Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Die Handschriften der Universitatshibliothek Munchen. Vol. V: Die Lateinischen Mittelalterlichen Handschriften Aus der Quartreibe

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Die Handschriften der Universitatshibliothek Munchen. Vol. V: Die Lateinischen Mittelalterlichen Handschriften Aus der Quartreibe

Article excerpt

Martin Reuter, Die Handschriften der Universitatsbibliothek Munchen. Vol. V: Die lateinischen mittelslterlichen Handsscbriften ans der Quartreibe (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2000). xxxvi + 453 pp. ISBN 3-447-04096-3. Dm 151.00.

The medieval manuscript holdings of the German libraries are enormous, so that not only the great cities such as Munich and Berlin (which have state and university libraries), but also every small town is likely to possess substantial collections. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council) funds a very large number of projects the purpose of which is to make all these holdings accessible through detailed scholarly catalogues (and more recently, with a number of smaller northern German collections, through summary catalogues). Full details, including a list of published catalogues, a list of cataloguing projects, and a link to the 'Handschriftendatenbank' (a free online database amalgamating the indexes of more than a hundred published manuscript catalogues, including incipits), are available at: http://www.dfg.de/ foerder/biblio/handschriften/.

The volume under review, which is a typical product of the DFG cataloguing project, completes the set of expertly prepared catalogues for Munich University Library, whose collections include about 630 medieval manuscripts. The first volume, that of the German vernacular manuscripts, was published in 1968 and was one of the volumes that set the standards for modern manuscript cataloguing in the Federal Republic. It was followed by a specialized catalogue of the music manuscripts, which included post-medieval material, two volumes of Latin medieval manuscripts in folio, and a volume devoted to the Latin medieval manuscripts in octavo. The final volume is devoted to the Latin medieval manuscripts in the quarto sequence and contains extremely detailed descriptions of 131 items, giving full technical details (including collation, details of scribes, watermarks where appropriate, and an exhaustive treatment of the texts and searchable by an T i-page index.

For many readers the value of this book may simply lie in its detail, what it tells them about the manuscript containing a particular text. That information, it might be argued, would be better available in electronic form (and it has to be said that the very modest price - about pound 50 for a large quarto volume of 490 pp. …

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