Utrecht’s civic library was founded in 1584. It is here that you could find the book collections of Utrecht monasteries, and later the chapters, that had been confiscated by the authorities. In 1636, it also became the university library. Today it possesses over 150 manuscripts illuminated in the Northern Netherlands between about 1350 and 1750, as well as approximately fifteen from the Southern Netherlands. The centerpiece is the Pontifical of St Marie, illuminated around 1450 by the Master(s) of Catherine of Cleves. Other manuscripts were illuminated by artists such as the Master(s) of Zweder van Culemborg, Otto van Moerdrecht, Margaret of York, the Zwolle Bible, and the Morgan Infancy Cycle, as well as by Antonis Rogiersz. uten Broec and Spierinck. Several of the museum’s incunabula and post-incunabula, prints, maps, and atlases were decorated by hand.
Bart Jaski, Keeper of Manuscripts and Incunabula (January 2023)