From manuscript fragments to book history


It is well known that the Norwegian and English Churches were close throughout most of the Middle Ages, particularly in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. France’s role has been more uncertain, perhaps with the exception of Paris in general and St. Victor in particular.

Main content

A considerable number of fragments from English and French manuscripts have already been identified in Norwegian collections. According to preliminary estimates the National Archives of Norway hold fragments from more than a hundred manuscripts made in England before 1225, and from about fifty manuscripts made in France. These fragments will be analysed to study the impact of England and France on Norwegian book culture.


The England-France-Scandinavia “manuscript triangle” was the topic of an international workshop held in Bergen in 2009 funded by the CMS and the NOS-HS. The discussions confirmed that codicological aspects like initials and lay-out are useful guides in linking together groups of fragments and identifying the influences on or origin of reconstructed manuscripts. By using the source material and methods available to us, we search for specific links and contact points within England-France-Scandinavia.