Rare books worth many thousands of pounds have gone on display in a library.

The items, one of which dates back to the 13th century, are available for the public to view at Brighton’s Jubilee Library until July.

They are part of a special exhibition called Curious IV which features some of the rarest and most expensive books in the city.

Among them include a Bible dating from 1270 and a book printed by William Caxton, the first printer in the country.

Librarian Margaret Curson, who manages the library’s rare books collection, said: “We have chosen a collection of interesting or quirky books for people to take a look at.

“We can’t display all the books to the public because only a few people have access to the whole collection of rare books, but it is nice to have a display for people to get an idea of what we have behind the scenes.

“It’s one room in a very busy library, so it’s hard to keep track of how many people have come to see the books, but we’ve had a lot of interest.”

The library, in Jubilee Street, has a collection of 45,000 rare books in a restricted section of the building.

The books are currently being valued for insurance purposes.

The display, which can be found in the Tony Miller room on the upper floor, will be open to the public until July.

The exhibition is free of charge. For further information phone 01273 294005 or email rarebooks@brighton-hove.gov.uk

The Bible

This 13th century Bible is the oldest in the library’s vast collection.

It dates back to about 1270 and is an example of the Bible before it was translated into English. Bibles from this period were written in French or Latin and this one is in Latin.

It was donated to the library in 1903 by a school teacher and is decorated with colourful calligraphy.

Book of Hours The Book of Hours is a Christian devotional book, which was particularly popular in the Middle Ages.

The book is designed to provide the reader with a prayer for every hour of the day – hence the book’s title.

This edition dates from the 15th century and contains a collection of texts, prayers and psalms.

Ms Curson said: “This edition is particularly special because of its beautiful decoration.”

This edition was donated by Brighton resident, Leonard Lionel Bloomfield, on his death in 1917. He was a book collector and donated 13,500 books to the library.

Miniature Koran

This miniature 20th century Koran was designed to be worn as a necklace.

Ms Curson said: “Unfortunately, the library does not have the original chain, but we do have the locket the book sits inside of.”

The book contains only a section of the full script, but it does come with a magnifying glass.

It was not designed as a book that can be practically read, but was worn as a religious charm.

Music book from Robert Browning

Brighton resident, Leonard Lionel Bloomfield, who also donated the Book of Hours, gifted this book from the personal library of Robert Browning, the celebrated poet and playwright.

It is a printed book of music by Schumann, signed by Schumann’s wife, Clara, who the Brownings were friends with.

The Brownings had a house in Florence, Italy, where they hosted the Schumanns.

History of Britain in Two Volumes

This History of Britain in two volumes is another example of a miniature book.

It comes from a collection of Victorian miniature books and contains a history of the British monarchy.

The exact date of the book is not known as it was not written in the volumes.

Ms Curson said: “These miniature books actually contain very little.

“They were produced as a novelty really and as a way for getting kids into reading.

“They were even sometimes made for doll’s houses.” The book measures just 3cm by 2.5cm.

Vicountess Wolseley, Her Book

This 1703 manuscript of ships was donated by Francis Garnett Wolseley to the library in 1927.

Ms Garnett Wolseley bought the book age 15 with her pocket money.

Ms Curson said: “That’s what makes this book interesting. It’s an interesting thing to buy as such a young girl.

“She became quite a figure in the community.”

Ms Garnett Wolseley went on to set up a school for lady gardeners in Glynde.