Fragmenta membranea

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The Fragmenta membranea collection

The Fragmenta membranea collection at the National library of Finland contains the vast majority of the remains of books written and used in the eastern parts of medieval Sweden, the Diocese of Turku. The Fragmenta membranea database contains 9,319 digitized parchment leaves meaning 18,638 pages which come from approximately 1,500 different medieval manuscripts.

The leaves in the collection come from books that were confiscated by the Crown in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These were then unbound and the loose leaves were reused by the central administration as covers for bailiffs’ account books. Because of this most of the leaves have not only medieval content but also notes made by the bailiffs and the administration in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The parchment covers were removed from the account books in the 19th century. The account books themselves are currently preserved in the National Archives whereas the covers constitute the Fragmenta membranea collection.

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