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e-codices newsletter

The e-codices newsletter provides information about the latest updates, highlights, and activities of our project and appears about 4-5 times per year.
We are delighted to count you among our readers!

The e-codices team

In this issue
  1. Japanese manuscripts from the Fondation Bodmer
  2. Four new collections
  3. Sermons in Waldensian
  4. Linguistic diversity in Switzerland
  5. e-codices: A multilingual approach
  6. Visitors from 207 countries with 305 language settings
June 2016

Issue N° 24
Japanese manuscripts from the Fondation Bodmer
„Shaka no Honji“ from the Fondation Martin Bodmer Cod. 600a and Cod. 600b tell the story of the Buddha. The manuscript is from the end of the 16th or the beginning of the 17th century. The two volumes collectively contain 32 full-page multi-color miniatures. The manuscript is written in a regular kana with numerous connecting lines.

Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 600a, p. 4 – The Life of Buddha, first book (Shaka no Honji, jō)


Chironico, Archivio parrocchiale, n. 66, f. 61r – "Martirologio-calendario" (obituary) of the Parish of S. Ambrogio of Chironico

Four new collections
With this update we add 54 new documents and four new collections. They are four hidden parish archives, which we have been working systematically over the past years to find. From the parish archives of Chironico, Mairengo and Quinto in the Canton of Ticino we publish one heretofore unknown obituary each; the respective scholarly descriptions were prepared by our scientific editor Dr. Marina Bernasconi. In addition, we are publishing a fragment from the parish archives of Frauenfeld with several early pieces of a High Alemannic translation of „Flore et Blancheflor.“
Sermons in Waldensian - A principal source for old Waldensian literature
The Waldensians are a Christian community that originated in the 12th century and was persecuted as a heretical movement by the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages and the modern era. Waldensian literature is mainly preserved in 11 manuscripts, composed between the late 15th and early 16th century in the Occitan valleys of Alpi Cozie (northwestern Italy) and scattered across several European libraries at the beginning of the 17th century. Two of these manuscripts containing sermons are in the Bibliothèque de Genève. The main source for reconstructing Waldensian doctrine is sermons, and the sermons in these manuscripts are actually written in the Waldensian language, which is a northeastern variant of Occitan.

Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Ms. l.e. 206, f. 1r – Composite manuscript of Waldensian treatises and sermons

Linguistic diversity in Switzerland — At one time Latin was the dominant written language in Switzerland
About three quarters of all manuscripts on e-codices are written in Latin. There are also many manuscripts in German, French and Italian. About twenty other languages from across the world are found mostly in modern manuscripts, which is evidence of the passion for collecting over the last three centuries. In addition, e-codices is working on a project for Romansh manuscripts.
languages1 languages2

Facets for languages from our Browse & Search page

e-codices: A multilingual approach
We were delighted when a French librarian recently referred to e-codices as the most innovative francophone digital manuscript library, and we consider it a compliment to be recognized as a francophone site by ‘la grande nation.’ In fact, however, access to e-codices is multilingual. All information pages and basic metadata are systematically translated into the three Swiss national languages (French, German and Italian) as well as English. Not translated are the scholarly manuscript descriptions. By providing multilingual access, we aim to take into account the political diversity of Switzerland and to achieve the greatest possible international visibility.
Visitors from 207 countries with 305 language settings
Together the four languages of e-codices cover more than 82% of our visitors’ sessions. In the current year, English was the most often used language with 34.1%, followed by German (23.1%), French (13.4%) and Italian (10.5%). Among the remaining languages, Russian (5.2%), Spanish (4%), Dutch (1.6%) and Polish (1.2%) surpassed 1%.