A grant from the Breslauer Foundation and a gift from a private donor have underwritten the acquisition of two incunabula and one late 15th-century manuscript bound in a single volume to be part of The Malta Study Center
’s collection of rare books and manuscripts at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library. The acquisition adds to the Center’s collection, being the first incunabula computus
works added to and one of the earliest Catalan manuscripts held in the library’s Rare Book and Special Collections.
HMML’s Malta Study Center acquires 15th-century manuscript with Breslauer grant.
The first work, Bernart de Granollachs’ 1491 edition of the Lunarium ab anno 1491 ad annum 1550, supports HMML’s collection of early printed works dedicated to the history of the intersection of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic cultures, as Granollach’s relied on Jacob ben David’s astrological tables for calculating the calendar year. The second work, the 1490 printed edition of the Computus cum commento, was composed by Anianus, a French Benedictine monk who scholars believed lived at the monastery of Aniane near Montpellier during the 13th century. While HMML has several early works devoted to Benedictine history, this manuscript attests to Benedictine achievements in mathematics and astronomy.
The codex concludes with a rare 15th-century exemplar of the Liber destructionis Ierusalem
. This unique manuscript is one of five known copies, but has not been edited or used in any of the modern critical editions of the work. “As HMML is the home of The Malta Study Center
, dedicated in part to the history of the Crusades and the Order of St. John of the Hospital, the manuscript is a valuable addition to the collection as it shows the longevity of the crusading mentality in the late medieval world,” said Joseph S. Micallef Curator of The Malta Study Center, Dr. Daniel K. Gullo. “The manuscript is also one of HMML’s earliest manuscripts written in Catalan. Adding the vernacular manuscript to our collection will be a substantial resource for scholars studying language and paleography.”Technicians at HMML have digitized the codex. The images will be added to HMML’s online v
HMML Reading Room, a new online platform currently under development and funded by the Luce Foundation. The v
HMML Reading Room will include over 40,000 manuscripts and rare books available to scholars for research online.