Liturgical manuscripts

Collection history: A considerable number of liturgical manuscripts entered the Library in 1819, with the collection of the Brussels nobleman JD Lupus.
Size: De collection spans some 90 manuscripts plus some fragments.
Accessibility: All liturgical manuscripts can be found in the KB Catalogue. The collection has also been made accessible by means of an extensive scholarly catalogue. The manuscripts can only be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room and are made available for scholarly research only. A number of items can only be studied by means of microfilms and (colour) photographs.
More information: Ed van der Vlist - 070-3140406

Psalter. Autun, ca. 1470. Shelfnumber 76 E 8. Fol. 21r. Psalm 52, illuminated with an initial with praying David.
Detail of the psalter pictured above. Shelfnumber 76 E 8. Fol. 21r.
Graduale. Den Bosch, early sixteenth century. Shelfnumber 78 A 33. Fol. 1r.

Collection description

With approximately ninety manuscripts and a few dozens of fragments, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek possesses the largest public collection of manuscripts destined for the liturgy, i.e. for the Latin church service. This comprises choir psalters for the Eucharist, breviaries and antiphonaries as well as missals, lectionaries and graduales, which were used during mass.
In the course of two centuries these manuscripts have entered the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, usually as part of a larger collection. A considerable number of liturgical manuscripts were acquired in 1819, with the collection of the Brussels nobleman J.D. Lupus, and in 1840, with the so-called Maastricht collection, a collection of books and manuscripts which had been discovered in a Maastricht attic a year earlier.


  • Catalogus van de liturgische handschriften van de Koninklijke Bibliotheek. Compiled byP.C. Boeren in collaboration with A.S. Korteweg and G. Piket. 's-Gravenhage 1988.