British Library bids for oldest bound book

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The Independent Culture

The British Library has launched a campaign to buy the oldest bound book in Europe, the £9m St Cuthbert Gospel.

The library hopes to raise £2.75m to complete funds already donated by the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The Art Fund. "The St Cuthbert Gospel is an almost miraculous survival from the Anglo-Saxon period," said British Library chief executive Dame Lynne Brindley.

The tome was originally buried with St Cuthbert, an English Christian leader, in 698. It stayed in his tomb for four centuries before it was found there in 1104.

The book is on long-term loan to the library.