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Hymnal manuscript, circa early 16th century

 Collection — Box: 1 volume
Identifier: MSP 294


Early 16th-century manuscript hymnal, in Latin [Germany]: NP, ND (circa 1500s). Quarto (6 6/8 X 8 6/8 X 1"). Unpaginated. [96] leaves (ms from leaf 3 to leaf 91). Written in Germany, possibly in the area of Fulda, whose patron saints are Simplicius, Faustinus, and their sister Beatrix. The manuscript later passed to the Benedictine monastery of Amorbach, whose 17th or 18th-century ex-libris is on the upper margin on f.4. The manuscript contains numerous mentions of liturgical music (nocturnos (Nocturnes), laudes (Praises),  nona (None), vesperas (Vespers), and others), and the text, unique and never published (to our knowledge), is often accompanied with musical notations in top and bottom margins. The notes (neumes) are grouped around a five-line staff. The small size of this hymnal suggests that it was used privately when participating in the liturgy. Original blind-stamped leather over wooden panels, with four decorative brass corner pieces on each board, and a brass boss decoration at center. Original clasps missing. Handwritten title laid on spine. Profusely rubrincated in red, and written in more than one hand, this early Renaissance manuscript contains the following: 1) ff. 1-2v blank. f.3: three sets of mnemonic calendar verses: De inventione angariarum. Vult Crux Lucia Cinerum...[Walther, Initia 20871]; Adventus prohibet sponsalia. Stella relaxat...; Dat Clemens hyemen, dat Petrus ver kathedratus...[Walther, Initia 4053]; At verso, added in an italic hand: [A]nte conspectum divine maiestatis tue...[Wilmart, 113]. 2) f. 4r-v: [Athanasian Creed] //personam Deum ac Dominum confiteri...salvus esse non poterit; [prayer] Omnipotens sempiterne Deus qui dedisti famulis tuis in confessione vere fidei...[Sinclair, 81]. 3) f. 5r-v: Psalm and antiphon for Sunday. 4) ff.5v-13: Hymns, antiphons, and lessons for ferial days. 5) f.13r-v: Hymnus sequens a prima dominica octobris usque ad adventum Domini et a dominica Ne in ira et cetera usque ad septuagesimam ad nocturnos imponitur, Primo dierum omnium quo mundus...[RH 15450]. 6) ff. 14-35: Hymns for the year, including one for Simplicius and Faustinus, and one for the dedication of a church which occured between the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September and Micahel Archangel on 29 September. 7) ff. 35-36: Verses for the sanctorale (including Simplicius and Faustinus). 8) ff. 36-39v: Lessons for the sanctorale (including Simplicius and Faustinus). 9) ff.39v-46: Canticles for Sundays 10) ff. 46-53v: Lessons on the Virgin for Saturdays for the liturgical seasons; 12 lessons each. 11) ff.53v-56 bis: Minor office of the Dead; the ninth lesson is "Ipsi fratres diligenter scitis quia dies Domini sic fur in nocte veniet..." [1 Thess. 5:2]. 12) ff.56 bis verso-59: Major office of the Dead; the ninth lesson is "In diebus illis audivi vocem de celo dicentem scribe beati mortui..." [Apoc. 14:13]. 13) ff.59-62v: Litany, including Simplicius and Faustinus, Kilian, Boniface, and Gangulf among martyrs; Burchard, Ulric, Willibald, and Othmar among confessors; Walburgis, Gertrude, Afra, Odilia, and Beatrix among virgins; orations. 14) ff.62v-91: Common of the saints. ff.91v-96 blank. Additional (preliminary) notes: Marginalia f.8v. Tab location or bookmarking system used by a previous owner evident on foreedges of some leaves. Luturgical notes start on f.14. Hand changes f.59r. Saints f.59v. Change in hand f.72v. Partially floriated initial f.75v. Corrections f.25r and f.79r [red tab on this page may indicate location of correction]. Change of hand f.81v. Ruling ends f.87r (corresponds with tab). Flourishing, left margin f.89v. End pages have chain lines or watermarks near bottom of pages. Partial scrap manuscript (binder's waste) inside back board cover. Contemporary binding shows structure: cords, wooden boards, 4 brass corners on each board, center boss (brass decoration), blind stamped leather over wooden boards or panels, handwritten title label on spine. Partial manuscript scrap used in binding protruding from spine. Book is housed in a modern red cloth clamshell box.


  • Other: Date acquired: 06/10/2017

Conditions Governing Access

Consult a member of the archives staff for handling instruction. Requires use of cradle support.

Biographical or Historical Information

Written in Germany, possibly in the area of Fulda. The manuscript later passed to the Benedictine monastery of Amorbach (ownership mark dating to 17th or 18th century on upper margin of f.4.)

Note written by Eric Chaim Kline Bookseller (Kline Books description)


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Physical Access Requirements

Extreme care must be given in handling this fragile manuscript, in fair condition. The front board and the first five leaves are partly disbound, but still attached. Portions of the spine and title label are missing. Original clasps missing. Moderate rubbing and abrasion on covers. Endpapers water-stained along edges. Second front fly leaf partly missing. Although the leaves have been hand numbered 1 to 96, at least one page is missing between the third and fourth leaf, as the manuscript begins in the middle of a sentence. Clear water-staining along upper margin of the last 10 leaves (not affecting text).

Custodial History

Previously owned by the Benedictine monastery of Amorbach, later acquired by Eric Chaim Kline of Kline Books.

Source of Acquisition

Eric Chaim Kline Bookseller, Kline Books

Method of Acquisition


Existence and Location of Originals

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Related Materials

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Hymnal manuscript, circa early 16th century
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Eric Chaim Kline Bookseller (Kline Books description)
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Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

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West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States