L. & A. Birkenmajer Institute for the History of Science, PASc

Institute of Art, PASc

Institute of Literary Research, PASc


A guide to medieval manuscript books in Polish collections


Extant manuscripts

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→ What are Polonica?

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Manuscripts lost

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The "Manuscripta.pl" Project

Manuscripta.pl is an ongoing collaborative project, which attempts to bring together bibliographic information concerning extant medieval manuscript books (and book fragments) in Polish repositories, to register Polonica (books of Polish provenance) in foreign archives, and to record all traces of lost (destroyed or missing) manuscript books relative to Polish collections. The originators of the project are deeply convinced that scholars working on medieval manuscripts not only in Poland, but all over the world need an information tool that will facilitate access to Polish materials.

The project is based at the L. & A. Birkenmajer Institute for the History of Science, PASc. In 2017, Institute of Art, PASc, and Institute of Literary Research, PASc, became institutional collaborators of Manuscripta.pl. Since October 2017, our activities are financed by a generous grant provided by the National Programme for the Development of the Humanities (Narodowy Program Rozwoju Humanistyki, No. 0084/NPRH5/H11/84/2017). But, even if all our team-members are employees of the Polish Academy of Sciences, we have managed to solicit for our cause the assistance of numerous professionals working in institutions all around the country and abroad, in particular librarians, who voluntarily devote their time and expertise.

Our general guidelines are set by the consecutive editions of the great work by Paul Oskar Kristeller (and collaborators)—Latin Manuscript Books before 1600—except that our aim is to go deeper into manuscript details. Our initial goal is to provide a census of all extant manuscript books in Polish collections, in the next stage we aim to work towards a national inventory. We are conscious of the immensity of the task, so at first we will concentrate on the smaller repositories—those that do not employ staff trained specifically to deal with medieval manuscripts. The big repositories, like the Jagiellonian Library, or the Wrocław University Library, have specialists who provide excellent information about their holdings, and are setting the standards of medieval manuscript description in Poland. Hence, these collections, at least for the time being, will be treated only in general... more