Professor Nicholas Pickwoad presents a new discovery at Amsterdam University Library

image of manuscript
On Thursday, 11 April 2013, Professor Pickwoad took part in the presentation at the Bijzondere Collecties of Amsterdam University Library of the discovery of two leaves from a lectionary written in about 860 in the royal scriptorium of Charles the Bald, King of the West Franks.

Professor Pickwoad found the leaves last summer on the binding of a copy of Jean Calvin, 'In viginti prima Ezechielis Prophetæ capita Prælectiones', Geneva: ex officina Francisci Perrini, 1565, whilst searching for books to use in teaching his course 'European Bookbinding 1450-1830' for the Bijzondere Collecties Summer School. By great good fortune, Professor Rosamond McKitterick was teaching on the summer school in the same week, and she was able almost immediately to identify the date and origin of the leaves. Twelve manuscripts are known from this scriptorium, and these leaves are evidence of a hitherto unrecorded thirteenth manuscript, probably written for the royal chapel itself. Most unusually, the leaves were treated with great respect by the binder, who arranged them to show the decorated frames and gold lettering on bands of purple complete and symmetrically on the binding.

A full account of the manuscript leaves by Professor McKitterick and of the binding by Professor Pickwoad will be published in the next issue of 'Quaerendo', due out this summer.