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Cataloguing and digitization of the manuscript holdings of St. George's Abbey in the Black Forest / Villingen in the Baden State Library

The project seeks to catalogue and make digitally accessible the manuscripts formerly owned by the St. George's Abbey in the Black Forest and now kept as a group in the Baden State Library (BLB) manuscript holdings. The manuscript group from St Georgen is the last secularized monastic collection in the BLB that still awaits cataloguing according to modern academic standards.

The group consists mostly of manuscripts acquired by the monastery in the 17th century, after the partial destruction of the monastery and its later move to Villingen. Hence, the manuscripts are likely to have been of very diverse provenance prior to entering the collection.

Overall, the manuscripts promise to be highly relevant to academic scholarship. More than half of the manuscripts contain writing in the vernacular and the group includes a high number of liturgical codices. Because of the latter, it also features many instances of sophisticated book illumination. Therefore, the collection strongly represents those areas of medieval manuscript transmission that are generally preserved to a lesser extent.

In addition, some outstanding manuscripts are part of the collection: the Wonnental Antiphonary, the only extant manuscript of the Sanctilogium Salvatoris and a richly illustrated example of the Konstanzer Konzilschronik, as well as the oldest manuscript of the 24 Alten and the St Georgen Sermons.

Due to the specific nature of the St Georgen collection, two manuscripts centers will contribute their specialist expertise to the cataloguing process. While the Württemberg State Library in Stuttgart will work on the Latin manuscripts, the manuscript center in the Leipzig University Library will catalogue the manuscripts written in the German vernacular. The BLB will carry out the digitization of the whole manuscript group. As the first example of collaboration of two manuscript centers, the project is both unique and innovative.

During the project, researchers will have access to new cataloguing results on a rolling basis. All relevant data will be made available through the German online manuscript catalogue Manuscripta Mediaevalia and the BLB will host the digitized manuscripts and corresponding information on its virtual library platform. Once the proposed National Manuscript Portal for Germany will arrive, all catalogue information on the manuscripts will be directly usable in conjunction with their IIIF-standard digital copies.

Furthermore, all references for watermarks produced during the project will be published through the Watermark Database (WZIS). The Handschriftencensus (HSC) will receive all catalogue infor­mation on German vernacular manuscripts.

As a conclusion to the project, the project partners plan to publish a catalogue containing the project results, additional information, as well as an introduction to the history of the collection and an index.

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