The Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen (Göttingen State and University Library, SUB) in Lower Saxony holds 426 Western medieval manuscripts, covering a broad thematic spectrum, including philology, theology, history, law and the natural sciences. These manuscripts have been acquired successively since the library’s foundation in 1734 with a view to expanding its holdings.

There is a systematic list of these medieval sources in Meyer's catalogue with short entries, but the acquisitions made prior to 1894 have not been properly catalogued in depth for the various medievalist disciplines.

The aim of this project ‘Cataloguing the Western medieval manuscripts at the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen in Lower Saxony’, financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG), is thus to create an in-depth catalogue and description of 78 Latin and 74 vernacular medieval manuscripts from this important collection – in compliance with DFG guidelines and meeting the needs of the scholarly community – and to make the results freely accessible online. In the course of cataloguing the manuscripts in depth, hitherto missing codicological information (watermarks, cover stamps, record of physical condition, etc.) is being added, along with precise descriptions of the book ornamentation and indications of provenance with supporting evidence.

The entire process of cataloguing these manuscripts in depth is a cooperative undertaking involving the SUB Göttingen and the Manuscripts Centre at the Herzog August Bibliothek (HAB Wolfenbüttel). The individual steps in the process from codex analysis to the presentation of the results are conducted via the Internet and printed catalogue using an XML-protected procedure, and the manuscripts are catalogued using the international TEI P5 standard format. Results are available to researchers electronically via the HAB Wolfenbüttel's manuscript database. They are also published on the manuscript portal.

The first project phase (2017–2020) was devoted to the vernacular manuscripts. In the current phase (2021–2024) 78 mostly Latin manuscripts are being catalogued in depth.

In cooperation with the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen in Lower Saxony


Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Duration: to May 2024
Project participants: Dr Lukas Wolfinger (SUB Göttingen)(team member)

Image: Göttingen, SUB, 2° Cod. Ms. theol. 119, fol. 40v.