Medieval documents taken from the Canterbury Cathedral library will be auctioned off unless academics can raise enough money to buy them back. The University of Kent and Canterbury Cathedral campaigned together to stop the removal of 300 books and manuscripts from the Mendham Collection by The Law Society.
Nineteenth century clergyman Joseph Mendham formed the 5,000-strong collection, which details early tensions between Catholics and Protestants. It has been in Canterbury since 1984, attracting academics and researchers from across the world. The Law Society said they needed to sell the documents to raise much-needed cash and have given the university and cathedral until November to submit a bid to reclaim the collection.
Spokesman Emma Alatalo said: "In these challenging times, we can no longer justify the ongoing cost of maintaining the collection, which despite its great value to academics does not form part of an archive useful to our members. We owe it to our members in these hard-pressed times to get the very best price that the market can offer."
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See also Manuscript collection in danger of being broken up, sold off