Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Unchained Melody; Or How to House a Chained Book

May 22nd, 2012

In Medieval Europe books were a precious commodity. Books were hand-copied manuscripts, and might be fashioned with metal hardware to chain them to a bookcase or desk to protect them from theft.

MS D84, Sermones de sanctis

Sermones de sanctis by Frater Soccus. [Germany?] ca. 1370. Call Number: MS D84

This book is a bound manuscript likely from Germany, dated circa 1370. The text is Sermones de sanctis (call number: MS D84), writings of Frater Soccus, a monk from the Cistercian order.  The pigskin binding, tooled all over the covers, has a chain attached to the back board at the top. Storing this on a modern shelf created problems, as the chain drapes down the back cover and makes it impossible to place another book next to it. Read the rest of this entry »