In 1994, under the Joint Funding Councils' Non Formula Funding Programme, Aberdeen
University Library undertook a project to publish in digital format examples of primary resources held in its Department
of Special Collections & Archives. The project was continued after 1997 by the Heritage Division of the University's
Directorate of Information Systems & Services, in which Special Collections & Archives was then incorporated.
The aim of the programme was to make the resources accessible to the widest possible public, selecting from the digitisation
processes then available the most suitable for this purpose. To maximise their accessibility, the resources were
accompanied by commentaries and, where necessary, transcriptions and translations. There was no intention, however,
of providing critical editions of any of the texts.
The Burnet Psalter is the second of two medieval illuminated manuscripts to be included in the programme. It was
composed in the first half of the fifteenth century and contains the categories of material common to psalters
of the time: a calendar, devotions (prayers and hymns) for personal use, the Psalter itself (the Book of Psalms),
and liturgies (forms of worship) for personal use.
The manuscript is presented here with an introduction, which includes lists of contents compiled in 1932 and 1995;
commentaries on the writing, decoration and illustration, and on the prayers and hymns; notes on editorial and
technical practice; and a bibliography. The text itself is accompanied by a full transcription of the Latin and
summaries in English of the prayers and hymns.
For information about the University of Aberdeen, its Library, Special Collections & Museums, see: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/. For recent general accounts of psalters, related books of private devotions, traditional
religion, and suggestions for further reading, see below, Bibliography.
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