Manuscript Fragments from Transylvania

Cluj, Biblioteca Academiei Române, Fragm. Cod. Lat. 12 – Otto Frisingensis, Chronicon, s. XII²

Partner Project

Full Title: FRAGMED – A Transylvanian Puzzle: Reconstructing Medieval Culture from Manuscript Fragments (FRAGMED – Un puzzle transilvan: reconstituind cultura medievală din fragmente de codice).

Partner Institutions: Library of the Romanian Academy-Cluj (Biblioteca Filialei Cluj a Academiei Române); Centre for the History of the Book and Texts (CODEX), Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj (Centrul pentru Istoria Cărții și a Textelor, Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, Cluj); National Unity Museum, Alba Iulia, Restoration Centre (Muzeul Național al Unirii, Alba Iulia).

Financed By: Ministry of Culture, Romania: ‘RO-Cultura’ programme, SEE 2014-2021 grants.

Duration: 2020-2022

Project Leader: Dr. Adrian Papahagi

Academic Collaborators: Dr. Bogdan Crăciun, Dr. Codruța Cuceu

Some one hundred and eighty medieval manuscript fragments have so far been identified in the bindings of early-modern printed books and manuscripts from the collections of the Academy Library in Cluj. Thanks to a grant from the Romanian Ministry of Culture, twenty-one of these fragments are currently being restored, digitized, described, and exhibited. In the long run, we intend to restore the entire collection, and to make it available online and in situ.

St. Michael’s parish church, the Dominican and Franciscan convents of Cluj, and the Benedictine abbey of Cluj-Mănăștur (established in the eleventh century), had significant book collections in the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, the Reformation destroyed these libraries. However, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century local libri inutiles were reused as binding material by the Unitarians and Jesuits, who had access to surviving medieval books. Apart from local, mainly late-medieval liturgical manuscripts, we have also identified fragments of chronicles, sermons, theological and even medical works copied from the tenth to the fourteenth century outside Transylvania. In a few cases, we have been able to discover membra disiecta from the same manuscript in the Academy Library in Cluj and in foreign libraries – four such fragments were discussed in an article published in Fragmentology 2 (2019).

Literature: Adrian Papahagi, ‘Lost Libraries and Surviving Manuscripts: The Case of Medieval Transylvania’, Library & Information History 31 (2015), 35-53.

Adrian Papahagi, ‘An Eleventh-Century Fragment of the Opus imperfectum in Matthaeum in Beneventan Script (Cluj, Biblioteca Academiei Române, Cod. lat. 8, Fol. 72)’, Mediaeval Studies 78 (2016), 277-83.

Adrian Papahagi, ‘A Fragment of the Graduale Varadiense at the Romanian Academy Library in Cluj (Kolozsvár)’, Magyar Könyvszemle 133 (2017), 455-59.

Adrian Papahagi, ‘A New Fragment of the Antiphonale Varadiense at the Romanian Academy Library in Cluj’, Études bibliologiques/Library Research Studies 1 (2019), 39-46.

Gabriella Gilányi, Adrian Papahagi, ‘Membra disiecta from a Transylvanian Antiphonal in Budapest and Cluj’, Fragmentology 2 (2019), 5-34.


Dr. Adrian Papahagi
Centrul CODEX-Facultatea de Litere
Str. Horea 31, 400202 Cluj, Romania

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