Tuesday, April 15, 2008

BSB: Codices iconographici

I would like to draw your attention tho the recently-completed
project of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich to catalogue and
digitize its holdings of early modern Codices iconographici
(pictorial manuscripts with little or no explanatory text):
http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/hs/laufende_projekte.htm
or directly at:
http://mdzx.bib-bvb.de/codicon/start.html

Within the project, 117 manuscripts dating from the 15th to mid-17th
centuries were catalogued and made available in digital reproduction
online. Further information on the collection, which currently
comprises c. 550 items, is provided from the inventory drawn up by
Johann Andreas Schmeller in the early 19th century, which was
converted into full electronic text.

The manuscripts were described by Dr. Marianne Reuter, who
characterizes the collection as follows:

"The items contained in this is pictorial "Realienkunde" date from
the 15th to 20th century with particular focus on the 16th to 19th
centuries. The places of origin are rarely known. With regard to the
provenances, the ducal and princely collections of the Munich and
Mannheim courts form the basis with 30 and 60 manuscripts
respectively. Some of the oldest items were already part of the
Munich court library at its foundation by Duke Albrecht Vth of
Bavaria in 1558. This includes the so-called "Kleinodienbuch"
(depictions of jewellery owned by the dukes, Cod.icon. 429), which
was recently also made available in facsimile:
Das Kleinodienbuch der Herzogin Anna von Bayern. Handschrift
Cod.icon. 429 der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München. Faksimile und
Kommentar in russischer und deutscher Sprache mit Beiträgen von Kurt
Löcher, Marianne Reuter, Irmhild Schäfer, Lorenz Seelig und Stefanie
Walker. Kindler Verlag Berlin 2008.

18 volumes come from the library of Johann Jakob Fugger at Augsburg,
which was acquired by Duke Albrecht Vth in 1571 and also comprised
the library of the Nuremberg humanist Hartmann Schedel (the author of
the 'Nuremberg chronicle'). Among the items from Mannheim are 4
manuscripts from the electoral library at Düsseldorf and 7 from the
collection of the Florentine humanist Petrus Victorius (died 1585)
and his descendants, which Elector Karl Theodor bought in 1779 in
Rome and which were transferred to Munich with the Mannheim court
library partly in 1783 and finally in 1803.

A further c. 20 items have been identified as formerly owned by
monasteries and another 6 from the city library of Regensburg, having
been transferred to Munich after the dissolution of monasteries in
the early 19th century. Subsequently, the collection was also
increased by purchases like the Parisian collection of the
orientalist Quatremère and the Augsburg collection of the banker Paul
Joseph von Cobres. Further noteworthy owners include Andreas Felix
Oefele, Anton Johann Lipowsky, Maximilian Joseph Graf Montgelas, the
travellers to South America Johann Baptist Spix and Carl Friedrich
Philipp von Martius, the architects Haller von Hallerstein and
Friedrich von Gärtner. For some 19th-century items, additional
materials are kept in the BSB's collection of modern papers (e.g.
Klenziana, Schlagintweitiana, Zieblandiana)."

Some prominent examples of this unusual collection, e.g. the globes
by Philipp Apian, can at the moment be seen at the exhiibition to
celebrate the 450th anniversary of the BSB and have been described in
the exhibition catalogue:
http://www.450jahre-bsb.de/

2 comments:

tony colin said...

Quite useful information!

Keep on posting things like this. Thanks!


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