The Nuremburg Chronicle at TU

Nuremburg Chronicle

One of the prize volumes in the University of Tulsa Special Collections and University Archives is a copy of the Latin edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle, or Liber Chronicarum, printed on July 12, 1493. This large tome is one of the early printed books called incunabulum, books printed before 1501[1]. This book covers the history of the known Christian world from the Biblical creation to the late 15th century. It was written by Hartmann Schedel who was a humanist scholar and a medical doctor in Nuremberg Germany. Schedel based much of his text on many known medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. The Chronicle is divided into 11 parts; the different ages of the world starting with Biblical creation story. Both a Latin and a German edition were commissioned with many accompanying woodblock illustrations and several maps incorporated into the text.  The University of Cambridge, which owns several copies of the Nuremburg Chronicle, states “The beauty of the illustrative apparatus, the skilful production and the elegant mise-en-page of the both the Latin and German editions of the text account for the ‘enduring value’ of the Nuremberg Chronicle…”[2] TU’s copy is one of the most popular items viewed by students and other visitors to the Special Collections. This volume is currently on display for the exhibition “A Brief History of Printing and Publishing” in the Special Collections Reading Room Hall on the 5th floor of the McFarlin Library.

[1] “Incunabulum.” Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 6 Oct. 2016.


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