This article discusses an illuminated copy of the fourth printed edition of the Latin Vulgate (Mainz, 1462), or 48-line Bible, which is now in the Perne Library at Peterhouse, Cambridge. It considers the history of the book in the late sixteenth century, when it passed between two lawyers (Justinian Kidd and Edward Orwell) in London, and its path into the collection at Peterhouse, via John Cosin, later bishop of Durham. It assesses evidence that the volume was initially considered to be a manuscript, rather than a printed book, and details the peculiar use made of its illuminations in the eighteenth century by a group of young scholars at Peterhouse and Trinity College, who carved their names into the gold-leaf decorations.

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