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Book Collections and Collectors: Churches and Monasteries

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Chapter Summary

Monasteries and churches were the foremost book-owning institutions in the pre-Reformation period. A similar progress is identified for a text that was at the heart of the late-fifteenth century rosary movement: Alanus de Rupe's psalter of the Virgin Mary was printed in Gripsholm, Sweden, in 1498 and distributed by the Carthusians of the monastery at Mariefred over a major part of central and western Europe. After the introduction of the Reformation in Denmark, a collection containing works that had previously been in the libraries of Danish Franciscan monasteries was assembled. Norway continued to play an important role in the hanseatic trade, however, and was wealthy enough to be able to import considerable numbers of religious artefacts from Lübeck. Strängnäs Cathedral Library, the only Swedish cathedral library contains a large number of printed books dating from the fifteenth to early seventeenth centuries, including much seventeenth-century war booty.

Keywords: Alanus de Rupe; Carthusians; churches; Danish Franciscan monasteries; Denmark; pre-Reformation period; Strängnäs Cathedral Library



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