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St. Laurentius Digital Manuscript Library

Medieval treasures and sources for the history of Lund
Our collection of medieval manuscripts, consisting of 70 volumes, is now available on-line. The nucleus of the collection comes from Lund Cathedral. Among the oldest books are the so-called Necrologium Lundense and the Liber daticus Lundensis vetustior, both from the 12th century. Most of the manuscripts are in Latin but there are also texts in Greek, Syriac, Russian, Flemish, German, French, Danish and Swedish.

About the collection

The collection of medieval manuscripts at Lund University Library is small in international comparison. It consists of 70 volumes of which the nucleus comes from the library of the 11th century cathedral in Lund dedicated to St. Laurentius.

Here we find the books needed by priests and monks for their own liturgical life and for their theological and canonical reading. We also find a number of friars' chronicles noting important events, donations, deaths, feasts celebrated in honour of local saints etc. Most well known among these are the so-called Necrologium Lundense and the Liber daticus Lundensis vetustior.

Other parts of the collection have come to the library through donations, acquisitions and testaments. Here are books by classical authors like Cicero and Virgil, by post-classical writers like Boethius and by medieval theologians like Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure. Here are the divine revelations of the Swedish 14th century Saint Birgitta of Vadstena, Danish and Swedish law texts as well as a Faroese manuscript with the so called Seydhabrevidh, a famous letter on sheep husbandry. We also find a copy of the Legenda Aurea, a collection of saints' lives, of accounts of events in the lives of Christ and of the Virgin Mary and of information about holy days, by Jacobus de Voragine, very popular during the Middle Ages and a few copies of the medieval bestseller, the Book of Hours. The famous so-called Lundse liederen, a fragment of a Dutch 'Minnesänger' of the 13th century is also part of the collection.

Deposited at the University Library by the Department of Astronomy in Lund are several astronomical treatises, about the movements of the planets with descriptions of instruments with movable, three-dimensional plans and diagrams. Apart from the Nordic manuscripts already mentioned, a few texts are in other languages than Latin: Greek, Russian, Dutch, German and French.

 

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