Dr Birgit Ebersperger

Medieval Library Catalogues of Germany and Switzerland

Medieval library catalogues are an important source of information for a broad spectrum of research in the fields of cultural and scientific history with topics ranging from the spread of literacy and scholarly knowledge during the Middle Ages to the reception and influence of individual authors and their works.

Broadly defining library catalogues as „all written documents revealing the contents of a medieval library in whole or in part“, such source materials may be taken to include complete inventories of ecclesiastical and private book collections as well as partial records such as lists of books stored in particular places (such as in a sacristy or choir of a religious institution), treasury inventories, lists of school books, donations and endowments, testaments and wills, bills and receipts for books, records of books borrowed, pawned, stolen, newly acquired or sold, or lists of books written by a certain scribe.

The project „Medieval Library Catalogues of Germany and Switzerland“ has the object of cataloguing and editing all such medieval book inventories covering the time span up to ca. 1500 within the borders of modern-day Germany and Switzerland. Together with a corresponding project conducted by the Austrian Academy of the Sciences and Humanities, from which the founding impulse originated, the aim is thus to fully document the existing medieval book collections of the German-speaking world.

Previous publications in the series include important monasteries with insular influences such as St. Gall, Reichenau, Regensburg and Würzburg, from which inventories as early as the ninth century have been preserved.

Dr Birgit Ebersperger, June 2019

Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz (MBK)
Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften
, Munich


St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 728, fol. 4v (detail). c. 860. (CC BY NC)

Libri Scottice Scripti / "Books in Irish script" — St. Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. Sang. 728, p. 4 (detail) CC BY NC  (eCodices)

Share this page:

Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

The British Library's blockbuster exhibition on the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, ran from 18 October 2018 to 19 February 2019

ASK poster – King Edgar

Leicester logo

Leverhulme logo

British Library logo

Bibliothèque nationale de France logo

Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften logo

National University of Ireland Galway logo

Trinity College Dublin logo