"I think people have trouble imagining that works that are so small and so intimate in scale were major works of art in their own time." -- Thomas Kren, Curator of Manuscripts.

Illuminated manuscripts are books from the early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, written and decorated entirely by hand. J. Paul Getty did not collect manuscripts, but the Museum expanded its holdings to include them in 1983 with the purchase of the manuscripts of German art collectors Drs. Peter and Irene Ludwig. Subsequent acquisitions include late medieval French manuscripts.