latin, Greek, Hebrew.

8

Number of centuries spanned by objects in the exhibition, which originates from the 10th through 17th centuries.

7

Number of sections into which the exhibition is divided, covering its trilingual library; books in Latin, Greek and Hebrew; later English acquisitions; scriptures; and science.

53

Number of artifacts in show, none of which have been seen in the United States.

1,000

Estimated age of the oldest manuscript on display, a Greek commentary on the Psalms by St. Basil the Great of Caesarea.

2

Number of the college founder’s silver-gilt episcopal objects in the exhibition. Normally, they are kept on display at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

9

Number of locks guarding the foundation charter for the college: three on a 500-year-old chest, which is on display; three more on a larger chest in which that was kept; and three more on the door of the tower room in which it was stored.

6

Teams of translators that worked on creating the King James Bible at Corpus Christi College after John Rainolds, then the college’s president, convinced King James in 1604 that a new translation was needed.

3

Sets of records that still exist of the deliberations of the King James revising committee; one is part of the exhibition.

XII

Regnal number of French King Louis, who was likely the first recipient of the lavishly illustrated 16th-century Oglethorpe Bible on display, so named because it was donated to the college by James Oglethorpe, who also founded the American colony that would become the state of Georgia.

24

Number of stories in Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales.” An early 15th-century copy by a professional scribe includes instructions for future illumination.

1540

The year one of the first depictions of America on a map came in a picture of the globe in the book “Cosmographia,” printed in Antwerp, Belgium, and included in the show.

2

Number of depictions of the moon in the exhibition. One was a sketch by the owner of Galileo’s 1610 book that first describes the surface from the telescope he had built two months earlier. The other is a much more detailed illustration published in a 1647 book by Johannes Hevelius.

1680

Year that two visible comets over Europe caused Sir Isaac Newton to write to the royal astronomer in a letter included in the exhibition. It turned out to be what we now know as Halley’s comet.

2061

The next year that Halley’s comet will be visible.

355

Current number of students at Corpus Christi College at Oxford — 240 undergraduates and 115 graduate students.

80,000

Number of books in the college’s 16th-century library.

2

Number of U.S. stops for “500 Years of Treasures From Oxford.” After the Folger, it heads to the Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History in New York from May 14 through Aug. 6.

0

Cost of admission to the Folger Shakespeare Library.

500 Years of Treasures From Oxford Through April 30 at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St. SE. Free. 202-544-4600. folger.edu.

Article Literary treasures from Corpus Christi College at Oxford arrive in Washington compiled by www.washingtonpost.com

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