Inventaire des livres liturgiques de Bretagne

Publication on CD-ROM of an inventory of liturgical books of Brittany (manuscript and printed) and devotional works, to 1790.

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Inventaire des livres liturgiques de Bretagne

To find a similar synthesis on Breton liturgical books, we must return to 1922 and the works of the scholar from Dol, François DUINE (1870-1924). In that year his Inventaire liturgique de l’hagiographie bretonne was published by Honoré Champion in the series “La Bretagne et les Pays Celtiques”. In this work Abbot Duine emphasized the history and the cult of Breton saints.




For more than 30 years we have been working to update and expand the Inventaire. We have included devotional books that proved so popular in Brittany through the end of the 19th century (in French as well as in the Breton language), publications that we would like to reveal and redeem.


Our inventory, a CD-ROM of information in PDF format to facilitate search queries of the text, is dedicated to François Duine and will be accompanied by a booklet of introduction.


The earliest liturgical manuscripts from the Carolingian era (8th-10th centuries) are principally Gospel Books  such as the important Harkness Gospels, now held by the New York Public Library, donated by Edward Harkness, who had obtained it from the English book-collector Sir Thomas Phillips (1792-1872). [ see more ]




This treasured manuscript, the Gospels from the Bodleian Library at Oxford (below), was copied at the end of the 11th century or beginning of the following century at the Monastery of Saint-Guénolé at Landevennec in Finistère.




Les autres manuscrits sont dispersés dans les grandes bibliothèques du monde (British Library, à Londres ; Pierpont Morgan Library de New York ; Fitzwilliam Musem, à Cambridge ; Walters Art Museum de Baltimore ; Bibliothèque de la bourgeoisie, de Berne, etc) et françaises.


Notre Inventaire décrit précisément ces manuscrits, les premiers imprimés (incunables) et toutes les autres impressions bretonnes liés à la liturgie ou à la dévotion populaire jusqu'à la Révolution, soit plusieurs milliers de références (évangéliaires, bibles, bréviaires, missels, psautiers, pontificaux, processionnaux, légendaires, lectionnaires, martyrologes et nécrologes, propres, offices, rituels, statuts et règlements, manuels, catéchismes, livres d'heures, cantiques et "canticou", et  autres livres de dévotion, etc...)


Printed books are naturally an important part of this Inventaire. A number of them are known only from a unique copy preserved in foreign libraries.



Evangéliaire de Boulogne, BM, ms 8



Caradreux's Book of Hours



a devotional book in Breton language printed at Quimper (XVIIe s.)




Waar dient de collecte voor

Proceeds from fund-raising will cover publication costs of the booklet of introduction and the reproduction of the CD-ROM, containing nearly 1,000 pages of references and photographs.  


Publication: December 2013


Estimated price: 38 Euros



Example of a devotional book in Breton language printed at Quimper in the 17th century.



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