Saturday, January 22, 2011

Medieval manuscripts at the National Library

A page from the 14th century Bible
of 'Weceslaus dictus Ganoys'
National Széchényi Library 
The National Széchényi Library preserves Hungary's largest repository of medieval manuscripts, and it is also an important research center in this field. On Monday, January 24th 2011, a series of lectures will be held about various medieval manuscripts and early printed books.The detailed program of these sessions can be studied on the blog of the National Library (in Hungarian). Lectures will be given by researchers working at the library, as well as by art historian Ernő Marosi.

If you would like to know more about the medieval holdings of the library, the 1940 catalogue of Latin medieval manuscripts is available online (Emma Bartoniek: Codices Latini Medii Aevi), to be found among the databases of the National Library (go to Kézirattár). Also, there is a lot of information available on the Bibliotheca Corviniana, as I wrote in a previous post and also on my website. Most important resource is the Bibliotheca Corviniana Digitalis. For other early Hungarian books, you might want to look at another website of the library, dedicated to the earliest Hungarian linguistic records (the full website is largely in Hungarian).


  1. I notice that there is some interest in today's post - so here is a link to a (not so good) digital edition of the most important illustrated codex in the library: : The Illuminated Chronicle of Hungary, 14th c.

  2. I love 14th century Latin manuscripts, particularly for the illuminations. They were carefully prepared and executed, usually in monasteries, and surviving examples still look sensational today.

    Since they were in Latin, do you have evidence of where in Christendom these manuscripts were created? Do the illuminations refer to specific events that Hungarian historians would recognise?

  3. Köszönjük az ajánlót, várjuk holnap a Tudományos Ülésszakra!
    Üdv Tóth Péter OSZK

  4. @Hels: there are several ways to localise Latin manuscripts - based on the contect, the script, the illuminations, etc. The Illuminated Chronicle - see my previous comment - preserves the longest series of medieval illuminations of Hungarian historical events.