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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.
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The e-codices team

In this issue
  1. New manuscripts
  2. Treasures from small libraries
  3. New Collections
  4. New project: Indian manuscripts
  5. A Pilgrimage in the Himalayas
  6. Magnificently illuminated Byzantine manuscript from the 13th century
  7. Manuscript IDs
  8. News from Fragmentarium
June 2017

Issue N° 29

Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, F-16.3, p. 9 - Gustave Flaubert, explanatory chapter from Salammbô, autograph

New manuscripts
This new update includes the digital edition of 59 manuscripts from 16 collections. Among them are twelve more manuscripts from the Abbey Library of Saint Gall, six autographs from the Fondation Martin Bodmer, and ten previously unedited chronicles by the Carthusian Heinrich Murer of Ittingen, who recorded religious life in Switzerland at the beginning of the 17th century. In addition, we are presenting the online publication of manuscripts from six new collections as well as numerous smaller collections.
Treasures from small libraries
Switzerland has numerous small collections, often consisting of fewer than twelve manuscripts. These treasures often are difficult to access and are therefore little known to researchers.
E-codices is a national project with world-wide reach, but our essential work takes place at the local level. On the one hand, we aim to provide access to sources from smaller collections, which do not have the infrastructure of a digital library. On the other hand, a focus of e-codices is to publish manuscripts which, at first glance, may seem to have only local relevance. After all, the realm of manuscripts consists not only of sequoias.

Bulle, Musée gruérien, sans cote, fol. 44r – Property inventory from the Broc Priory

New Collections
Six new collections have decided to provide access to their manuscripts through e-codices:
  • Basel, Pharmacy Museum of the University of Basel: This collection, housed where Paracelsus and Erasmus once dwelled, contains not only old medications and pharmacies, but also about a hundred manuscripts from the 15th to the 18th century. We start with four manuscripts, among them the „Ars hermetis,“ Johannes of Fulda’s work on medical alchemy, formerly owned by Jakob Burckhardt.
  • Bulle, Gruérien Museum: The museum traces the history, art and traditions of the Gruyère region. Its small collection of manuscripts contains, for example, a 13th century Collectarium Cartusianum that formerly belonged to one of the Carthusian monasteries in Western Switzerland (La Valsainte, La Part-Dieu or La Lance).
  • Mariastein Abbey: is a Benedictine monastery and an important pilgrimage site in Switzerland. Three medieval codices from its small manuscript collection can now be found on e-codices.
  • Müstair, Saint John Abbey: This monastery, famous for its Carolingian frescoes, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. A year ago, we were able to digitize its small collection of manuscripts and fragments.
E-codices has been able to provide online access to treasures from 22 archives, some of them previously little-known. With this update two new archives are added.
  • Porrentruy, State Archives Jura: In addition to the actual archival material, archives also often hold several manuscripts.
  • The Georg Fischer Corporate Archive: The Georg Fischer AG in Schaffhausen has an archive of files and documents, pictures, films and exhibits on the history of the company, among them the memory album of pioneer and founder Johann Conrad Fischer (1773-1854).

Mariastein, Benediktinerkloster, formerly Solothurn, Zentralbibliothek,
S 231, fol. 4r - S. Bernardus Claraevallensis, Opuscula Selecta

Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 708, f. 51r - Kedārakalpa

Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 708, f. 51r - Kedārakalpa

New project: Indian manuscripts
In Switzerland, Indian manuscripts have rarely been investigated; there does not even exist a general census that would register the treasures hidden in various public and private collections. In collaboration with Dr. Olga Serbaeva of the University of Zurich, e-codices has decided to gradually make these manuscripts available digitally.
A pilgrimage in the Himalayas
The project “Indian manuscripts” will launch with a richly illustrated manuscript from the Fondation Martin Bodmer. The Kedārakalpa (Cod. Bodmer 708) was created in the 18th century, probably in the area around Kedarnath in the Himalayas in the North of India. The manuscript has a large number of miniatures (including 44 full-page images), depicting the story of the pilgrimage of a group of yogis to various Himalayan temples and sacred places.

Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 708, f. 63r - Kedārakalpa: Yogis visit Sthūlapāda


Basel, Universitätsbibliothek, AN I 8, f. Cr – Elias Cretensis, Commentarius in S. Gregorii Nazianzeni orationes: Portraits of Gregory and Elias

Magnificently illuminated Byzantine manuscript from the 13th century
Famous for the two portraits of Gregory of Nazianzus and Elias of Crete, as well as for a unique cycle of illustrations in honor of Gregory, this codex is also noteworthy for its content (19 commentaries by Elias of Crete, still unpublished in Greek) and for the story of its creation. The commentaries were copied around the end of the 12th or the beginning of the 13th century. The miniatures were added a short time later, together with a prologue.
Manuscript IDs

Manuscripts on the internet require unique identifiers in order to eliminate the ambiguities of traditional shelfmarks and to prepare manuscripts for the semantic net.
At the very successful conference on “Manuscript IDs” (Paris, 27 April 2017), a working group was set up to create a prototype for an International Standard ManuScript Number (ISMSN). This concept will be presented at various events; in addition, it was decided to take more concrete steps toward this goal at another meeting in a year’s time.

News from Fragmentarium
In June, Fragmentarium successfully began its third year. In the coming year, not only will the first six Case Studies be concluded, but another six are being successfully launched.

The new series of Case Studies were presented at a Fragmentarium workshop in Wolfenbüttel
  1. The British Library (London)– Burnt Anglo-Saxon Fragments at the British Library. Zeno-Karl-Schindler Fellow: Dr. Andrew Dunning, London; Supervisors: Dr. Claire Breay (The British Library) and Dr. Andrea Clarke (The British Library). Funding: Zeno-Karl-Schindler-Foundation.
  2. Austrian National Library (Vienna)– A model for the digitization of fragments — The medieval fragments of Mondsee Abbey. Fellows: Ivana Dobcheva and Larissa Rasinger, Vienna; Supervisor: Dr. Andreas Fingernagel (Austrian National Library). Funding: go!digital 2.0 (Austrian Academy of Sciences).
  3. Center for History and Palaeography– Manuscript fragments from Greek collections. Zeno-Karl-Schindler Fellow: Athina Almpani, Athens; Supervisor: Prof. Agamemnon Tselikas (Center for History and Palaeography). Funding: Zeno-Karl-Schindler-Foundation.
  4. Harvard University (Cambridge MA)– Boston-Area-Fragments. Houghton Library 2017-2018 Graduate Student “Fragmentarium” Research Fellow: Elena Iourtaeva, Cambridge MA; Supervisors: Dr. William Stoneman and Dr. Anne-Marie Eze, Houghton Library - Harvard University – Dr. Lisa Fagin Davis, Medieval Academy of America. Funding: Harvard University.
  5. Herzog August Library (Wolfenbüttel)– Fragments with Musical Notation in the Herzog August Library. Fellow: Antje Hoffmann, Weimar; Supervisor: Dr. Christian Heitzmann (Herzog August Library) and Dr. Christoph Mackert (Leipzig University Library). Funding: Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation.
  6. University of Pennsylvania Libraries (Philadelphia)– Lewis Cuttings in the Free Library of Philadelphia. Graduate Student Research Fellow: Emily Shartrand, Philadelphia; Supervisor: Nicholas Herman (Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, University of Pennsylvania). Funding: University of Pennsylvania Libraries.
More news at: http://fragmentarium.ms
Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland
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