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Books/Manuscript: (US) Yahoo! News Article: "Scholars fret about fate of 'holy grail' German abbey books" (by David Rising, 26 Dec 2016)

Contributed by admin on Jan 11, 2017 - 01:05 PM

"It was filthy, cramped and in major disarray, but when art historian Eva Lindqvist Sandgren entered the library in Altomuenster Abbey, off-limits to all but the German monastery's nuns for more than five centuries, she immediately knew she was looking at a major treasure.

The dusty shelves held at least 500 books, by her estimate, including precious illuminated manuscripts from the 16th century, chants used by the uniquely women-led Bridgettine Order and processionals bursting with colorful religious and ornamental decoration in their margins. ...

Unlike most Bridgettine libraries, the tomes had survived the Protestant Reformation, the 30 Years War and Germany's "secularization," when the state took most church property. It represents the most complete collection of the order known today.

"I had entered a time capsule," said Lindqvist Sandgren, a senior lecturer at Sweden's Uppsala University.

Surprised by the spontaneous decision by Altomuenster's last remaining nun, Sister Apollonia Buchinger, to open the library, 20 scholars including Sandgren made plans to return and meticulously catalog the remarkable collection. But before they could" ...

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