Saturday, 6 February 2016

Intentional Manuscript Recycling?

Phi.03108 - Leonharti Rauwolfen der Artzney Doctorn vnd bestelten Medici zu Augspurg Aigentliche beschreibung der Raiss so er vor diser zeit gegen Auffgang inn die Morgenländer ... alles in Vier vnderschidliche Thail mit sonderem fleiss abgethailet
[Lauingen]: In costen vnd verlag Georgen Willers, 1583

This volume in the Phillips collection is a Herbal, an account of the plant collecting activities of Leonhard Rauwolf (1535-1596) in the Middle East.  Rauwolf was a physician and botanist from Augsburg in Bavaria. [1]  

The book was printed in Lauingen in Bavaria in 1583 and is bound in parchment that is taken from a liturgical manuscript, from a large folio altar missal of the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century.  The particular page used in this binding contains the Propers (Collect, Gradual, Tract, Secret and Postcommunion) for the feast of St Walpurga (or Walburga), Virgin.   The binder has used the material carefully and intentionally to preserve intact the whole of the text of the Propers for her feast day, which begin on the front board and continue on the back.   

The context of this book and its printing is interesting and it may suggest a motivation for this careful and intentional preservation of the manuscript page.  St Walburga, was an eighth century English saint from Wimborne in Dorset who was a focus of popular devotion in medieval and early Modern Bavaria. She travelled to the continent to assist her Uncle St Boniface in missionary work in Bavaria and she became a member and later Abbess of a religious community at Heidenheim.   Lauingen where Phi 03108 was printed, is some twenty miles from Heidenheim where Walburga spent her life and is fifty miles from the Benedictine Abbey of Eichstätt, where her remains are still enshrined. [2]   

[1] W. Condry, ‘From Herbals to Floras: The Illustrated Botanical Works in the Founders’s Library’, in W. Marx (ed.), The Founders’s Library University of Wales, Lampeter Bibliographical and Contextual Studies, p. 32.
[2] Casanova, G. (1912). St. Walburga. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved August 4, 2015 from New Advent:


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