There is a new volume out about the manuscripts and rare books held in Leuven at the Maurits Sabbe Library, which is the research library of the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven. (The more general university library of KU Leuven is Artes University Library, which has its own holdings for manuscripts in its Special Collections.) Back to the new volume:

acover mic

Wim François, Lieve Watteeuw, and Leo Kenis (eds.), Manuscripts & Precious Books in the Maurits Sabbe Library – KU Leuven (Leuven: Peeters, 2019).

It contains brief introductions, illustrations and select bibliography for 45 peculiar books and manuscripts hosted in the Maurits Sabbe Library. The images are great, especially when zoomed-in details are offered.


Apart from Hildegard’s manuscript in the image above, featured in is the so-called ‘Anjou Bible,’ the illuminated Latin Bible produced in the 14th century in Naples for Robert of Anjou; an autograph manuscript with various works of Pope Adrian VI—successively former student, professor, rector, vice-chancellor in Leuven—of which some exegetical, written around the turn of the 16th century; a printed response to Luther by a Leuven professor of the 16th century, Jacobus Latomus; also, very interestingly, the lecture notes on the Pentateuch of Cornelius Jansenius, delivered in Leuven in 1631 and 1632, that later lead to the publication of his commentary on the Pentateuch.

Overall, the volume sits well with the notion of the history of the book, as a very nicely illustrated chapter of how the composition of a book repository is determined by, and intertwined with the latter’s history on the one hand, and on the other with its past and present aims and self-representations. Very nice. 

Below there’s an image with the ToC, for a quick peek.