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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek

Fribourg's Cantonal and University Library owns a significant collection of manuscripts dating from the Middle Ages to the present day, archival holdings and incunabula. This collection comes primarily from the religious communities of Fribourg that were dissolved in 1848, notably from the Cistercians of Hauterive, from the Augustinian Hermits and the Jesuits of St. Michael in Fribourg, and from the Carthusians of La Part-Dieu. The collection includes 185 medieval manuscripts. Over time the collection was significantly expanded through purchases and donations, such as the manuscripts from the Capuchin Convent and those of the Société de lecture (formerly Société économique). The library’s website offers a complete and detailed presentation.

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Cap. Rés. 527
Paper · 245 ff. · 29 x 20.5-21 cm · Italy · third quarter of the 15th century
Plutarchus

Paper manuscript containing the Parallel Lives of Plutarch in latin translation. The first page features a golden initial on a background of white vine stem decoration, as well as a coat of arms in the bottom margin, perhaps that of Guiniforte Zazzi, Pavia professor of law; on the sides of the coat of arms can be read the name of Peter Falck (+1519), the Fribourg humanist through whom the manuscript reached Fribourg before becoming part of the library of the Capuchins, and, in 2004, of the University Library. (ber)

Online Since: 10/04/2011

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 4
Parchment · 149 ff. · 31-31.5 x 22 cm · Carthusian Monastery „La Lance“ (Canton of Vaud) · 15th century
Evangelia et collectae cartusianorum

The liturgical content of this manuscript corresponds to that in use among the Carthusians. The church consecration festival listed in the Proprium de Sanctis between the feast days on the 4th and the 23rd of April probably refers to the 18th of April, when this holiday was celebrated at La Lance. This observation suggests that the manuscript was created in the Carthusian Monastery La Lance (Canton of Vaud). Several ex-libris can be dated around 1500 and confirm the presence of this codex in the monastery, at least until its dissolution in 1538. Then the manuscript was passed on to the Carthusian Monastery Part-Dieu in the Canton of Fribourg. Recently the manuscript was restored and the old binding was replaced. (ber)

Online Since: 03/19/2015

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 5
Parchment · 175 ff. · 30 × 22,5 cm · Hauterive (?) · first half of the 13th century (after 1235)
Vitae et passiones sanctorum

This collection of hagiographical texts was written by various hands in the second third of the 13th century, probably in Hauterive. The presence of certain texts indicates a Cistercian origin (Vita of St. Robert of Molesme, the author Geoffroy de Hautecombe) and, based on our knowledge of medieval Hauterive, a regional origin (the Vita of St. Theodore, Bishop of Sion; the Vita and the Miracula of Saint Nicholas of Myra; the Vita of St. Elizabeth of Hungary; the Passio of Saint Maurice and his companions by Eucherius of Lyon). The end of the book contains a collection of texts related to confession. The last one of these attests a little know activity of the monks: the pastoral care of the Cistercian nuns. The manuscript remains in its original cover which, although damaged, is still well recognizable: a cover with wide flaps that cover the edges of the book. (jur)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 24
Paper · 153 ff. · 27.5-28 x 20.5 cm · Eastern Europe (?) · second half of the 14th century
Formulae epistolarum . Johannes Wrantz . Nicolaus de Dybin . Neidhart von Reuental

In addition to various Formulae epistolarum, this manuscript contains the Summa dictaminis by Johannes Wrantz (ff. 1r-126r), excerpts from the Viaticus dictandi by Nicolaus of Dybin (ff. 138v-140r) and a song, partly with musical notation, in Middle High German perhaps by Neidhart of Reuental (ff. 144v-145r), one of the best known German minnesingers. At an unknown later time, probably at the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century, the manuscript became part of the Cantonal und University Library of Fribourg (BCU/KUB). (ber)

Online Since: 03/19/2015

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 30
Parchment · 366 ff. · 22.5 x 15.0 cm · Fribourg, Saint Nicholas · ca. 1400
Breviarium Lausannense

A breviary for the diocese of Lausanne preceded by a psalter. The different parts of the text are introduced by illuminated initials produced in an archaic manner. According to a note at the end of the text, the codex was produced by Magister Gilles around 1400 at the behest of Pierre Frenscher of Montagny, parish priest of Saint Nicholas of Fribourg. Another note records a donation by Frenscher for the altar of Saint Sylvester in the church of Saint Nicholas in Fribourg. (ber)

Online Since: 10/04/2011

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 34
Parchment · 375 ff. · 24 x 16.5-17 cm · Interlaken (?) · 14th century
Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda Aurea

James of Voragine’s Golden Legend, one of the most copied texts of the Middle Ages, appears here in a meticulous fourteenth-century copy. This copy is particularly noteworthy for its exceptional elegance and the refined stitchwork that fixes defects in the parchment (holes and tears); they bring to mind similar works from the double convent of canons and canonesses at Interlaken. The decoration resembles the output of a Zurich workshop. Little is known of the early history of the manuscript, but it as attested in the Cistercian monastery of Hauterive from at least the seveneenth century. (jur)

