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English Legal Manuscripts
Stage VIII: Middle Temple Library

The Middle Temple is one of four Inns of Court in London, responsible for the education and accommodation of barristers. There is no printed catalogue of its manuscripts, and this microfiche publication makes available a number of important volumes which have rarely or never been consulted by scholars.

There are fifteen or more volumes of law reports dating from before 1700 (series R), including those attributed to William Brock 1586-93 (Phillipps MS. 25438), John Maynard, Sir George Treby and Lord Nottingham.
The later reports (2R) include some attributable to Sir Thomas Abney in the time of George II; a series from Doctors’ Commons 1771-7 (five volumes formerly in the Royal Courts of Justice); and those of the Georgian judges Sir Vicary Gibbs, Sir Henry Dampier and Sir Soulden Lawrence; there are also five volumes of Chief Baron Pollock’s judicial notebooks. By way of departure from the previous stages of the project, which comprised selections from much larger libraries, this stage includes all the legal manuscripts held by the Middle Temple and is therefore wider in scope.

The earliest items are a thirteenth-century Bracton and a Registrum Brevium given by Elias Ashmole in 1677, and an early-fifteeenth-century volume of Statuta Nova. Later treatises include Lord Nottingham’s Prolegomena and an early version of Bathurst’s Nisi Prius which belonged to its editor, Francis Buller.
The Treby collection contains 17 volumes deriving from Sir George Treby (d. 1700) and includes, besides law reports, a parliamentary diary from the 1640s and some draft statutes from 1652-3.
The Fearne-Butler collection, which derives from the two celebrated conveyancers, comprises around 50 volumes of opinions, precedents, drafts and notes, from the 1770s to the 1790s.
And the Phillimore collection contains ten volumes of opinions, judgments and notes from the celebrated family of ecclesiastical and admiralty lawyers, ending with some papers of Lord Phillimore (d. 1929).
The Catholic Response to Calvin's Writings in Sixteenth-Century France
The Catholic response to Calvin's writings in sixteenth-century France

Catholic writers were initially slow to respond to the challenge presented by Calvinism in France. Jean Calvin's Institution de la religion chrétienne was first published in French in 1541. This was the fundamental text from which the Calvinist doctrine was built, and over the following years a large variety of texts sprung both from his own quill and of that of other leaders of the Reformed churches. Yet the first Catholic work in the vernacular explicitly to mention Geneva was published only in 1550, and it was not until 1559 that Calvin himself was directly attacked on the title page of a French book. The move to counter Calvin's influence within France had thus got off to a slow start.
In the struggle for the souls and minds of the French people that divided Catholics and evangelicals into two conflicting churches, vernacular print was a vital battleground. Unlike Latin, the language of the learned, books published in French could be read and understood by far larger sections of society and therefore reached out to touch people who would otherwise have been excluded from the debate. Protestant authors had grasped the importance of this wider public from the outset and the production of Genevan presses was predominantly in French. If the Catholic Church wished to preserve its position in France, it was vital to respond to the gauntlet thrown down by the Calvinist leaders. It is this response, the writings of the French Catholic authors against Calvin and his teachings, that are presented here.
After the first tentative exchanges, the early 1560s witnessed a rapid increase in the vernacular output of Catholic authors. What is most striking about this period of increasingly fraught relations between the faiths is the wholehearted involvement in the publication of religious polemic of respected figures of the Catholic hierarchy, men who would have been expected to prefer the learned language of Latin. But whatever their preferences, they loaned their skills to the battle to turn back the Huguenot tide. In this we see a crucial difference from the situation in Germany in the first evangelical generation. Here the reluctance of German opponents of Luther to engage in theological debate in the vernacular ceded a crucial advantage to the evangelicals, a mistake that was not repeated in France. Those involved include some of the most respected theologians of the Faculty of Theology of the Sorbonne, men such as René Benoist and Gentian Hervet, or, later in the century, Arnaud Sorbin. These men contributed serious treatises on complex questions, works that can be contrasted with the more robust and vituperative anti-Calvinist works such as Le double des lettres envoyées à Passevent parisien or Guillaume de Reboul's La cabale des réformez. Both types of text played a vital part in the strategy of rallying French opinion to traditional religion, a strategy clearly approved by the elite of the Church as some of these works were published in Rheims under the aegis of the archbishop's official printers. With works appearing in Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Aix-en-Provence anti-Calvin printing became a nationwide phenomenon.
The selection of works presented here offers a comprehensive range of the theological arguments deployed by Catholic theologians against Calvin and his followers in France. It includes both works attacking the precepts of Calvinism and those defending the Catholic doctrine against the criticism and condemnation of Calvinist authors. Some authors take a different approach, with a robust attack on Calvinist church practice, alleging a wide variety of deviant behaviour in terms that call to mind traditional methods of derogating heretics and deviants. All were important in establishing clear distinctions between the contending faiths. The selection concentrates, however, on issues that divided the church, rather than following particular events of the Wars of Religion. Although events such as the Massacre of St Bartholomew also sparked a vehement exchange of pamphlets, most of these concentrated on the particular circumstances of the events and their political causes and repercussions rather than examining the underlying differences in religious opinion.
The outburst of vernacular anti-Calvin works in the 1560s represents almost half the titles published until the end of the century. With the large numbers of conversions to Protestantism that took place in the years between 1555 and 1562 - some of which were very high profile - the Catholic Church realised the gravity of the situation. Conversely, the smaller production of the late 1560s and subsequent years reflected the dramatic slowing of the previously hectic growth of the Calvinist churches that followed the outbreak of the wars of Religion and the Peace of Amboise in 1563.
Despite this reduction in publications, the presses continued to churn out works attacking Calvinism with great regularity throughout the subsequent decade, before this polemic begins to tail off in the first years of the 1580s. The death of Anjou changed this state of affairs: with a Protestant Henry, king of Navarre, set to inherit the crown, anti-Calvinist books flourished once more. With so much at stake, condemning the heretics and countering their arguments took on renewed importance. This proliferation of Catholic treatises also served as a theoretical underpinning for the movement of religious renewal and political opposition associated with the Catholic League. However, the death of Henry III at the hands of Jacques Clément in 1589 changed this state of affairs. A Protestant was now claiming the throne and the wars that opposed Henry IV to the Catholic League transferred the focus away from the theological debate: preventing Henry from successfully asserting his right was now the prime concern. Catholic printers' therefore engaged primarily in the production of works dealing with contemporary political and military events that would aggrandise the achievements of the League and assist the opposition to Henry, though ultimately unavailingly.
After the fall of Paris and the gradual submission of the main Leaguer figures came peace and a final settlement that gave the Huguenot churches limited but very definite civic freedoms. This settlement sparked a renewal of polemic against the French Reformed Churches. The conversion of the king gave these works new legitimacy and the rights given to Calvinists within the kingdom after the edict of Nantes in 1598 rekindled the theological exchanges that had been so vibrant in the 1560s. The very end of the sixteenth century thus saw the emergence of a new generation of doctors of the Sorbonne engaging the Calvinist enemy, though now the goal was not to prevent the destruction of French Catholicism, as had seemed a real possibility in the earlier generation, but to encourage further defections from what was an increasingly embattled minority church. In this respect the religious writings that emerged at the very tail end of our period prefigured a debate that was to rage through most of the following century.
Malcolm Walsby, University of St Andrews
Titles selected from the Brill bibliography French Vernacular Books.
Related collection: The Huguenots.
Irenical Theology: Heidelberg 1583-1622

