Current Sub-projects

Hebrew Manuscript Library of Switzerland

Start: September 2018
Financed by: Susanne & René Braginsky Foundation
Project director: Dr. Justine Isserles

Description: Several hundred Hebrew manuscripts are preserved in Switzerland today in various private and public collections. The Hebrew Manuscript Library in Switzerland project aims to shed light on a selection of medieval and pre-modern Hebrew manuscripts from the cities of Basel, Bern, Geneva, St Gallen and Zurich, chosen to be highlighted predominately for their rarity in content, but also for their codicological, palaeographical and decorative features. The digitization and scholarly descriptions of these manuscripts on e-codices will undoubtedly help to establish the importance of these precious witnesses from Swiss collections, many of which have been unacknowledged until now. This project is generously supported by the Susanne & René Braginsky Foundation.

Manuscripts list

Fragmenta Bongarsiana

Start: March 2018
Financed by: Burgerbibliothek Bern, swissuniversities, SNF

Description: Together with the Burgerbibliothek Bern, we have facilitated the digitization of approximately 150 fragments of parchment. Most of these are from the collection of Jacques Bongars (1554-1612), who had a philological interest in rare texts, as did Pierre Pithou (1539-1596) and especially Pierre Daniel (1530-1603), with whom Bongars was closely associated. Jacques Bongars and Pierre Daniel are among the earliest scholars to have shown an interest in fragments. The Bernese fragment collection is unique because it contains not only manuscript waste, but also a large number of manuscripts that have been transmitted in incomplete form, for example, with only a single quire or a part thereof to have survived. In the course of making these texts accessible through e-codices, many fragments were identified for the first time. Most of these were known texts or authors, but some spectacular new discoveries were made of previously unknown texts on biblical exegesis from the Carolingian epoch. In the coming years, the collection will be published in parallel in e-codices and in Fragmentarium.

Manuscripts list

Manuscripts from the Carthusian monastery of Basel

Start: Summer 2017

Description: The Carthusian monastery of St. Margarethental was founded in 1401 in Kleinbasel (Lesser Basel); until the Reformation it was an important spiritual and intellectual center whose influence extended far beyond the city of Basel. At the beginning of the 16th century its library contained about 2,000 books, almost all of which became the property of the university after the dissolution of the monastery and constituted the substantive basis of the early university library. Among these books are more than 600 manuscripts, which are currently in the process of being catalogued and made accessible by the University Library Basel. In addition, a scholarly relevant selection of these manuscripts is being digitized, among them the German manuscripts from the the library of the lay brothers as well as the manuscripts containing texts by the Carthusians of Basel.

Manuscripts list

Romansh manuscripts

Start: May 2017
Financed by: various foundations and promotion of culture of the canton of Grisons
Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. emer. Georges Darms

Description: The oldest Romansh manuscripts have been scattered among various mostly private libraries and the archives of individual communities, where they are often difficult to access. Many of them may be listed in various catalogues, but are not yet accessible via a general catalog or a database. A representative selection of these manuscripts, most of them not yet edited and some as yet unknown, will now be made available to science and to a broader public through inclusion in e-codices.

Manuscripts list

Indian manuscripts in Switzerland

Start: January 2017

Description: Switzerland has a considerable number of Indian manuscripts in various libraries, museums and private collections. So far, these manuscripts have rarely been investigated; there does not even exist a general census of the manuscripts. The project “Indian manuscripts in Switzerland” has set itself the goal of making these manuscripts, along with scholarly descriptions, available to scholars and to a broader public.

Manuscripts list

Treasures from small collections

Start: January 2013

Description: The majority of Swiss manuscripts is held in larger collections, mostly in public and ecclesiastical institutions. It is easy to forget that some of the most important sources shaping the identity of Switzerland are found in collections that hold only a few manuscripts. e-codices has taken it upon itself to provide digital access to these important treasures from small collections, the originals of which are often not available to the general public.

Manuscripts list

e-codices 2017-2020

Start: January 2017
Financed by: swissuniversities

Description: Continued support from the swissuniversities program “Scientific Information” will ensure the sustainability of e-codices and its transformation from a project to an established service. In addition, it will ensure the continued improvement of technical infrastructure. Such ongoing development is necessary in order to contribute to essential technical developments in the area of interoperability in the coming years. Finally, more sub-projects will be initiated in order to publish online by 2020 most of those Swiss manuscripts that, from a current point of view, are relevant to research.

Manuscripts list

The Bodmer autograph collection

Start: December 2015

Description: As part of the ongoing digitization of its holdings, the Martin Bodmer Foundation, together with e-codices, is providing access to a new part of its collection: modern and contemporary autographs (16th-20th century). These are texts in the author's own handwriting; they can, but need not be, signed by the author. The collection, which took over half a century to compile, contains several thousand documents; among them are complete manuscripts of literary and scientific works, articles and letters by literary figures, scientists and politicians, as well as numerous exceptional or still unpublished pieces. In addition, there are numerous documents that were collected at the beginning of the 20th century by the famous writer Stefan Zweig, himself a great collector of autographs.

Manuscripts list

Braginsky collection on e-codices

Start: December 2014
Financed by: Susanne et René Braginsky Foundation

Description: The collection of Hebrew manuscripts of the Zurich collector René Braginsky is generally considered to be one of the largest private collections of Hebrew manuscripts in the world. It also contains a fair number of fine early printed books. The collection does not only contain codices from before and after the invention of printing, but also several hundred illuminated marriage contracts and Esther scrolls. In 2009, some hundred highlights from the collection were curated into a traveling exhibition, which was shown in Amsterdam, New York, Jerusalem, Zurich, and Berlin. Since 2014 e-codices is making documents of the collection online available. The project is generously supported by the René and Susanne Braginsky Foundation.

Manuscripts list

Autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Start: April 2014

Description: The autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) are preserved in different locations. When Rousseau moved from one place to another, he often left his papers to a close friend, for example Pierre-Alexandre DuPeyrou, who donated a big collection of important works and notebooks to the Library of Neuchâtel, today Bibliothèque publique et universitaire. Other autographs, that Rousseau left to his Genevan friend and editor Paul Moultou, are located in the Bibliothèque de Genève. Autographs can also be found abroad: in the Bibliothèque de l’Assemblée nationale, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, in the Musée Rousseau of Montmorency or in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.
The Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel starts by publishing “Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire” and the “Dictionnaire de Musique” on e-codices in a new sub-project dedicated to the autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau with the goal of creating a common and coordinated network for the autographs of the Swiss philosopher.

Manuscripts list

Codices Fuldenses Helvetiae

Start: December 2013

Description: The early medieval library of Fulda, famous until the Humanistic period, was almost completely destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. During the 16th century, a number of Fulda codices were brought to Switzerland to serve as sources for print editions produced in Basel. Because some of these manuscripts never made it back to Fulda, one of the largest groups of surviving Fulda manuscripts and fragments can be found in Switzerland, particularly in Basel. Moreover, several Swiss collections include products of the Fulda scriptorium that for one reason or another were never delivered to their destinations. This project, a collaboration of e-codices and the Institut Bibliotheca Fuldensis, will provide digital access to the Fulda Manuscripts of Switzerland, in hopes of providing new impetus for investigating this scriptorium and library.

Manuscripts list