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CANTUS Network: libri ordinarii of the Salzburg metropolitan province

The research project CANTUS NETWORK, based at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, aims to investigate the records of Christian medieval worship that have survived in manuscript form and describe the practice of liturgical and musical acts of worship. The key sources for this transmission are the liturgical “prompt books”, called liber ordinarius, which include a short form of more or less the entire rite of a diocese or a monastery. Here, prayers, readings and chants are given as in abbreviated form as text incipits.
A liber ordinarius usually includes all information necessary for the church services of an individual institution (church, monastery) or a group (diocese, group of monasteries). On the one hand, this includes the incipits of chants, readings and prayers for the liturgy of the hours, for mass and for processions. On the other hand, it also includes rubrics that provide instructions on how and when particular liturgical actions should be carried out. In a third column, libri ordinarii may contain commentaries on the liturgy taken from standard contemporary works, providing additional information for particular feast days or a particular liturgical activity. A fourth column may provide the unlined neume notation of the chant incipits. When dealing with parts of ordinals, the neumes are the only proof of which piece of music is actually concerned. “Local colour” is created by the combination of the three or four columns, that is, the chant and recital text tradition, the rubrics and the explanations of the liturgy. [the site is in German with an English option]

CORSAIR Online Collection Catalog (The Morgan Library & Museum)

Named after Pierpont Morgan’s yacht, CORSAIR is a single database providing unified access to over 250,000 records for medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, rare and reference books, literary and historical manuscripts, music scores, ancient seals and tablets, drawings, prints, and other art objects. Records continue to be added for the balance of the collection as well as for new acquisitions.

The depth of detail is unusual for an online catalog. Many records include summaries of the content of individual letters, lengthy notes about provenance, and detailed descriptions of bindings. Specialized indexes enable researchers to find all of the Morgan’s holdings associated with a given name, date, or place. For example, with a single search a scholar interested in Dickens can find records for manuscripts and letters in the author’s hand, early printed editions of his novels, original illustrations, photographs, and personal possessions such as Dickens’ ink pot and cigar case.

CORSAIR also serves as the gateway to one of the largest repositories of medieval images on the Internet, providing access to more than 57,000 digitized images from the Morgan’s collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Users may page through every illustrated leaf within a manuscript, or search for individual images by place or date of creation, artist’s name, illustration type, and subject. The images and descriptions may be accessed directly through CORSAIR, or by visiting Images from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.