Necrologium Lundense Online

NB: You need a MUFI compatible font to view the transcriptions. The free Junicode Font is recommended.

Necrologium Lundense Online (NLO) is a digital palaeographical edition of the Necrologium Lundense (Medeltidshandskrift 6, Lund University Library), used by the cathedral chapter in Lund. The edition only includes the actual necrology, fols.123v-173v (the so-called "Memoriale Fratrum"). It records names of deceased brothers, sisters, and patrons whose souls were to be prayed for during the office in chapter after Prime. The necrology was drawn up in 1123 for the consecration of the crypt altar. It was not used as extensively after the completion of the high altar of the choir in 1145. Afterwards, this function was passed to its successor, the Liber daticus vetustior (Medeltidshandskrift 7), though notes continued to be copied from the Liber daticus to the older Memoriale fratrum (consistently until about 1170, and then only sporadically until the 16th century).

The manuscript is an important source for the activity at Scandinavia's first archdiocese and therefore the early development of the church in Scandinavia in general. Containing around 80 different hands, it is a particularly rich source for the local uptake of Latin script in this formative period. The intention of NLO is to provide an image of the local variation of Late Carolingian/Protogothic script, provide an interface to explore that variation in a transparent and reproducible way, and provide a basis for quantitative palaeographical queries not possible through conventional means.

For a detailed description of the edition and its editorial aims, please consult the 'Essay' Tab

About the project

NLO was developed during the 'Digital Diplomatics. Working with electronic texts' class taught at the University of Copenhagen (Fall 2015) by Alex Speed Kjeldsen. The basic framework of the website reused a lot of code from Alex's Icelandic Original Charters Online.

NB: This is a preliminary implementation of the edition, meant to illustrate various editorial principles in general. Currently only three manuscript images have been uploaded. Palaeographical annotation was completed for two criteria: the tops of minims and ascenders, and the right tips of the hooks of the allograph 'r'. The results in the Statistics tab are a reflection of this.


This edition includes a transcription of the Latin text on facsimile and diplomatic levels. Additional annotation is as follows:

A "Palaeographical Edition"

NLO includes palaeographical annotation in the style of the DigiPal project, allowing users to explore curated palaeographical data and allowing researchers to present evidence for palaeographical argument in an easily reproducible framework. First, each allograph is split into a number of components, for instance a 'b' contains an ascender and a bowl; next, a set of points are defined for each component, for instance a 'top', 'body', and 'foot' of an ascender; lastly, individual points are marked up with features, for instance the top of an ascender might be 'wedged'. The Annotation Tool provides the option for users to annotate the corpus themselves and back them up to local storage. More information can be found in the essay. A list of allographs and their components with corresponding abstract images are included in its Appendix.

Photo Credit

All images are reproduced from Lund University Library's St. Laurentius Digital Manuscript Library. I thank the library for making these images freely available.

Known issues

Due to an error in the initial entering of scribes, Scribe 8 is sometimes refered to as Scribe 1. Please consider all references to Scribe 1 to actually refer to Scribe 8! The real Scribe 1 (according to Kroman's identification scheme) is not a part of the sample, so this should not cause too much confusion.


Michael MacPherson
Viking and Medieval Norse Studies
University of Iceland

Last modified December 31, 2015