About the Catalogue of St. Edmunds
The Manuscript

Manuscript 4057 of the Bibliothèque Mazarine in Paris is described as a 'Catalogue méthodique avec une table des auteurs et une table des anonymes commencé en 1702'. It measures 438 millimetres by 285 millimetres. The binding is contemporary brown marbled sheep-skin with a spine featuring seven raised bands. Its first flyleaf, which was inserted later, bears the arms of Cardinal Mazarin, followed by a titlepage which states 'Catalogus Librorum Bibliothecae Benedictinorum Anglorum Sti Edmundi Parisiis MDCCII'. The manuscript was drawn up by Benet Weldon with later additions in four or five different hands. These additions amounting to some 1400 items (out of a total of around 5800 titles) were inserted between 1702 and 1756, the latest publication date occurring. The total number of volumes in the cataloque adds up to just over 7500.

The catalogue is arranged according to an essentially Maurist library classification. Each individual item is preceded by a pressmark referring to a bookcase (indicated by a capital letter), a shelf and the place on the shelf: the catalogue was obviously meant to enable the user of the library to locate the book of his choice. The classification is: Biblia Sacra (A), Concilia et Canonistae (B), Patres Graeci (C), Patres Latini (D), Theologi Dogmatici (E), Theologi Scholastici (F, G, H), Controvertistae (I, K), Concionatores (L), Libri Pii (M), Theologi Morales (N), Philosophi (O), Humanistae Latini (P), Humanistae Graeci (Q), Historici Profani (R), Historici Sacri (S), Miscellanea (T), Medici (V), Mathematici (W), Iurisconsulti (X), Libri Haeretici et Heterodoxi (Y, Z, and the symbol '&').

Following these categories there are two pages of miscellaneous items, including three manuscripts. Next we find two indexes: 'Catalogus Alphabeticus Authorum' and 'Catalogus Alphabeticus Librorum Anonimorum'. The indexes do not cover the post-Weldon additions, but are on the whole accurate as far as the Weldon material is concerned. We do not include Weldon's indexes, but we do provide a general index of authors and anonymous works. The manuscript also contains an alphabetical list of a collection of books that were made available by the monks of St Edmund's Priory to the Benedictine house at La Celle. A number of books at La Celle were donated by one of its commendatory priors, Claude de Salo, and these items are also listed separately. Finally there is 'A catalogue of the Books in Hell', a later 18th century selection in the hand of Thomas Welch, who was Prior from 1765 till 1773. It comprises some two hundred items mainly from the 'Haeretici et Heterodoxi' section; one assumes that the purpose of this selection was to warn library users of the pernicious nature of the works in question. The whole comprises 442 pages, many of them blanks, but the pagination consists of several series and is sometimes erratic.
Manuscript-Biblia-Sacra_t (4K)

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