Showing posts with label National Széchényi Library. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Széchényi Library. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Conference on Early Medieval Illustrated Texts in Budapest

Apollonius Pictus manuscript: National Széchényi Library

There will be an international conference dedicated to early modern illustrated texts next week at the National Széchényi Library in Budapest. The symposium, organized jointly by the Library and Pázmány Péter Catholic University, is titled: Facing and Forming the Tradition. Illustrated Texts on the Way from Late Antiquity until the Romanesque Times.

The conference represents a new step in the research initiated by the publication of a study-volume and facsimile of the Apollonius Pictus manuscript held at the Széchényi Library. A number of prestigious international scholars, who have already dealt with the manuscript, will be present at the conference. The event is organized by Anna Boreczky and Béla Zsolt Szakács, and will be held on 18th – 20th March, 2014. The programme of the conference can be seen and downloaded from below (thanks for Gábor Endrődi for uploading it):



You can also read the conference abstracts on Scribd. I am really looking forward to this event! More information is available on the website of the library.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

'Apollonius pictus' facsimile published by National Széchényi Library

The National Széchényi Library just announced that an exclusive facsimile edition of the so-called Apollonius manuscript has been released, accompanied by a collection of studies by international authors.

The oldest medieval manuscript of the National Széchényi Library is a fragment, which has recently been identified (COD. Lat. 4). It contains a late-antique "adventure novel" of the story of King Apollonius of Tyre. The novel enjoyed great popularity in the Middle Ages. The manuscript contains not just the text of the novel, but 38 uncolored pen drawings, making it the oldest illustrated copy of the story. Despite the importance of the manuscript, it has been almost completely unknown.

The parchment manuscript was written around the year 1000, in the Benedictine monastery of Werden an der Ruhr, situated in the archdiocese of Cologne. The manuscript remained there during the Middle Ages, but then entered a collection in Cologne. By the 18th century it was held at the Evangelical Convention in Sopron, from where in 1814 it entered the National Library.

The manuscript was identified and first analysed by two researchers, Anna Boreczky and András Németh, and by 2010, a number of foreign researchers - most notably Xavier Barral i Altet - were involved in first phases of research, the results of which were presented to the public on December 8, 2010. The present facsimile edition is the result of a international collaboration, and is accompanied by multi-language commentary. The commentary volume starts with an introduction by Ernő Marosi, and was written by Xavier Barral i Altet, Anna Boreczky, Herbert L. Kessler, András Németh, Andreas Nievergelt and Beatrice Radden Keefe. In addition to the basic data and a bilingual (English and Hungarian) description of the manuscript, a critical edition of the text is also included. 

Data of the volume: Apollonius pictus. Egy illusztrált, késő antik regény 1000 körül. / An illustrated, late antique romance around 1000. Ed. Anna Boreczky and András Németh. Budapest, Széchényi National Library, 2011.

The above text is based on the information released by the National Széchényi Library. A review will follow, once I get hold of the publication. Below is one page of the fragmentary manuscript.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Medieval manuscripts at the National Library

A page from the 14th century Bible
of 'Weceslaus dictus Ganoys'
National Széchényi Library 
The National Széchényi Library preserves Hungary's largest repository of medieval manuscripts, and it is also an important research center in this field. On Monday, January 24th 2011, a series of lectures will be held about various medieval manuscripts and early printed books.The detailed program of these sessions can be studied on the blog of the National Library (in Hungarian). Lectures will be given by researchers working at the library, as well as by art historian Ernő Marosi.

If you would like to know more about the medieval holdings of the library, the 1940 catalogue of Latin medieval manuscripts is available online (Emma Bartoniek: Codices Latini Medii Aevi), to be found among the databases of the National Library (go to Kézirattár). Also, there is a lot of information available on the Bibliotheca Corviniana, as I wrote in a previous post and also on my website. Most important resource is the Bibliotheca Corviniana Digitalis. For other early Hungarian books, you might want to look at another website of the library, dedicated to the earliest Hungarian linguistic records (the full website is largely in Hungarian).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New research on the Bibliotheca Corviniana (updated)

The Bibliotheca Corviniana, the library put together by King Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490) was one of the largest libraries of medieval Europe. A humanist library, comprised largely of the works of classical authors, as well as modern historical and scientific works, the collection included a vast number of beautifully illuminated manuscripts. The library was dispersed soon after the death of the king, and today just over 200 volumes of it have been identified.

Frontispiece of the Didymus Corvina
 (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library)


In 2005, the Bibliotheca Corviniana was added to the list of the UNESCO Memory of the World heritage. Perhaps not coincidentally, there has been a renewed interest in the library during the last decade, resulting in a number of exhibitions as well as popular and scholarly publications. These include among other the following:



Digitization