Website “Rediscovering the Manuscripts from Chartres”

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New website release “Rediscovering the Manuscripts from Chartres“, an exceptional project that you must know 🙂

[Text distributed through the APILIST – APICES by the authors of the site, Dominique Poirel and Claudia Rabel]

Origen, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Chartres, 12th century (2nd quarter). Chartres, Bibl. mun., ms. 54.

Origen, Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Chartres, 12th century (2nd quarter).
Chartres, Bibl. mun., ms. 54.

The prestigious manuscript collection in the Municipal Library at Chartres was once the historical witness of an entire region and especially of the celebrated cathedral school, one of the greatest European intellectual centres of the 11th and 12th centuries. On 26 May 1944 the library was bombed, and fire destroyed or reduced to fragments all the manuscripts.

Since 2005, an ambitious project at the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (CNRS) intends to provide “A virtual Renaissance for the damaged manuscripts of Chartres”. It is directed by Dominique Poirel and Claudia Rabel. Its web site is now open: A la recherche des manuscrits de Chartres (Rediscovering the manuscripts from Chartres), http://www.manuscrits-de-chartres.fr/en.

The web site presents the documentation we are amassing for each of the 519 medieval manuscripts in the municipal library at Chartres. Nearly 200 manuscripts are already listed in an analytic table (Manuscripts). The table’s short entry description of each manuscript gives access to the volume’s bibliography and in some cases to a detailed description; to a digitalized facsimile of the manuscript in its present state, if its fragments have been put in order; to pre-war reproductions. For manuscripts that cannot be found in the analytic table, consult the Bibliography, a document that covers the entire library and which also provides a short description for each manuscript.

The site intends to open up larger avenues of research, becoming a tool for the study of the influence exercised by Chartres on intellectual and artistic history in the Middle Ages. To this end, the site includes a “who’s who” of the main Chartrain authors. Little by little the manuscripts of their works will be listed, dated and localised. The site also intends to create an inventory of Chartrain manuscripts worldwide, housed elsewhere today. These are manuscripts that were made in Chartres or were once in one of the medieval Chartrain libraries, such as manuscript 24 in the Municipal Library at Soissons, recently identified by Patricia Stirnemann as John of Salisbury’s personal copy of the Policraticus, which he bequeathed to the Cathedral of Chartres at his death.

Source: Apilist & Dominique Poirel – Claudia Rabel

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