The Thirteenth-Century Cartulary and Archives at the Abbey of Prémontré: Material Practices in the Scriptorium
Lecture by Heather Wacha
Given at St. Norbert College on February 19, 2019
The cartulary of the Abbey of Prémontré is well-known amongst scholars of the early history of the Premonstratensian Order, as well as those who study the economic, social, and religious history of southern Picardy in the 12th and 13th centuries. While the cartulary holds important evidence of the abbey’s early history and holdings, its placement within a larger documentary culture at Prémontré has received relatively little attention. The wealth of surviving documents from the abbey’s early years tells the story of a working scriptorium where the members produced and bound documents to record the everyday life and spiritual practices of the community. Prémontré had an active scriptorium throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and as the recording of events and transactions slowly evolved over this time period, so to did the practices of the scriptorium at Prémontré.
Top Image: Prémontré Abbey, by Tavernier de Joniquières, pen and watercolour, 1780s