Renowned Hungarian Corvinian manuscripts digitized

The Vatican Library has recently made available as part of is mass digitization program, a set of beautiful manuscripts from the renowned Hungarian Renaissance King Matthias Corvinus. The world famous Bibliotheca Corviniana, the library of Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490), rivaled only the Vatican collection with 2000-3000 volumes of exquisite examples of humanist works, Greek, and Latin texts ranging from law, history, politics, medicine and art. The library was one of medieval Europe’s greatest assemblage of texts and manuscripts. An extract from Bibliotheca Corviniana: The library of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary describes the library as follows: “An unparalleled achievement of Hungarian Renaissance culture was the library of King Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490). It was worthy to rank with the highest contemporary manifestations of European culture, and north of the Alps at that time its like was nowhere to be found.”

While major parts of the collection were dispersed after the Kingdom of Hungary’s occupation by the Turks in the 16th century, roughly 200-220 volumes still exist around the world. It has become a major project of the National Széchényi Library in Hungary, as well as agencies in Austria, Belgium, France and Germany among others to bring the magnification collection together for digitization. 53 items remain in Hungary, and it hoped that a collection so paramount to Renaissance Europe can be brought together again for all mankind to access. Understanding the Corviniana collection can shed new light on the expansion of humanist and renaissance ideals outside of Italy and Western Europe, and present a profound comprehension of Central and Eastern Europe during the Renaissance between the 14th and 17th centuries.

To read more about the famous Bibliotheca Corviniana please consult some of the following links:

Links to the two recent manuscripts digitized by the Vatican Library

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rossiana Cod. Lat. 1164, Missale fratrum minorum secundum consuetudinem Romanae curiae

The Missal of Matthias Corvinus, 1488-1489

Other Links:

UNESCO The Bibliotheca Corviniana Collection – Memory of the World

Bibliotheca Corviniana Digitalis (limited translation in English)

Description of existing collection around the world by Zsombor Jékely



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s