Michigan State University

Nuremburg Chronicle

The Special Collections of the MSU Libraries contain a first edition copy of the Liber Chronicarum, also known as the Nuremburg Chronicle.

The most extensively illustrated book of the 15th century, the Nuremburg Chronicle has more than 1,800 woodcuts of religious subjects, historical events and city views. It traces the full sweep of world history from the creation stories of the Hebrew Bible to 1493, the year it was published.

Production of the Chronicle was organized by two wealthy citizens of Nuremburg, Sebald Schreyer and Anton Kamermeister, as a showcase for the financial and artistic resources of their city. The popularity of the anticipated work was so great that 2,000 copies were printed for the first edition – an unusually large print run for that time.

The MSU Libraries' copy has Latin text printed in double columns in Gothic lettering. Pigskin binding and a clasp were added later, possibly by the first owner. It was acquired for the Special Collections in the 1950s.

To make a gift to support the Special Collections Endowment Fund, and enhance the Special Collections of the MSU Libraries, you can donate online.

title page of the Nuremburg Chronicle