Manuscripts and Early Printed Books

Designed and Maintained by Frank Klaassen, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan

The examination of manuscripts of magical works has been a principle focus of the Societas Magica. The intention of this site is to facilitate scholarly research and discussion about manuscripts and early printed books containing works on magic. This information can be particularly useful for those not in the vicinity of a major paleographic collection. The site is centrally concerned with works of magic significant in the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods. Later winesses to such works are included within its purview.

At this point, the posted material largely derives from my personal notes. The available categories are thus reflective of my own interests. The entries on the Clavicula Salomonis were provided in great measure by Prof. Robert Mathiesen, Brown University. Financial support deriving from a SSHRC grant (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) to Nicholas Watson, University of Western Ontario, is making possible my current search for manuscripts of the Ars notoria and Liber visionum.

It is my hope that other scholars will be willing to add to this resource. Due credit will be given to any contributions.

Frank Klaassen

About the Content

Please employ this material understanding that the entries are often only "one-off" transcriptions from a catalogue. THEY ARE NOT ERROR FREE. (The notes which formed the basis for this site were not originally compiled with this project in mind.) In addition, the listings should not be regarded as exhaustive.

About the Use of this Resource

While much of the data provided here may be discovered through standard bibliographic research, a considerable amount of work has been necessary to assemble this information. As a result, I have been encouraged to make it available to scholars working in the field. It is my expectation that those who make use of this resource will offer corrections and additions to the existing records. It is also my expectation that, where the site has contributed to academic research and publication, due credit be given to myself, the Societas Magica, and the other contributors.

About the Shelfmarks

I am in the process of standardizing the shelfmarks. The conventions in Kristeller's Latin Manuscript Books Before 1600 will be employed in most cases.

I have listed manuscripts known only through medieval or early modern book lists under shelfmarks which are very similar to those of surviving manuscripts. In most cases, the numbering is composed of the numbers (section, page, line, etc.) assigned to the codex in the modern edition of the medieval catalogue. For those unfamiliar with modern manuscript collections, please refer to the MSS/PRI column to determine if the collection is a modern one. The entry CAT designates a manuscript known through a medieval catalogue. In some cases the manuscript survives in a modern library. The notes on the manuscript history should indicate if this is the case.

Printed books are listed with "shelfmarks" consisting of Place of Publication, Publisher, and Date.

Submissions to this Site

The current categories are reflective of my research interests. Submissions which include other forms of magical practice would be warmly welcomed. New categories will be added as appropriate.

Any corrections or additions to this site may be made in electronic form and submitted by e-mail (ideally) as a tab-delimited text file. Submissions in printed form are also acceptable. In addition, it would be very valuable to me if any submissions could be supplemented by xerox copies of the catalogue or other source(s) employed.


Manuscripts: Please observe the standards for shelfmarks employed by P.O. Kristeller in Latin Manuscript Books Before 1600. If you are providing information on collation, please provide the quire numbers followed by the number of leaves in square brackets (for easy transfer to the web), e.g. 1[6] 2-5[8].

Early Printed Books: For printed books, the "shelfmark" will consist of Place of Publication, Publisher, and Date. For a more accurate identification, please provide a full transcription of the title page in the "contents" column (a shortened version will be transferred to the title column). Line breaks should be indicated with a verticle line (e.g., THE MANVSCRIPT PA-|GE OF THE S.M. | Wherein the Contents of Magical Manuscripts may be dis-|covered. Compiled under the direction of Frank Klaassen.|Toronto, MCMXCIX.).

Hard copies may be forwarded to:

Frank Klaassen

Assistant Professor
Classical Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Department of History
University of Saskatchewan

9 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, SK
S7N 5A5

Fax: (306) 652-2662



To the Manuscript Listings

last updated 17 January 2002