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German Manuscripts

Date range: 14th–19th centuries

Medium: Manuscript

Number of items: 29 items

The collection of German manuscripts comprises mainly devotional, historical, alchemical and genealogical works, including five medieval or early modern manuscripts:

  • An illustrated 15th-century Alchemica, largely comprising seventeen picture pages with captions and short pieces of text (German MS 1);
  • Deutsches Stammbuch, with over 1,800 emblazoned coats of arms of nobilities and dignities of the Empire, recently identified as being produced in the workshop of Lucas Cranach the younger in 1565/6 (German MS 2);
  • A mystic miscellany, Büchlein von der Liebe Gottes, written in southern Germany in the second half of the 15th century, probably for the use of nuns in Ker’s opinion (German MS 11);
  • Penitential psalms, written in southern Germany in the 15th century, bound with a collection of prayers from the mid-16th century (German MS 13);
  • A late 15th-century medical manuscript on the elements, humours, foods and drinks, diseases, etc., from southern Germany or Austria (German MS 24).

See also:

Further information:

  • Published catalogue: F. Taylor, Supplementary Handlist of Western Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library(Manchester, 1937), pp. 37-43. PDF version available online via Manchester Digital Collections.
  • German MSS 1, 11, 13 and 24 are catalogued in detail in N. R. Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, III, Lampeter - Oxford (Oxford, 1983), pp. 452-4. Copy available via Special Collections Reading Room.
  • See also F. P. Pickering, ‘A German Mystic Miscellany of the Late Fifteenth Century in the John Rylands Library’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 22.2 (1938), 455–92.


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