Digital fragment collection

Medieval parchment fragments in Bergen University Library and The Regional State Archives in Bergen

Description of UB Bergen MS 1549, 1, e

The St Mary Gradual fragment


This fragment contains three Alleluias with verses and one offertory for a celebration of St. Mary. Only one side of the fragment is readable, the other one is very dark and worn. Like the fragments 1549, 1a-d, this fragment was also a gift to Bergen Museum from cand. theol. H. Daae in 1829, and appears to be used in the binding of the same book. However, it does not seem to come from the same manuscript, or the same genre of liturgical book. While the other fragments in the group comes from a breviary, this piece of parchment appears to be from a gradual, a book containing the sung elements in the liturgy for the Mass.

Facsimiles and transcriptions

UBB MS 1549 1e, rectoUBB MS 1549 1e, verso.

Manuscript Identification


Bergen University Library, Art and Humanities Library


Bergen University Library


MS 1549, 1, e


Gjerløw: Br 4, along with fragments 1549, 1a-d even though they do not seem to come from the same manuscript.

The St Mary Gradual fragment [Parchment, one fragment 24 x 12 cm, France(?), 14th century(?).]

Manuscript Content

Three Alleluias with verses and an Offertory, none of which complete, for a celebration of Virgin Mary, possibly the Assumption (15 August) or the Nativity (8 September). On the dark and unreadable verso side the rubric Off(ertorium) and the initial red R is visible. Towards the margin it is possible to see the letters “go” and “ma”. This fits very well with the Offertory Recordare virgo mater. All the liturgical elements in the fragment are commonly found, and what could possibly be a clue to finding out the fragment’s origin is the sequence of the Alleluia verses.

[Alleluia.] Vers. Post partum Alleluia. Vers. Ave Maria Alleluia. Vers. Salve virgo Offertorium: Recordare virgo mater

Physical Description

Lay-out: No ruling is visible apart from the staffs of the musical notation. It is not possible to say much about original lay-out or size because of the limited size of the fragment. The original manuscript had 9 lines or more to the page, and was at least in quarto format.

Script: Gothic textualis formata with no particular marking of the i’s or u’s. Several letters are relatively round in character, although the angularity of gothic script is definately present. Rubricated.

Musical notation: Square notation on four red lines. Clef: f.

Initials: Three red initials are visible, quite plain with the exception of a small floral ending to the left. The Alleluia verse begins with a smaller, black initial decorated with a red line.

Condition: The fragment is in poor condition. The recto side is so worn and darkened it’s illegible, with the exception of the top line. There are four holes from a binding, which seems to be of a rather thick book, ca 6 cm across the back. The four lines of smaller script in the lower left corner on the verso side seems to have rubbed off from another fragment, 1549, 1a, which was used in the same binding.



France(?), 14th century(?). The fragment was used in the same binding as fragments 1549, 1a-d, which come from a breviary of English origin. This could point to England also for the current fragment. At a workshop in Bergen in October 2005 it was suggested that the place of origin might be France. The order of the Alleluia verses could bring us closer to finding the origin.


Secondary provenance unknown. The fragment appears to have been used in the binding of the same book as 1549, 1a-d, but which book and where it was bound is unknown.


MS 1549, 1a-e was a gift to the museum of Bergen from cand. theol. H. Daae in 1829. The H. Daae in question is probably Hans Daae (1808-65), born in Leikanger as son of the minister there. He began his theology studies in Christiania in 1825. In 1831 he was employed as a chaplain in Korskirken (the Cross Church) in Bergen, where he stayed until 1850. The circumstances for the gift, or where Daae acquired the fragments, is not known.


Legg, Wickham J. (ed.) 1916: The Sarum missal, edited from three early manuscripts, Oxford.

Tveitane, Mattias et. al.: Bergen University Library Manuscript Catalogue [unpublished]