Page title

Medieval Manuscripts from the Mainz Charterhouse in the Bodleian Library

Main page content


Bodleian Library Publishers, University of Oxford

Publish Date



The Bodleian Library in Oxford is one of the few libraries outside Germany with a substantial number of medieval manuscripts from the German-speaking lands. These manuscripts, most of which were acquired by Archbishop Laud in the 1630s, during the Thirty Years' War, mainly consist of major groups of codices from ecclesiastical houses in the Rhine-Main area, that is Würzburg, Mainz, and Eberbach. Their potential contribution to the religious and intellectual history of these foundations and to the study of German medieval culture is immeasurable.

This book is the first major publication on the Mainz manuscript collection at Oxford. It contains descriptions of over one hundred medieval, manuscripts, mostly Latin, from the Charterhouse St Michael at Mainz, which was founded in the early 1320s and is now lost. Dating from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries, they reflect the spirituality and literary interest of the Carthusian order.

Published in two volumes, the book is prefaced by an extensive introduction discussing the Laudian manuscripts from Germany and their journey to England, the history of the Mainz Charterhouse and its library including a textual analysis of the books it once hosted. This is followed by authoritative and superbly detailed descriptions of contents, including information about the physical characteristics, decoration, binding, and provenance of the manuscripts. Each manuscript is illustrated.