Digital fragment collection

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

Description of UB Bergen MS 1549, 5

The Bryggen Missal fragment


This fragment was used as a cover on a protocol from Bryggen (Dat Gartenrecht in den Jacobsfjorden unndt Bellgarden, MS 213), but removed and catalogued separately in 1911. From Bryggen we would perhaps expect a fragment of German origin, but this fragment comes from a missal written in England in the early 12th century. Lilli Gjerløw assumes that the fragment (and the missal it once belonged to) was somewhere in Bjørgvin see in the middle ages, and was used here from an early date (Gjerløw 1970). The contents of the bifolium is from the liturgy for Lent.

Facsimiles and transcriptions


Manuscript Identification


Bergen University Library, Art and Humanities Library


Bergen University Library


MS 1549, 5


MS 410, 5

The Bryggen Missal fragment [Parchment, a bifolium, fol. size ca 32 x 19,5 cm, England, early 12th century.]

Manuscript Content

The contents has been studied by Lilli Gjerløw (Missaler 1970, pp. 83-85). The bifolium contains the liturgy for Wednesday (feria quarta) after first Sunday of Lent and, after a lacuna, the liturgy for Saturday of that same week, and for the second Sunday of Lent. At the end of Saturday mass, the fragment also gives the prayers super populum and ad vesperas. The super populum prayer only seems to occur in French and English sources, and the prayer for Vesper is also rare, occurring in an early French and two early English Missals (Gjerløw 1970 p. 84).

Physical Description

Parchment, a bifolium fol. size ca 32 x 19,5 cm

Lay-out: A bifolium, probably the leaves 2/7 in a quire. The writing space is 25 x 14,5 cm, with 31 lines. Pricking for ruling is visible in the margin. Dry point ruling.

Protogothic script. Two hands are represented; the first one on f.(1)r and first part of f.(1)v , the second one on the last part of f.(1)v and f. (2). According to Lilli Gjerløw the first hand is a conservative one, while the second hand uses the "new", more angular hand from the time after 1100 (Gjerløw 1970 p. 83). At the international fragment workshop in October 2005 it was suggested by Michael Gullick that the second hand might be that of a Norman scribe influenced by the first scribe, who is certainly English. Rubricated. No musical notation, but the sung texts are written in smaller letters. At the before-mentioned workshop Susan Rankin (Cambridge) pointed out that the text in this missal has been horisontally spaced for musical notation, and that therefore the exemplar used by the scribe had notation. The reason why music was never added in this case is probably because of the date: between the mid 11th century and the mid 12th century, English music scribes changed from notating music in campo aperto to notating music on lines (staves). The exemplar used by this scribe was older and had neumatic notation. Anyone wanting to add musical notation on staves would not have been able to do so, because it calls for a different ruling system (since more than the equivalent of one text line is needed).

Initials: The initials are plain, alternating blue and red.

Condition: The fragment, being an uncropped bifolium, is generally in good condition, although the front and back are quite stained and worn.



England, late 11th or early 12th century. (Dated by prof. Ludwig Bieler, Dublin, to 11th century in note from 6/7 1964.) A date very early in the 12th century rather than late 11th has been suggested by Michael Gullick.


Lilli Gjerløw assumes that the Missal has been used in Bjørgvin see from before the time of the Nidaros ordinal (ca 1200) (Gjerløw 1970). The fragment has later been used as a cover for a protocol from Bryggen: Dat Gartenrecht in den Jacobsfjorden unndt Bellgarden (MS 213 in Bergen University Library).


See MS 213. The fragment was in 1911 removed from MS 213 by Aagot Daae and catalogued separately. In 1967 it was moved again by Mattias Tveitane to a larger collection of Latin fragments.


Gjerløw, Lilli 1970: "Missaler brukt i Bjørgvin bispedømme fra misjonstiden til Nidarosordinariet, Bjørgvin bispestol. Byen og bispedømmet, Bergen, pp. 73-115.

Krohn, W. D. og Bendixen, B. E 1894/95: "Dat Gartenrecht in den Jacobsfjorden unndt Bellgarden", Bergens Museums Aarbog 1894/95 nr. 7, samt Bergens historiske forening, Skrift nr. 1.

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