101 Treasures of Chetham's

A weekly series in which we highlight some of the Library's most interesting stuff, which as well as famous books and manuscripts includes furniture, paintings, and objects from the museum collection.

Limited space means that much of this material is not on permanent display, making this a rare opportunity to get a closer look at some of the jewels in the Library's crown.

Each weekly instalment is archived to create a unique perspective of the Library's holdings. Click on the links below to see treasures from previous weeks:

Opera of St Augustine, Bishop of Hippo

Sir Henry Knyvett's 'Defence of this Realm'

Ben Jonson's Plato

The Manchester Man

Sir William Hamilton: Campi Phlegraei

Tim Bobbin

Hooke's Micrographia

Clog Almanack

Budé Bible

Thomas Barritt's Sketchbook

Strawberry Hill

Aulus Gellius

John Dee

Newton's Principia

Harrold's Diary

Albert Memorial

Bolton's Harmonia Ruralis

Henry VIII's Prosper of Aquitaine

Saxton's Atlas of England and Wales

Latin Vulgate Bible

Portrait of Humphrey Chetham

Plantin Polyglot Bible

Karl Marx's Desk

Kuerden's History of Lancashire

Fore-edge Painting

Poetry of Alain Chartier

Glass Slides

Hollingworth's Mancuniensis

De Bry's Emblemata

Astrologica

Rocque's Map of London

Library of the Parish Church of Gorton

Christians Awake

Cologne Chronicle

Casson and Berry

Mouth of Hell

Manchester Scrapbook

Valentine's Rebus

Luddite Ticket

Book of Common Prayer

Flores Historiarum

William Seward's Diary

The Pigmy Revels

Papal Prayers of Alexander VII

Register of Swan Marks

Palm Leaf Manuscript

Hiroshige Woodblock Print

Ipomadon

Death Mask

Medical Recipes

Mandate from Walter Ralegh

General Wolfe's Sword

Halliwell-Phillips Collection

Theatre Royal Playbills

Lysons' Woodchester

Hogarth Prints

Gibbs' Book of Architecture

Mercator's Atlas

Hobson's Musci Britannici

Lord's Prayer in Shorthand

Bomberg Biblia Rabbinica

Homer Editio Princeps

Grant of Edward VI

De Laet's Novus Orbis

Hymnorum de Sanctis Collectio

The Manchester Comet

John Donne's Poems

Withering's Account of the Foxglove

Milton's Paradise Lost

Percival's Census of Manchester

C16th and C17th Greek Orthodox Books

Works of the French Prophets

Southey's Letters to Espriella

Works of Athanasius Kircher

Arabic New Testament

Works of Terence in French and Latin

James Crossley

Chetham's Library Accessions Register and Booksellers' Invoices

Peterloo Massacre

Besler's Hortus Eystettensis

The Papers of Laurence Vaux

Belle Vue

Sarum Missal

Nuremberg Chronicle

Material Relating to John Dalton

The Armburgh Roll

Incline Press

William Hulme's Survey

Acta Sanctorum

Genoa Quadruplex Psalter

William Tyndale's New Testament

Historic Bindings from the Byrom Collection

Diaries and Life Writing

Reading Room Clock

Humphrey Chetham's Private Papers

South West Prospect

Tractatis de nigromatia

Wooden Printing Press

Table from Prayer Book

The booke of the common prayer and administracion of the sacramentes, and other rites and ceremonies of the Churche: after the vse of the Churche of England

London: Edward Whitchurch, 1549

This is one of only twelve copies of the first edition of the Book of Common Prayer compiled in 1549 by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. It was the first single manual of worship in a vernacular language designed to be used by both priest and people, combining Cranmer's translations of the four main service books of the pre-Reformation church with collects, psalms and canticles.

Matins from the Prayer Book

In 1552 Cranmer produced a second, revised edition, a copy of which is also held at the Library, and this was followed by a third in 1559. After the Civil War, major revisions and alterations were made to the text, resulting in the 1662 edition which remains the official Prayer Book of the Anglican church and celebrates its 350th anniversary in 2012. The language of the Book of Common Prayer, like that of the King James Bible, has become woven into the fabric of the English language to the extent that it is the second most cited work in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

February from the calendar in the Prayer Book

This page showing the month of February from the calendar at the beginning of the book lists saints' days as well as readings and psalms for matins and evensong on each day of the month. The calendar has been annotated with notes for the use of the owner of the book, who has included 'vygylls' for the red-letter feasts (click on this image to enlarge).

Last page of Prayer book