The Random Herbalist: Libraries and Monastic Gardens

Library Door, St. Gall (Photo credit: Steven Wagner)
Library Door, St. Gall (Photo credit: Steven Wagner)

Another reason why the Internet is so fantastic — here is a catalog of the manuscripts available in the monastery at St. Gall in Switzerland. (You need to be able to read German, or at least have a good dictionary at hand!)

In 1875, the Catholic Administration (Katholische Konfessionsteil) of the Canton of St. Gall commissioned Gustav Scherrer (1816-1892), a scholar and professor from St. Gall, to draw up the first printed catalogue of the manuscripts kept at the Abbey Library of St. Gall (PDF document of the title page). This imposing volume, with its 13 chapters and 650 pages, contains descriptions of the St. Gall manuscripts, which at that time numbered 1725. The catalogue also includes several detailed registers and appendices. There is still no modern replacement for most of Scherrer’s work, which was considered exemplary at the time. Three decades ago, the Abbey Library began to recatalogue its manuscripts, and a supplementary catalogue (codices 1726-1984) was published in 1983. In 2003 the Abbey Library published a catalogue of chapter IV (hagiographic, historical and geographical manuscripts) and, at the end of 2008, a further catalogue (chapter III/2) of liturgical manuscripts, Latin and German prayer books and music manuscripts. However, for all other manuscripts Scherrer’s catalogue is still the standard reference.

This catalogue of manuscripts has been available in electronic form since July 2006.

Click here to view it online.