Online Since: 03/31/2011

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 37
Paper · 147 ff. · 22 x 15 cm · Dijon · 1447
Boetius

Few works of antiquity had as profound an influence on the Middle Ages as did Boethius’ De Consolatione Philosophiae. This exemplar contains valuable information which allows it to be placed in an interesting historical context. The Fribourg cleric Pierre Guillomin finished copying the manuscript on Christmas Eve 1447 in Dijon. The colophon, which states these details, also names the recipient of the manuscript, Jacques Trompettaz († 1503), a compatriot of the copyist. The latter was careful to include in several passages of the text, in addition to his own name and that of the addressee, the names of two more Fribourg friends, Claude de Gruyère and Jacques Sutz, Monk at Hauterive. (jur)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 39
Paper · 122 ff. · 21 x 14 cm · Freiburg in Breisgau · 1445, 1452
Liber Ordinarius officii et missae und Rituale, some parts in German

The Liber ordinarius is a liturgical text that describes the ceremonies for every day and for holidays for a certain cathedral or for a certain collegiate or monastery church. In this case it is a Liber for Augustinian Hermits; according to a note on f. 63v-64r, it was written by Brother Georius Vituli from the Convent of the Augustinian Heremits in Freiburg in Breisgau. It contains various sermons, instructions and a treatise on the Ten Commandments in German. At some unknown time, the text passed from Freiburg in Breisgau to the Augustinian Convent of Fribourg (Switzerland). (ber)

Online Since: 03/19/2015

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 84
Parchment · 132 ff. · 35-37 × 26 cm · first half of the 13th century
Biblia sacra (Isaias-Malachim)

This Cistercian manuscript, datable to the first half of the 13th century, contains only a part of the Old Testament, that is, the Books Isaiah to and including Malachi. This book must have changed libraries for historical reasons. After being held in the Cistercian Abbey Frienisberg in the Canton of Bern, it reached Hauterive when the Bernese Monastery was dissolved during the Protestant Reformation. The last Abbot of Frienisberg, Urs Hirsinger, is said to have arrived at the Fribourg Abbey with a handful of manuscripts. (jur)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 90
Parchment · 207 ff. · 36.5 x 26.5 cm. · Southern Germany · first half of the 15th century
Psalterium-Hymnarium Ordinis Fratrum Praedicatorum

A psalter-hymnal produced for use by Dominicans. The saints recorded in the calendar indicate the codex’s point of origin as a Dominican convent in Southern Germany or Bohemia. The decorative style of the illuminated initials and filigrees, above all, indicate Bohemian origin and an origination date in the first half of the 15th century (new information provided by Martin Roland, Vienna). (ber)

Online Since: 10/04/2011

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 145
Paper · 46 ff. · 20,5-21 x 14,5 cm · Germany · around 1486
Johannes de Paltz

This quaestio disputata by the Augustinian Johannes of Paltz (around 1445-1511) is a perfect illustration of the working methods of medieval scholasticism. The manuscript was written in Erfurt in the summer of 1486 and has as its topic the refutation of three errors. The first regards those who claim “to be able to calculate and foresee the Last Judgment.” It seems that this document is the only handwritten version of this text, which is known through two printed editions from the 15th century. Franz Xaver Karker (1812-1892), Canon of the Cathedral of Breslau (today Wroclaw in Poland), donated this work to the Fribourg library. (jur)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 158
Parchment · 131 ff. · 32 x 21 cm · Hauterive (?) · second half of the 12th century
Missale cisterciense

Probably written around 1200 in Hauterive, this Cistercian missal has recently attracted the attention of historians who study St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231). Together with another manuscript from Hauterive, the antiphonary L 301, this manuscript is considered evidence of the rapid spread of the cult of the saint in a Cistercian monastery. Indeed, the general chapter of the Cistercians decided in 1236 to have the name of the saint, who was canonized the previous year, entered into the martyrology and into the calendar of the order. The corresponding entry in our manuscript’s calendar, by a second hand, is probably a consequence of this decision. (jur)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 293
Parchment · 171 ff. · 33,5-34 x 22-22,5 cm · Hauterive (?) · beginning of the 13th century
Vitae sanctorum . Hugo de Sancto Victore . Fretellus . Moralium dogma philosophorum . Computistica . Interpretationes nominorum hebraicorum

This manuscript contains predominantly hagiographical texts, written in various hands at the beginning of the 13th century. One could reasonably propose that it originated at Hauterive. Without doubt, the text at the beginning of the collection was most important for the monks, a Vita of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (the Vita prima), which takes up the greatest part of the manuscript. Also worth noting is a text quite surprising in a monastic context: the Liber locorum sanctorum terrae Jerusalem at the time of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem by Fretellus of Nazareth († after 1154). Another particularity of the manuscript is its binding with flaps that show traces of metalwork in the shape of a star. (jur)

