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March 2012, Issue N° 5 
inside 01. inside e-codices digitalizes the 1,000th manuscript
inside 02. inside New Content
inside 03. inside New Facet: Liturgica
inside 04. inside New participating Libraries
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
March 2012

e-codices digitalizes the 1,000th manuscript

The e-codices project recently digitalized manuscript number 1,000. This brings us to a total of 372,473 pages, which occupy 26,039.7 gigabytes of digital file space.

Since the project began in 2005, well-known photographer Urs Baumann has worked in the e-codices digitalization center at the Abbey Library of St. Gall, where he has spent thousands of work hours directing the complete digitalization process with great care and professionalism as well as digitalizing a great many of the manuscripts himself.


We asked him whether he had found any manuscript particularly memorable. "There was a manuscript about the history of the first Crusade with eerily beautiful illustrations," Urs Baumann remembers. To the right is an image taken from Urs’s favorite manuscript, St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek Cod. Sang. 658, p. 32 – Robertus Monachus: History of the first Crusade (illustrated).

The entire e-codices team would like to take this opportunity to thank Urs for his enormous dedication!

New Content

The last update included the addition of 30 manuscripts to the virtual library. This brings us to a total of 894 accessible manuscripts from 37 collections.


Among these is the Weisse Buch von Sarnen, an important book of document copies from the Obwalden Chancellery. Among its contents are 25 pages (pp. 441-465) containing the oldest versions of the foundation stories of the Swiss Confederation and the first written reference to William Tell, which would later be included in numerous chronicles of Swiss history.


In addition, we have been able to publish the famous 9th century Basel Psalterium Graeco-Latinum on e-codices. This manuscript was written by two Irish monks, somewhere on the European continent, though its place of origin and its various locations over the centuries have not yet been reliably identified and remain under discussion among researchers.

New Facet: Liturgica

Using the Search function, it is now possible to find manuscripts by liturgical genre. Under the "Liturgica" facet, a search can now be limited to any of various liturgical book types: Antiphonaries, Breviaries, Graduals, Hymnals, Lectionaries, Psalters, etc. For example, there are currently 18 Antiphonaries on e-codices. The other facets show that these were written between the 10th and 15th centuries and that two of them are from the 10th century.
This facet will be enlarged to include additional genres in the future.

New participating Libraries

Two new libraries are now offering access to manuscripts from their collections via e-codices.

Our selection has been expanded to include the Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel, with 5 manuscripts, among them a richly illustrated Book of Hours from the end of the 15th century, with texts in Latin, French, and Flemish, as well as a student’s notebook from the 17th century, written by the hand of the very young Prince Louis XIII of France and containing what are probably his own translations of Latin texts.

The Staatsarchiv Obwalden has also recently joined e-codices and now presents its famous Weisses Buch von Sarnen (White Book of Sarnen) on our site.