Fragmenta membranea: a collection of mediaeval parchment fragments
The Fragmenta membranea collection
The Fragmenta membranea collection of the National Library of Finland contains many fragments of the books produced and used in the Diocese of Turku during the Middle Ages.
The Fragmenta membranea database comprises 9,319 digitised parchment leaves, that is, 18,638 mediaeval manuscript pages from some 1,500 handwritten books. The collection includes a wide range of material from the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries to the mid-1500s. Most of the manuscripts in the collections are in Latin.
The collection includes fragments of works seized for the Crown in the 16th and 17th centuries and cut apart into loose leaves, which were then used in central government as cover wraps for bailiffs’ account books. As a result, most leaves feature not only mediaeval content, but also inscriptions made by 16th and 17th century bailiffs and later by other central government officials. The parchment covers of the account books were cut apart in the 19th century, and the account books themselves are now held in the National Archives, whereas the covers are part of the Fragmenta membranea collection.
The Kirjava keskiaika (Literary Middle Ages) online publication (in finnish)