Description of UB Bergen MS 1549, 7a
The Kaupanger Missal fragment
The fragments catalogued under MS 1549, 7 were found underneath the floorboards
in the choir of the stave church of Kaupanger in Sogn (Western Norway), during
the excavation and restoration of the church in 1964-1965. Immediately after the
excavation, the fragments were given to Bergen University Library by Hans-Emil
Lidén. This is one of the rare cases where fragments are found on site, not in
some archive or bookbinding. It is likely that the missal the fragment came from
was used in Kaupanger in the Middle Ages. The script is a fine Carolingian
minuscule from the second half of the 12th century, with plain, red initials.
Bergen University Library, Art and Humanities Library
Bergen University Library
MS 1549, 7a
MS 410, 7a
Gjerløw: Mi 91
The fragment is repeatedly called MS 1549, 4a in the literature on
the stave church of Kaupanger.
The Kaupanger Missal fragment
[Parchment, one fragment ca. 11,3 x 5,8 cm, unknown
origin, second half of the 12th century.]
The contents is from the liturgy of the Mass for Thursday and Friday
after the fourth Sunday of Lent. Hans Buvarp (1969, p. 60) has completed
the fragmentary texts of fragment 1549, 7 using the later, printed
Missale Nidrosiense (1519). The parts added from the printed missal are
put in brackets. Other additions are in parentheses. (The transcription
and additions are taken from Hans Buvarp 1969.) The lines follow the
Parchment, one fragment ca. 11,3 x 5,8 cm.
Lay-out: The ruling is hardly visible. Size and more specific lay-out of
the page is difficult to specify because of the limited size of the
Script: The script is a fine Carolingian minuscule from the second half
of the 12th century. The m- and n-abbreviations are wavy, the d’s are
straight. Ampersand is used for “et”. However, there is no example of
the ae-ligature e caudata, which pushes the date
forward. Rubricated. There is no musical notation, but the sung parts
are written in a smaller script.
Initials: The visible initial is plain, in an orange red colour. The
first letter of the Verse Exsurge domine is
decorated with a red filling.
Condition: The fragment is not in a very good condition. The inner side
appears to have been cut with a knife, but the lower part seems more to
have been ripped. Something has eaten away a corner. There is also a
hole in the margin. The script on the recto side is relatively well
preserved, although the upper half is quite faded. The script on the
verso side has almost completely disappeared.
Unknown origin, second half of the 12th century, based on the
Was probably used in Kaupanger in the Middle Ages. Was found
underneath the floorboards of the stave church of Kaupanger during
the excavations in 1964-65. Buvarp assumes that the fragment was
used in a binding (Buvarp 1969, p. 57).
Given to the Bergen University Library by Hans Emil
Lidén in 1965 after the excavations in the
stave church of Kaupanger.
Buvarp, Hans 1969: ”To liturgiske fragmenter”, Kaupanger
stavkirke, Fortidsminner 56, Oslo, p.57-62.
Lidén, Hans-Emil 1969: ”Utgravningene under kirken”, Kaupanger
stavkirke, Fortidsminner 56, Oslo, p. 5-24. (see p. 19)
Lidén, Hans-Emil and Bjerknes, Kristian 1975: The stave churches
of Kaupanger, Oslo. (see p. 46)
Tveitane, Mattias et. al.: Bergen University Library Manuscript