The study of the various types of old scripts and their development geographically and over time is a vast field, and so is this collection of more than 2,000 examples covering Western scripts of Europe, the Near East and the Americas. It starts with the earliest scripts (3300 BC) and alphabets (1700 BC). The rest of the world is represented elsewhere in the special collections. The 165 manuscripts in this section are also supplemented by the 33 examples in the Music special collection.
Comprising 19 categories, the special collections have some of the most important items in the Schøyen Collection. The manuscripts presented here include fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls. But even these are pre-dated by some of the signed cuneiform tablets from 26c BC in the Magical Collection. There are manuscripts on Law, Mathematics, Music, Bindings, Pre-Gutenberg printing and Extinct and Living Religions, and much more of cultural and historical importance.
Architecture, children's literature, maps, medical texts, ships and shipbuilding, slavery, wine and beer, and women authors are some of the categories in this section of our online resource.