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December 2012, Issue N° 8 
inside 01. inside Update December
inside 02. inside Project Completion: Swiss Illustrated Chronicles
inside 03. inside New Libraries: Bremgarten and Überlingen
inside 04. inside Discovery of a new Frowin-manuscript in the Abbey Library of St. Gall
inside 05. inside Christmas Greetings
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.

We are delighted to count you among our readers!

The e-codices team
December 2012

Update December

Bern, Burgerbibliothek,
Cod. 9, f. 11v

By this last update of the year, e-codices has grown by another 59 manuscripts. We have reached a total of 961 manuscripts from 42 different collections. Particularly strong growth has come above all from two libraries: the Burgerbibliothek in Bern and a collection of privately held manuscripts. With another six manuscripts, the Burgerbibliothek in Bern doubled its offering.
In addition to several Swiss Illustrated Chronicles (see below), a manuscript with works by Guillaume de Machaut was made available, the digitization of which was co-financed by a research project at Stanford University and at the University of Virginia. Another outstanding Bernese manuscript from the collection of Jacques Bongars is the „Liber de laudibus sanctae crucis“ by Hrabanus Maurus with 23 whole-page figure poems. Equally gratifying is the strong increase of manuscripts in the library “Utopia”, which contains privately held manuscripts. Ten outstanding books of hours have been made available to the public by a private collector via e-codices.

Project Completion: Swiss Illustrated Chronicles

Bremgarten, Stadtarchiv,
Bücherarchiv Nr. 2, f. 65v

“The great illustrated Chronicles are part of the most precious legacy that medieval Switzerland has bequeathed to us,” writes Carl Pfaff (Die Welt der Schweizer Bilderchroniken, Schwyz 1991, p. 9). Among the best known Swiss illustrated chronicles, three stand out and, thanks to the generous support of the Sophie and Karl Binding Foundation, they are now freely accessible. The Burgerbibliothek in Bern has digitally published Diebold Schilling’s (circa 1436/39 – 1486) three volume “Official Schilling” („Amtlicher Schilling“, 1478-1483) as well as his “Spiezer Schilling” (1484/85). In addition, e-codices has made available in its entirety Werner Schodoler’s three volume “Swiss Chronicle” (Eidgenössische Chronik, 1514-1532). Today the three volumes of the chronicle are held in three different locations: the Leopold-Sophien-Bibliothek in Überlingen (Vol. 1), the City Archive in Bremgarten (Vol. 2) and the Cantonal Library of Aargau (Vol. 3).

New Libraries: Bremgarten and Überlingen

Überlingen, Leopold-Sophien-Bibliothek,
Ms 62, f. 12v

Two new manuscript libraries have joined e-codices. The Leopold-Sophien-Bibliothek in Überlingen in Germany, on the northern bank of Lake Constance, holds several Swiss manuscripts. Doubtlessly its most outstanding Swiss manuscript is the first volume of the Schodoler Chronicle; despite its importance, no facsimile has ever been made of it. The second of the three volumes of the Chronicle is held in the City Archive in Bremgarten (Canton Aargau), Schodoler’s home town.

Discovery of a new Frowin-manuscript in the Abbey Library of St. Gall

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek,
Cod. 48, f. 5r


St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek,
Cod. Sang. 711, p. 118

Completely unexpectedly, the digitization of the „Quoniam Egestas“, an abbreviation of the Decretum Gratiani, in the Abbey Library of St. Gall has led to a great discovery. Although manuscript Cod. Sang. 711 has been held in the Abbey Library of St. Gall since the 15th century, only recently Dr. Marina Bernasconi Reusser, scientific editor of e-codices, determined its unequivocal relation to the scriptorium of Engelberg Abbey.
Dr. Kuno Stöckli, specialist in Engelberg book illumination, stated enthusiastically: “Without any doubt I am certain that the two representations of figures ... are by the same hand as the initials in the Codex Engelbergensis 48.“
Thus for the first time in 50 years, a new manuscript from the early period of Engelberg Abbey has been identified. This legal manuscript augments the already sizable manuscript collection from the time of Frowin; it contains a text which was written around 1150 in Southern France and which evidently was copied only a few years later, during the time of Frowin (1147-1178). The two images next to the text show details of illustrations, establishing that the two manuscripts were drawn by the same artist.

Christmas Greetings

We have selected several Christmas images from the e-codices collection. Feel free to share these with friends as a holiday greeting.


Trogen, Kantonsbibliothek
Appenzell Ausserrhoden, CM
Ms. 5, fol. 59r: Book of Hours
from France, first half
of the 15th century


Utopia, armarium codicum
bibliophilorum, Cod. 102, p. 71r:
Book of Hours of Agnes le Dieu,
around 1500-1510


Zürich, Zentralbibliothek,
Ms. Rh. 167 f. 8v:
Rheinau Psalter, around 1260

Best wishes and Merry Christmas from the e-codices team!