Mmmonk stands for Medieval monastic manuscripts – open – network – knowledge. It is a collaborative project between Bruges Public Library, Ghent University Library, the Major Seminary Ten Duinen in Bruges and the Diocese of Ghent. The project has been awarded grants from the Flemish Government (Department Culture, Youth and Media).

Our mission

The project aims to provide digital access to the c. 820 extant medieval manuscripts of the abbeys of Ten Duinen, Ter Doest, Saint Peter’s and Saint Bavo’s. The images and metadata of the manuscripts will be gathered and presented on the Mmmonk platform in a sustainable and open manner using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). The platform will gather existing knowledge, present educational content, and encourage further research on the monastic manuscripts. Mmmonk will contribute to the development and implementation of IIIF for complex book materials.

Find out more about IIIF and what it can do for you

The Mmmonk corpus

The Mmmonk corpus consists of the c. 820 surviving medieval manuscripts from the libraries of four important abbeys in medieval Flanders:

  • the Cistercian Abbey of Ter Doest in Lissewege (c. 340 extant manuscripts),
  • the Cistercian Abbey of Ten Duinen in Koksijde (c. 290),
  • the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Bavo in Ghent (c. 110),
  • the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Peter in Ghent (c. 80).

The four project partners’ collections hold 690 of these manuscripts. The remainder is kept at 40 institutions in Europe and North-America.

The manuscripts date from the 7th to the 15th century. In addition to religious texts, they contain a wide range of philosophical-theological, legal and medical works, ‘artes’ treatises and humanistic and classical authors.

Saint Bavo’s (founded in 630) and Saint Peter’s (° c. 650-675) were the most powerful abbeys in Flanders for the entirety of the Ancien Régime. Ten Duinen (°1127) was one of the leading Cistercian abbeys in Europe, on equal footing with Clairvaux and Fountains. Its daughter foundation Ter Doest (°1174) also had a far-reaching cultural and religious impact. The important cultural status of these abbeys is reflected in their extensive and diverse libraries, which are central witnesses to the transmission of culture and knowledge in the Western Middle Ages.

About the manuscripts and the abbeys

Timing

Fase 1: March 2019 – October 2020;

Fase 2: November 2020 – November 2021;

(Fase 3: projected to end in September 2022).

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