A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Add. A. 188

Summary Catalogue no.: 29157

Physical Description

Composite: fols. i, 168 (endleaves) || fols. 1-167


Red leather on boards, with stamped gold ornament, German, 17th century.

MS. Add. A. 188 - Part 1 (fols. i, 168)


Decretals (fragment).
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Fine miniatures (blank on the back). Closely related to Vienna, Nat. Bibl., Cod. 2063 and a large group of MSS. (P&A ii. 122, pl. XII)

fol. i miniature: ecclesiastical trial. At left a bishop, enthroned, in red robe and mitre, and another prostrate, touching his feet, in blue robe and mitre. A third bishop and four tonsured clerics, one holding a book, stand in front. At right, a lawyer, seated, with a book on the desk. In front of him desks with seated students, some tonsured, with papers spread on desks. Below the miniature is a long narrow panel, showing two scribes writing at desks, and three figures seating in a circle, one holding a scroll. Two of the figures wear mitres and one a lawyer's black cap. Rocks and a tree in the background.

(fol. 168r) initial R, border: part of a page with border and initial. Initial is infilled with half-figure of a young man in green robe. Border: seated figure, with halo, holding a disk, surrounded by two half-figures of bearded elderly men with halos; a young man with halo, holding a bird on his hand; fragments of standing figures; rocks and trees in the background.


Origin: 14th century, second quarter ; Italian, Bologna

MS. Add. A. 188 - Part 2 (fols. 1-167)


Lectionary / Missal

In addition to the epistles and gospels there are the opening words and musical cues of the introit, gradual, Alleluia versicle or tractus, offertory and sometimes also of the communion antiphon: temporale (fol. 1) with the Exultet on music and the complete baptismal rite on Holy Saturday (fol. 75v); sanctorale (fol. 136v), beginning with St. Lucia, and with the blessing of the candles (fol. 138); common of the saints (fol. 156v). In the temporale, from Easter to the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, the volume has been made into a noted missal by contemporary marginal additions (fols. 82v-117v).

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 1 + i + 167 + 1 fol.
Dimensions (leaf): 239 × 162 mm.
Dimensions (written): 195 × 114 mm.


28 lines

Musical Notation:

Adiastematic German neums. In the passions (fol. 54) the parts are indicated by a, c and t.


Good initial. (P&A i. 55)


Origin: 12th century, second quarter ; German, West

Provenance and Acquisition

Regular canons of St Mary and St James (Lahneck near Koblenz, moved to Mayen in 1326), 15th century: 'Notum sit omnibus presens scriptum visuris in perpetuum quod iste liber est ecclesie sancte Marie virginis sanctique Iacobi apostoli Lunecke quem si quis furto detraxerit' (fol.167v). On the same fol.: 1326. 'Hic liber cum caeteri Maioniam [Mayen] translatus sub Baldewino archiepiscopo.'

Bought on 29 Oct. 1879 from Thomas Boone of London for £10.

Additional Information

Record Sources

Adapted (2018) from S. J. P. Van Dijk, Handlist of the Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford : Vol. 1: Mass Books (typescript, 1957), Pächt and Alexander, and the Summary Catalogue (1905); with description of decoration by Elizabeth Solopova, c. 2000.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)


    Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford, I (1966), no. 55; II (1970), no. 122

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.