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Aurea dicta : illuminated manuscript


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

This volume was bound by Oldach Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1914. Frederick Oldach was born in Germany in 1823 and was described in 1880 and 1900 Federal Censuses as a bookbinder residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 1880 Census identified his son Herman as an apprentice to a bookbinder. The 1900 Census described his sons Carl, Albert, and George as bookbinders. Frederick Oldach died in 1907, suggesting that his surviving sons ran Oldach Company in 1914 and bound this book.

The initials “S.P.K.” can be found on the cover and spine of this volume. These are likely the initials of the creator, who is unknown.

1880 Federal Census (accessed via on October 10, 2016)1900 Federal Census (accessed via on October 10, 2016)Advertisement. “Oldach Company Book-Binders.” The Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. CLXXI, No. 1 (January, 1911): viii.Barton, Anna. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam: A Reading Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012.Bradley, Ian. Lost Chords and Christian Soldiers: The Sacred Music of Arthur Sullivan. London: SCM Press, 2013. Kreitzer, Larry J. “‘The Son of God Goes Forth to War’: Biblical Imagery in Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Man Who Would be King.’” in Borders, Boundaries, and the Bible, edited by Martin O’Kane, 99-125. London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002.The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Complete in One Volume. Paris: A. and W. Galignani and Co., 1835.Selections from the Poems of Charlotte Elliott, Author of “Just As I Am.” London: The Religious Tract Society, 1873.The United Methodist Church Discipleship Ministries website, “History of Hymns: ‘My Faith Looks Up to Thee’” (accessed October 10, 2016) Web website, George Monteiro, “A Proposal for Settling the Grammarian’s Estate” (accessed October 10, 2016) Foundation website, “The Higher Pantheism by Alfred Lord Tennyson” (accessed October 10, 2016) derived from the collection.

This volume, entitled

Aurea Dicta (Latin, “Golden Words”), is an illuminated manuscript containing a collection of hymns and poems with illustrations throughout. It was bound by Oldach Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1914. The initials “S.P.K.” can be found on the cover and spine of this volume. These are likely the initials of the creator, who is unknown.

Aurea Dicta consists of ten hymns and poems with accompanying illuminations and illustrations. The hymns include works by Reginald Heber, Charlotte Elliott, Ray Palmer, and John Henry Newman. Most of the hymns appear to have originated from the Anglican Church, although Palmer was a Congregationalist. The poetry includes verses from William Wordsworth’s “Despondency Corrected” (from “The Excursions”), Robert Browning’s “The Grammarian’s Funeral,” Christina Georgiana Rossetti’s “Marvel of Marvels,” and Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “In Memoriam” and “The Higher Pantheism.” The illuminations frequently highlight Christian iconography, but also include depictions of a sailing ship, a mountain, and a Tudor-era cleric sitting in his study.

This manuscript volume has a red leather cover with gilt-stamped text on the front and spine. The front cover reads “AUREA DICTA/S.P.K./MCMXIV” in gilt-stamped lettering with a green leaf outlined in gold situated below the title. Both the front and back covers feature a gilt-tooled edge with small gold leaves at each corner. The spine has five raised bands and includes the title and creator initials along with four gilt floral motifs. On the insides of the front and back covers there are red leather borders with gilt-tooled decorations including floral motifs. The endpapers and flyleaves feature pink marbling. The top edge of the book block is gilt; the other edges are uncut. At the top left-hand corner of the verso of the front flyleaf is a stamp reading “Bound by Oldach Co./Philadelphia.” The text throughout is in black ink with frequent illuminations. There are illustrations throughout the volume. The volume includes 36 leaves, of which 3 are blank.

Item 0178: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Purchase, July 2015

Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, January 2017.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2017 January 11
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Aurea dicta : illuminated manuscript, 1914.
Item 0178
Physical Description

1 volume

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