Hidden Treasure of the Library in MDR Kultur

Francke Foundations are participating in the TV format of MDR Kultur Hidden with a medieval manuscript fragment. Hidden museum treasures

MDR-Kultur has gone in search of objects in museums in Central Germany that are stored in depots and rarely see visitors. Many institutions have provided insight into their collections: From the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden to the Ethnological Museum in Herrnhut, Friedenstein Castle in Gotha and the Luther House in Eisenach. The MDR also filmed in the Historic Library of the Francke Foundations. In a six-minute film, you will learn about the criminalistic intuition with which a manuscript fragment from a Middle High German poem was surprisingly discovered and recovered in 2004 in a Basel print from 1542. The print has been kept in the library of the Francke Foundations for 300 years.

In the film, Dr. Britta Klosterberg, director of the August Hermann Francke Study Centre - Archive and Library, reveals how this parchment fragment was used by a 16th century bookbinder, what significance fragments have for science and reveals the content of the poetry itself: The epic poem Barlaam and Josaphat is a novel of legends written by Rudolf von Ems in 1225. The story is about the Indian king's son Josaphat, who is converted to Christianity by the hermit Barlaam.

The fragment itself and the transcribed full text can be viewed via the Digital Collections of the Study Centre with a short explanation of the verses handed down.