Medieval manuscripts in Dutch Collections
Medieval manuscripts in Dutch Collections

The Zwolle bible

Bible. Latin. Parchment, 6 volumes, c. 530x390 mm. Brethren of the Common Life, Zwolle, 1464-1476. Utrecht, UB : Cat 31 and 15.C.11

In 1464, on the commission of Herman Droem, dean of the chapter of St. Mary in Utrecht, a man named Jacobus van Enckhuysen, librarian of the Brethren of the Common Life in Zwolle, began with the production of this massive bible. Twelve years later he had finally completed his work: more then 1700 leaves measuring c. 530x390 mm, in six volumes. It brought the Brethren’s House the appreciable amount of fifty gold guilders.

The volumes were put on display in the church of St. Mary and many came from far and wide to admire them – thereby not refraining from scribbling their names on the parchment… Nothing remained untouched with these tourists around: from the original 125 decorated and historiated initials, almost 50 were cut or just torn out. Some of these resurfaced in later years and so in 1983 the University Library, where the Zwolle Bible is located since 1840, could finally join one of these initials (ms. 15 C 11) with its original text on f. 243 of volume four.

See also

  • A psalter from Royal libraries

    Psalter. Latin, Parchment, 185 ff., 245x177 mm. Northern England, 1190-1200. Leiden, UB : ms. BPL 76 A

  • Flemish surgical instruments

    Small manual for a surgeon, based on the Cyrurgie by Meester Jan Yperman (incomplete). Flemish. Paper, 130x95 mm. Flanders, last quarter of the 15th century. Leiden, UB : ms. BPL 3094

  • The Utrecht Psalter

    Psalter. Latin. Parchment, 91 ff., 330x255 mm. Benedictine monastery of St. Peter, Hautvillers near Reims, c. 820-835. Utrecht, UB : Cat. 32 / 1

  • A child’s alphabet

    Alphabet and prayers. Latin. Parchment, 4 ff., 208x151 mm. South Holland, c. 1480. The Hague, MM : ms. 10 D 34

  • All articles in Highlights
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