Manuscript to Manga

Drawing of Dante with plant headdress.

Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the
future  Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities


Supported by TORCH and the Oxford Dante Society


This event is part of the Dante in Oxford 2021 project, part of the Humanities Cultural Programme.

2021 is the year of Dante, the author of the Divine Comedy who died 700 years ago in 1321. The poem which records his vision of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise remains one of the peaks of world literature, and all cultures have recorded its influence. This exhibition, alongside one at the Ashmolean Museum, forms part of Oxford’s celebration of the man known universally as ‘the supreme poet’. Oxford has long been a particular home to the study of Dante, and the exhibitions will put on public view unfamiliar treasures from University and College collections.

The display at the Bodleian Library reflects the changing material form of the Comedy as a book. The reader’s experience has been profoundly affected by the changing format and illustrations of the text. This small exhibition opens with one of the finest early manuscripts of the poem, which is accompanied by illuminations of the story, and closes with cartoon and manga versions from very modern times.

Find out more about the Dante 2021 Season here.