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

MS. Lat. liturg. f. 4

Summary Catalogue no.: 29743


Prayer book

Private prayers and devotions based on the liturgy of Eastertide. Liturgical texts occur throughout the book, often with notation. Some German texts.

Language(s): Latin and Middle Low German

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment (fols. 1–178, 183–4, 189, 283) and paper, including probable cuttings from contemporary woodcuts on fols. 141v and 217r.
Extent: 292 fol.
Dimensions (leaf): 125 × 93 mm.


15–16 lines, written space 82 × 62 mm.


Written in red, blue and black.

Musical Notation:

Gothic notation (red and black), adiastematic, diastematic, and on 4 or 5 black lines.


Numerous coloured and gilded initials.

Borders, fol. 20r.

Cycle of 57 miniatures in the lower margins.


Sixteenth-century inboard blind-tooled roll binding, later rebacked, 139 × 99 × 83 mm. Mid-brown tanned calf over wooden boards, probably of oak. The upper board has two copper-alloy catch plates each attached by two iron nails. The lower board has the stubs of two tanned-leather straps each attached by two iron nails.The straps and clasps are now missing.The tooling, all blind, is executed with a fillet and a single roll. The roll (135 × 14 mm) forms a frame to each board, which is then filled with three vertical strips imprinted from the same roll. It has images of Prudentia, Lucretia, and Venus, with a foliate ornament above Prudentia, a grotesque above Lucretia, and Cupid above Venus; lettered ‘PRVDEN | LVCRECIA | VENVS’; similar but not identical to EBDB roll no. r000303 (http://db.hist-ein-band.de, last accessed 13 Apr. 2004); evidently the same roll as that used for the binding of Berlin SB, Ms. germ. 8o 48, also from Medingen (see Aderlass und Seelentrost, 272; ex informatione Regina Cermann). Rebacked with light-brown tanned leather. On the upper board a nineteenth-century label inscribed ‘XXII’.

Accompanying Material

The hooked pastedowns are cut from leaves of a late thirteenth-century missal.


Origin: c. 1500–1520 (not before 1494) ; German, North-west

Provenance and Acquisition

Made for the Cisterican nunnery of St. Mary and St. Maurice, Medingen. Identified by Lipphardt as one of an extensive group of manuscripts made for this convent, all datable to the period 1470–1520; dated by Lipphardt to the period of Abbess Elisabeth von Elvern (1513–24), by Uhde-Stahl to the period 1494–7.

Bought by the Bodleian at the James Brice sale (Sotheby's 27 July 1887), lot. 535, for £8.

Record Sources

Description adapted (2018) from the following sources:
S. J. P. Van Dijk, Handlist of the Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford Vol. 2: Office Books (typescript, 1957), p. 370 [textual content, physical description]
Nigel Palmer (with binding descriptions by Andrew Honey), entry XYL-28 in ‘Blockbooks, Woodcut and Metalcut Single Sheets’ in A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth Century now in the Bodleian Library (2005), I.1–50 (44–5) [pdf] [language, decoration, binding, dating, provenance]
Previously described in the Summary Catalogue.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Digital Bodleian (6 images from 35mm slides)
Digital Bodleian (4 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2018-10-04: Record fully revised to incorporate descriptions in van Dijk and Palmer/Honey.