The Collection of Fragments (“Fragmentsamlingen”, abbreviated Fragm.) forms a separate unit in the Manuscript Department. It consists of more than 3350 items. They were individually numbered and categorized in an inventory outlined by Merete Geert Andersen and Jørgen Raasted in 1983. Most of the fragments contain texts in Latin, but other languages, i.a. Greek, Danish and German, are represented as well. Several fragments are remnants of litugical books and contain musical notation.

A large group of the fragments were used as covers of archival documents in the 16th and 17th centuries. They were transferred from Danish National Archives to the Royal Library in the last decennia of the 19th and the first of 20th century. Another group of fragments have been used as covers or part of bindings of books in the Royal Library.

There are fragments also outside the Collection of Fragments. Some of these, e.g. a group of fragments collected by Frederik Rostgaard and later in the University Library, were numbered by Andersen and Raasted but not included in their inventory. This is the case also with other fragments formerly in the University Library whose manuscript collections were transferred to the Royal Library in 1938. Other fragments outside the Collection of Fragments remained unnoticed.

The curatorial and scholarly attention paid to the fragments has been varying from neglect to intensive study. Some fragments were incorporated in the New Royal Collection with a status as individual manuscripts because of their value as literary, historical or palaeographical sources, whereas others have hardly been studied since they were parts of books in the Middle Ages.

The fragments presented here as digital facsimiles include some of the oldest in the collection. They illustrate the development of script from c. 600 to c. 1500.


Basic inventory:

Merete Geert Andersen & Jørgen Raasted, Inventar over Det kongelige Biblioteks Fragmentsamling, Hafniæ 1983 (= Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Specialhjælpemidler 6)

General works of reference:

Bernhard Bischoff, Katalog der festländischen Handschriften des neunten Jahrhunderts (mit Ausnahme der wisigotischen). Teil I: Aachen - Lambach, ed. Birgit Ebersperger, Wiesbaden 1998

Hartmut Hoffmann, Bücher und Urkunden aus Helmarshausen und Corvey, Hannover 1992

Ellen Jørgensen, Catalogus codicum Latinorum medii ævi Bibliothecæ Regiæ Hafniensis, Hafniæ 1926

Paul Lehmann, Skandinavische Reisefrüchte, Neue Folge, 2. Nachlese 3, in: Nordisk Tidskrift för Bok- och Biblioteksväsen, 25, 1938

E. A. Lowe, Codices latini antiquiores. A palaeographical guide to latin manuscripts prior to the ninth century, part X, Oxford 1963

E. A. Lowe [Loew], The Beneventan Script. A History of the South Italian Minuscule. Second Edition prepared and enlarged by Virginia Brown, Roma 1980

Birger Munk Olsen, L'Étude des auteurs classiques latins aux XIe et XIIe siècles, T. 1-3.2, Paris 1982-89

Erik Petersen