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In unexpected places, Lisa Fagin Davis finds medieval manuscripts around the country

Lisa Fagin Davis studies Boston Public Library treasures, including (right) late 15th-century prayer books.
Lisa Fagin Davis studies Boston Public Library treasures, including (right) late 15th-century prayer books. Photos by Lane Turner/Globe Staff

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Lisa Fagin Davis has located hand-written Medieval manuscripts in university libraries as part of her virtual road trip around the country, examining ancient European texts now found in unexpected places in the United States.

Davis, who lives in Newton, is an expert on medieval manuscripts and recently started blogging about her finds.

In Reno, she found a 15th-century French prayer book with gold leaf, once owned by a Welsh actor-turned-missionary. In South Dakota, she discovered a 600-year-old leaf from another book with a prayer meditating on the final seven statements uttered by Jesus.

“Everybody knows about manuscripts at Harvard and at the Getty,” she said. “But nobody knows about manuscripts in South Dakota and Ohio.”

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