ARC, ms. 1 Physical Characteristics

Date:  c.1400-1500

Title:  ARC, ms. 1

Content: Religious Chants and fragments of other texts (possibly liturgical)

Language: Latin

Physical Description: 

  • Vellum manuscript of the 15th century.
  • Manuscript. Vellum. 65 folios. Dimensions (leaf): 382 x 286 mm. Dimensions (written): 275 x 201 mm.
  • Foliation: 65 folios.
  • Collation: Seven quires of eight leaves, one quire of 6 leaves, and one quire of three leaves. (Note: quire four originally had eight leaves and two have been removed, quire nine originally had four leaves and one has been removed.)
  • Condition: Signs of considerable wear as a result of extended use. Stains, ink damage and acid burns also present.
  • Layout: Uniform layout. Each page dedicated entirely to sheet music and chant lyrics.
  • Binding: Rebound c. 1950. Binding is leather-wrapped cardboard with muslin added to reinforce the spine of the manuscript.
  • Ownership: Hugh Andrew MacDougall (b. 1922, d. 2012) Professor of History at various institutions throughout his life, donated ARC ms.1 to Carleton University in 1967.
  • Bibliography: MacOdrum Library at Carleton University


  • Quire 4 has had folios 5 and 6 removed, they appear to have been cut out with scissors.


  • Quire 8 had folio 8 added at a later date and it is connected to folio 1 in an effort to create a bifolio.


  • Quire 9 has had folio 3 removed, this folio appears to have been removed with a knife or other cutting implement aside from scissors. (The cut is smooth rather than jagged.)


  • The binding is quite recent compared to the folios and the manuscript was not rebound with longevity in mind. The bindings were cut into the pages to create a flat spine and the simple leather binding was likely added to make the manuscript aesthetically pleasing in a library. Muslin was utilised in the binding process to cheaply increase durability.


  • Folios are positioned skin-side to skin-side and hair-side to hair-side. 


- Mike Beatty