Wulfstans kodex og Schumachers liste. Om den ældste fortegnelse over håndskrifter i Det Kongelige Bibliotek


  • Erik Petersen Det Kongelige Bibliotek




NB: Artiklen er på dansk, resuméet på engelsk. Erik Petersen: Wulfstan’s Codex and Schumacher’s List. On the Oldest Record of Manuscripts in the Royal Library. It has hitherto been assumed that the earliest list of manuscripts in the Royal Library is the section of manuscripts in the catalogue preserved in the library’s archive as E 8: Catalogus librorum typis exaratorum, pariter ac Manuscriptorum, quibus, curante Petro Schu­machero, aucta est Regia Bibliotheca. A total of 82 manuscripts are recorded at the end (f. 17v-20r) of the Catalogus E 8, which was made by Willum Worm who signed and dated it on the 4th of January 1671at his accession as librarian to the Danish king, Christian V. Worm succeeded Peter Schumacher, perhaps better known as Griffenfeld, who act­ed as librarian to king Frederik III from 1663 to 1670 and to Christian V until Worm took over. The Catalogus E 8 has been known for long as ‘Schumacher’s catalogue’. Thus Ellen Jørgensen, the author of the Catalogus codicum Latinorum medii ævi Bib­liothecæ Regiæ Hafniensis (1926), referred to it as cat. Schumacheri, and stated, on its authority, that a given manuscript found in the Catalogus E 8 had been acquired by the library between 1663 and 1670. Others followed her example. The manuscript section of Catalogus E 8 was published by Harald Ilsøe in 1999 in his book on the history of the Royal Library’s holdings until ca. 1780 (Det kongelige Bibliotek i støbeskeen. Studier og samlinger til bestandens historie indtil ca. 1780, 1999, p. 574-581). However, the Catalogus E 8 is not the catalogue of Schumacher. It is the catalogue of Willum Worm. And the catalogue of Worm does not cover the entire period 1663 to the end of 1670, but only the latter part of it, i.e. the period from the beginning of 1666 to the end of 1670. In fact, Peter Schumacher made his own list, which has never received the atten­tion it deserves – if at all noticed, its contents have been misinterpreted. It is pre­served in the RL Archive as E 8 a. Schumacher’s list is neither dated nor signed. It contains records for more than a hundred printed books. It also contains a list of 45 manuscripts, several of which have dedications to king Frederik III. An analysis of the years of publication of the printed books and of the dedications in the manuscripts makes it possible to date Schumacher’s list in E 8 a to the end of 1665. The 45 manu­scripts thus represent the nucleus of the manuscript collection of the king’s growing library. Apparently it is exactly the aim and ambition of creating such a collection that Schumacher’s list reflects. It is important also because Worm’s list of 1671does not repeat entries of manuscripts on Schumacher’s list; in other words, the two lists of manuscripts supplement each other. Most of the manuscripts recorded on the list were contemporary, and many of them directly related to the king either by contents or by dedications by authors or donators. Whereas the printed books reflect an able awareness of what was going on in the intellectual centres of Europe, the manuscripts reveal a more limited horizon. Not a single manuscript on Schumacher’s list seems to have been acquired by pur­chase, neither on the European market nor in Denmark. There are, however, manuscripts of great importance on Schumacher’s list, amongst them the following medieval manuscripts (with my identifications of their present call numbers in the Old Royal Collection, Gammel Kongelig Samling or GKS): 4 Den Islandske Lovbog udgiffvet aff Kong Magnus Haagensøn. fol. = GKS 1154 2° 26 Descriptio Eccles. Romanæ cum omnibus suis ceremoniis, ritibus etc. Sic inci­pit: Apollogus de ordine Romano. MS. Pergam. = GKS 1595 4° 29 Liber Daticus Ecclesiæ et Capituli Lundensis. fol. in membran. = GKS 845 2° 36 Thaumbachius de Consolatione Theologiæ chartâ pergamenâ. = GKS 1370 4° 39 Biblia Lat. MSS. in 8°. anno 1237. = GKS 3375 8° Items 4 and 29 were produced in medieval Denmark. Items 36 and 39 were both very common in the late Middle Ages; none of them are ‘royal’ in any sense of the word, and may well have been found among the remnants of the old church somewhere in Denmark. The same is true of the most remarkable item on the list, the Descriptio Ecclesesiæ Romanæ cum omnibus suis ceremoniis, ritibus etc. with the incipit: Apollogus de ordine Romano, the famous codex of Wulfstan, produced just after the turn of the first millennium under the supervision of Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester and arch­bishop of York, and containing his autograph notes in Anglo-Saxon and Latin. Next to nothing has been known about its history in Denmark until now. It has, in fact, only been possible to state that it was in The Royal Library in 1786, when the Old Royal Collection was established. Due to Schumacher’s list we now know that it was in the king’s library already in 1665, and that it is likely to have been in Denmark long before then. As to the protestant king’s interest in a medieval book of the old church such as Wulfstan’s, a glimpse on the medieval manuscripts recorded in Worms’ Catalogus E 8 may be enlightening. The focus of collecting did not change or changed very little. Nos. 37, 47, 73, 78, 79, 80 are described as lawbooks, written in Danish or Old Norse. A few may be medieval, but they are not described in sufficient detail to be identified. The provenance of a single manuscript in Greek is unknown. The follow­ing are all in Latin: 2 Fundation paae biskop Byrges Capel i Lund 1518. = GKS 846 2° 11Evangelistæ in Membranâ. Probably = GKS 1347 4° (Ilsøe: GKS 12 2°, lost) 40 Justinus in Membranâ. = GKS 451 2° or GKS 452 2° (Ilsøe’s suggestions) 57 Bibliorum tomus II incipit a Iobo. = GKS 1310 4° 77 Notkirkes alterbog i gammel dage. = GKS 3453 8° Item 2 was produced in Lund, that is in medieval Denmark. Item 57 was produced in Italy, but belonged to the chapter of the cathedral of Lund in the later Middle Ages. If my identification is correct, item 11was produced in England, but it had migrated to Bergen in Norway in the Middle Ages. I am in doubt about the identity of item 40, but Iustinus was widely copied and read in the Middle Ages, even in Denmark. Item 77 is of particular interest in our context. It is a Latin manuale ecclesiasticum, and was found in the local church of Notmark on the island of Als in 1669 by king Frederik III himself. He visited the provincial church and required to take ‘the old monastic book in Latin’ as well as a copy in German of king Valdemar’s law book along to Copenhagen. His request was granted and the visit of the king recorded by the vicar in a Danish printed bible that remained in the church. The medieval books in the collection were not bought abroad because of their splen­dour or prestige, but inherited, received as gifts or gathered from places inside the king’s own realms. Thus the catalogues E 8 a and E 8 not only offer evidence of the presence of a given manuscript in the kings Library ante the end of 1665 or ante 1671. They also indicate that the manuscripts may well have had a much longer history in Denmark than hitherto known. Thus the list of Schumacher is not just a detail in the history of a library. It is also the mirror through which Wulfstan and his codex may become visible in the distant landscape of medieval Denmark.





Petersen, E. (2014). Wulfstans kodex og Schumachers liste. Om den ældste fortegnelse over håndskrifter i Det Kongelige Bibliotek. Fund Og Forskning I Det Kongelige Biblioteks Samlinger, 48, 7. https://doi.org/10.7146/fof.v48i0.41215