Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Introducing USUARIUM, A Massive New Database of Liturgical Books

We are very pleased to share with our readers news of the publication of an new electronic database of liturgical books, USUARIUM. I have already had occasion to peruse the database, and examine some of its contents; it is an absolutely invaluable resource, providing access to many rare texts which would otherwise be very difficult to get a hold of. I would also particular call attention to the fact that Prof. Miklós Földváry and his collaborators have made the fruits of their extensive research available for free. Anyone who is interested in medieval liturgy will want to make sure to bookmark this page!

USUARIUM is probably the largest and most well-organised digital collection and database for the research of western liturgical sources from the Middle Ages and the early modern period, initiated, designed, and edited by Miklós István Földváry and his Research Group of Liturgical History (ELTE University of Budapest, Hungary). Its principles are detailed on the frontpage. At its present stage, USUARIUM consists of a catalogue of more than 800 books that can be filtered according to liturgical uses and downloaded by registered users (no payment required), an index of every kind of liturgical ceremonies that has ever been performed, cross referencing the various types of sources, and an inventory of liturgical texts which lead to the single occurrences in each source. Both the ceremonies and the texts have already been uploaded from about 200 Missals of documented and central origins, mostly printed. Indices of Rituals and Pontificals are coming soon and databases for Calendars and Breviaries are also forthcoming.

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