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Middle Low German, a Danish private school, and Odense … sometimes doing research can be as much about solving lots of little puzzles as it is about developing big ideas all at once. This post is about a manuscript fragment that my colleague Christian Etheridge, PhD student at the CML, sent my way not so long ago. I’m putting it out into the twitter- and blogosphere in part because I’m still stumped as to what it is, and in part also as an experiment in using modern crowdsourcing to solve medieval problems.

The fragment is from the binding of one of the books that were held by the Herlufsholm School before coming to SDU. As an introduction, here is a short video from SDU about the work that Research Librarian Jakob Povl Holck is doing on the collection. You could also look at the blog post I did a while back about the practice of taking manuscripts apart to provide material for later books.


So, here are the two sides of the fragment. We think it is part of a Middle Low German text – but would really appreciate input from anyone who knows more or knows better. If you recognize it, add a comment on this blog entry, or tweet with the hashtag #SDUGermanFragment.


And here is some information from Jakob about the book from whose binding the fragment comes:

Apparently, the fragment was part of the binding of Herlufsholm 555.3:

Euripides Tragoediae 19 opera G. Canteri. Antv. 1571. 2 Vol.

The fragment (being part of three fragments) was removed by the university bookbinder Axel Pedersen, presumably in the 1970s or 80s. Seemingly, the other fragments are not linked to the German one and remain to be identified.