Manuscript Fragments in the University Library, Leipzig

Types and Cataloguing Patterns

Ivana Dobcheva,* Central European University

Christoph Mackert,* Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig

Fragmentology I (2018), 83–110, DOI: 10.24446/rx89

Abstract: Fragments constitute a major part of the holdings of the the University Library of Leipzig (UBL), with some 800 loose fragments, at least 600 fragments in situ in incunabula, and an unknown number bound in manuscript volumes and sixteenth-eighteenth century prints. Over a series of projects working with detached and in situ fragments, the Leipzig Manuscript Centre developed a description scheme for manuscript fragments in its collection. A Fragmentari-um case study provided the opportunity to test this scheme for its efficiency in producing useful information for specialists. As a result, in 2017 the case study published on Fragmentarium over 250 fragments with description, including some scholarly significant finds that are already having an impact.

Keywords: cataloguing, inventory, manuscript descriptions, mortuary rolls, textbooks, medical texts, legal texts, liturgica, library history

The University Library in Leipzig (henceforth UBL) has a collection of loose medieval fragments, nearly 800 in number, constituting a significant portion of its general manuscript holdings, which number altogether over 3,000 codices and fragments. These 800 fragment shelfmarks represent, however, only a portion of the total number of medieval manuscript fragments in the UBL’s special collec-tions, since both its manuscripts and early prints consist mainly of books with original late-medieval or early-modern bindings, which undoubtedly contain in situ fragments.

For an estimate of how many manuscript fragments remain in bindings, one can use the incunabula collection of the UBL, recently catalogued by Thibault Döring, numbering approximately 2,860 volumes.1 Before being rebound in the

* We would like to thank warmly William Duba for his help and assistance with the English version of the text.

1 The project “Katalogisierung und exemplarische Beschreibung der Inkunabeln und Block-bücher” ran for three years at the UBL with the generous funding of the Fritz-Thyssen-Stiftung,