Liturgical books and other books for clergy
Selected manuscript holdings
Breviary, c. 1400, Toledo, Spain.
A breviary contains all the services of the Liturgy of the Hours, including the prayers, hymns, readings, and Psalms read during the daily service. This manuscript is written in Gothic hand in several sizes on red and black, in double columns. There are six pages with complete illuminated borders: elaborate floral designs, with birds, animals, grotesques and occasionally angels and putti. Also in the borders and historiated initials are representations of God, the resurrection, and King David. There are approximately 600 illuminated initials with floral designs containing birds, flowers, and grotesques.
- Call number: 091 C286 1400 Vault Collection
Gradual, Germany, 15th century.
Graduals contain the music sung by the choir during the Mass. This 15th century gradual is in a large format which would be legible when placed in front of the choir. There are only 35 leaves in this manuscript, which contains the vespers, kyriae, and sequences composed by Notker Balbulus, a 9th-century monk of the abbey of St. Gall in eastern Switzerland. This gradual is illuminated with initials in red, black, and blue. The music staffs and liturgical directions are written in red. The music is written with a square notation called “hufnagelschrift,” or “horse-shoe nail notation,” because the notes look like hobnails.
- Call number: 091 C286gra Vault Collection Quarto
Regimen Animarum. England, 14th century.
The Regimen Animarum (or The Direction of Souls) is an anonymous English mid-fourteenth-century manual for parish priests. The work was also popular with cathedral clergy and mendicant friars. It covers such topics as teaching and preaching, administering the sacraments, and canon law.
- Call number: 091 R263 1343 Vault Collection Folio
Selected manuscripts in facsimile
Das Berthold-Sakramentar. Germany, ca. 1215.
The Berthold Sacramentary is a missal – a book containing the texts and instructions a priest would need to celebrate Masses. Produced at the beginning of the 13th century for Berthold, the Abbot of Weingarten, this manuscript is famed for its rich decoration, including full-page miniatures, silver and gold illumination, and a jeweled binding.
- Call number: 091 C286be 1995 Vault Collection Quarto
Missale Hervoiae ducis Spalatensis Croatico-glagoliticum. Croatia, 15th century.
This missal was produced under the patronage of Hrvoje Vukcic Hrvatinic, the duke of Split and governor of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Bosnia. The manuscript is written in Church Slavonic in the Croatian Glagolitic script. The original manuscript was looted during the Turkish invasion, and now resides in the Topkapi Palace museum in Istanbul.
- Call number: 091 C286m Vault Collection Quarto
Selected manuscripts online
Antiphonal (Italy, 13th century) at the State Library of South Australia
Rule of St. Benedict, (England, late 9th century) at Corpus Christi College Library, Oxford
This copy of Benedict’s guide for monastic communities is written in both Latin and Old English.
The Stammheim Missal (Germany, ca. 1170) at the J. Paul Getty Museum