Gregorian Chant Manuscript Collection

Antiphoner from Florence (Roman), 14th-15th centuries

The Gregorian Chant Manuscript Collection is a set of microforms that came to the University of Chicago Library in 1990 and continued to be collected until around 1995 by Dr. Anne Robertson, Claire Dux Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Music and the Humanities in the College at the University of Chicago, and her graduate students. Reproductions of original manuscripts were obtained from various Western European institutions, libraries, and religious houses mainly in France and England. The collection of 174 manuscripts dates from the 9th through 17th centuries, with the bulk concentrated in the 12th and 13th centuries. The liturgical manuscripts, which all appear in the form of codices, include antiphonaries, missals, graduals, breviaries, sacramentaries, kyriales, tropers, sequentiaries, and others. Titles vary in length from around one hundred leaves to well over 500 leaves. As the manuscripts cover a 900-year period, they can be used to study the development of musical notation as well as the liturgy itself as it existed before and somewhat after the Council of Trent of 1545 to 1563.

The Library is in the process of digitizing selected portions of the collection. Great care has been taken to avoid duplication of files that already exist in digital form on other websites, some of these sites representing digitization of an institution’s own manuscripts. The first twelve titles in this collection have been digitized and can be accessed from the Library's online catalog. The next phase of this ongoing project will focus on the antiphonaries.

All microform copies have been cataloged and can be found in the Library’s catalog with call numbers following the format including the classification [M2147] followed by the century, for example, M2147 13th. The digitized files are cataloged and can be searched by viewing the online collection below. The microforms themselves, both film and fiche, are housed on the third floor of Regenstein Library, among the entire microform collection.

This page is under construction; the online collection will be available for viewing shortly.