Online Since: 04/09/2014

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 303
Parchment · 91 ff. · 32.5 x 16-17 cm · Hauterive · 13th century
Amedeus Lausannensis; Henricus Abbas Altae Cristae

The colophon at the end of the manuscript establishes with certitude that it was copied at the Cistercian abbey of Hauterive during the thirteenth century. Its author, or the one who commissioned the work, dobutless wanted to “gather together the works of two Cistercian authors who exercised important functions in the region: Henry, Abbot of the neighboring monastery of Hautcrêt, and Amadeus, bishop of the diocese of Lausanne” (from Ciardo). Henry, whose biography is still a subject of debate, chose the learned title Pentaconthamonadius (“the fifty-first”) to designate a sermonary composed of 17 groups of three sermons intended for the liturgy of the White monks. Amadeus of Clermont, a Cistercian monk who became bishop of Lausanne (1145-1159), is the author of eight homilies in honor of the Mother of God, which achieved lasting success as liturgical texts because used in the breviary of the diocese of Lausanne. (jur)

Online Since: 03/31/2011

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 305
Parchment · 228 ff. · 30.5 x 21.0 cm · Hauterive (?) · around 1300
Missale Cisterciense

This Cistercian missal, produced around 1300, “represents an already advanced phase in the development of this type of liturgical book: the chants of the gradual are completely integrated into the sacramentary, and are no longer accompanied by musical notes; moreover, they are written in a smaller script. In this form, the missal could have served the celebrant for both the conventual mass and for the private mass that Cistercians are known to have held since their origins. The geographical origin of the codex has not been determined with certainty. Without doubt, however, from the fifteenth century onward it was at Hauterive, where it was re-bound. The rich decoration in the canon section provide a fine example of fleuronné initials from the end of the thirteenth century; here, the decoration of the scrolls seems to be still “domesticated” by rigorous framing.” (Joseph Leisibach, Liturgica Friburgensia. Des Livres pour Dieu, 1993, p. 89). (jur)

Online Since: 03/31/2011

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 308
Paper · 312 ff. · 29 x 21 cm · upper Rhine region · second half of the 15th century
Otto von Passau, Die vierundzwanzig Alten

The work „Die vierundzwanzig Alten“ constitutes a sort of guide to Christian life, and, at the time of its composition, the author, Otto von Passau, belonged to the Franciscan convent of Basel. This copy was written in the second half of the 15th century in a dialect used in the upper Rhine region. Unfortunately, the spaces for illustrations at the beginning of the 24 speeches have been left blank. (ber)

Online Since: 10/04/2011

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 309
Paper · 139 ff. · 28.5 x 21 cm · Southwestern Germany · 2nd third of the 15th century
Computistica et medicinalia (Ger. and Lat.)

This manuscript contains a collection of computistic and astronomical texts, as well as medical recipes in German (Alemannic) and Latin. Among the identified texts there are excerpts from the Buch der Natur by Konrad von Megenberg. Spaces intended for decorations and perhaps for illustrations have remained blank. (ber)

Online Since: 06/22/2017

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 516
Parchment · 117 ff. · 55.5 x 38.5 cm · Fribourg, convent of the Augustinian Friars · 1538/39 (-1594)
Graduale Romanum ad usum fratrum Eremitarum S. Augustini. Sanctorale

A fragmentary gradual for the friars of the Order of the Hermits of Saint Haugustine, copied in 1539 by Jacobus Frank, who is depicted in the bottom margin of 51r. It contains many illuminations with coats-of-arms, mottos and monograms written by different hands from 1538 to 1594. Some of the illuminations have been excised and in some cases then glued back in the codex. (ber)

Online Since: 10/04/2011

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 523
Parchment · 174 ff. · 42-42.5 x 31.5 cm · Hauterive (?) · first half of the 14th century
Antiphonarium Cisterciense, Temporale

This manuscript, copied in an unknown location during the first half of the fourteenth century, provides a beautiful example of a Cistercian antiphony with notes (only the Proprium de tempore is preserved here): an elegant script with widely spaced lines facilitates readability, the musical notes, in square notation, are organized according to a four-line system, and the text is richly decorated with fleuronné initials and droleries. Fragments from a twelfth-century Bible are bound into the beginning of the manuscript and are valuable witnesses for paleographical study of the earliest manuscripts produced by the Cistercians of Hauterive. (jur)

Online Since: 03/31/2011

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Fribourg/Freiburg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 1200
Paper · 175 ff. · 21.5 x 14.5-15 cm · Fribourg · first half of the 15th century
Alain Chartier; Baudet Herenc; Achille Caulier; Hans Rosenplüt

A composite codex of paper produced at Fribourg in the first half of the 15th century. In the first part, in addition to some short texts in German, it contains the Cycle de la belle dame sans mercy by Alain de Chartier, Baudet Herenc and Achille Caulier, a French poem in octaves on courtly love written ca. 1424. The second part has a copy of another verse poem by Chartier: Le Livre des quatre dames. (ber)

Online Since: 10/04/2011

Documents: 21, displayed: -19 - 0