Library and scriptorium of the Michaelsberg Monastery in Bamberg

Eight years after the establishment of the diocese of Bamberg by Emperor Heinrich II (died 1024), the Benedictine monastery of St. Michael was founded in 1015 by Bishop Eberhard (died 1040), the first bishop of Bamberg. The monastery's dowry included a basic collection of manuscripts, including precious books handed over by the emperor.

Around 150 manuscripts from the Michelsberg monastery library have been preserved at the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg to date, of which this virtual collection presents a selection.

Among them are also two imperial get-up volumes from the late 10th and early 11th centuries (Msc.Lit.142 and Msc.Lit.143) as well as a series of books from the Michaelsberg scriptorium from the 12th century.

In the 12th century a painting school was established in the scriptorium dedicated to the artistic decoration of individual manuscripts. Its most famous product is the "Bamberger Schreiberbild" (Bamberg picture of a scribe) from the time around 1150, which illustrates the various craftsmanship skills involved in creating a book with proud self-confidence (Msc.Patr.5).

A manuscript with the psalm commentary by Petrus Lombardus also has a special status (Msc.Bibl.59). It was presumably written around 1180 in the Michaelsberg Monastery and enriched with a singular cycle of four pictures on David's life. The coloured pen drawings transfer the biblical events to the courtly present of the 12th century.

>> This collection is part of the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg (State Library Bamberg).