An attractive university
“During my time in Heidelberg, these four famous men had their glorious days: David Pareus, professor of theology, Dionysius Gothofredus, an outstanding teacher of civil law, D. Lingelsheim and Joan Gruerus. All of these men are such splendid and learned authors and have become so well known, that as long as this world stands, this name can never be erased.”
Thus wrote the British traveler Thomas Coryat in the journal of his trip through Europe. His praise relates to what is called Heidelberg’s “second Calvinistic period.” The first such period was that of Frederic III (1559-1576). After the death of Frederic, his son Ludwig IV (1576-1583) bound the Palatinate to Lutheranism, but after his death Johann Casimir and, later, Frederic IV reintroduced the Reformed confession. This provided the University of Heidelberg with an immense stimulus.
Although there was a general growth in student numbers during the sixteenth century, Heidelberg distinguished itself in at least one respect from the many other universities, namely by the large number of foreign students studying there. In the first years after 1583, 40-50% of the students were from outside the Palatinate, mostly from France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. What is remarkable, however, is the strong presence of a new group, that is, Central and Eastern Europeans. Around 1600, some 30 percent of the foreigners at Heidelberg originated from such areas as Hungary, Poland, Bohemia, and Silesia; a decade and a half later – just before the Thirty Years’ War – this applied to 50 percent of the foreigners. Although these percentages include the students in all four faculties, the student list makes it clear that they also applied to the students at the theological faculty.
One reason for Heidelberg’s attractiveness was the combination of its humanistic training program and the irenical and ecumenical theology taught there by internationally recognized professors. Regarding its success in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, it is more than remarkable that hardly any study has been made of the Heidelberg theological faculty, and that the many writings of its professors have remained almost unnoticed.

An irenical and ecumenical theology
Heidelberg’s success is a result of Johann Casimir’s policy of appointing the right professors. For example, he succeeded in attracting the famous Jacob Gryneaus (1540-1617) from Basel, and Georg Sohn (1551-1589) from Marburg. In addition, Heidelberg was staffed by other outstanding theologians, such as Heinrich Alting (1583-1644), Bartholomeaus Coppen (1565-1617), Franciscus Junius (1545-1602), Bartholomeaus Pitiscus (1561-1613), Abraham Scultetus (1566-1624), and Daniel Tossanus (1541-1602). It was therefore largely the theological faculty that contributed to the glory of Heidelberg. After Gryneaus returned to Basel and Sohn passed away, it was especially David Pareus (1548-1622) who attracted students from close and afar.
Pareus’s best-known publication is his Irenicum. In it, he proposes that a synod be held so that Lutherans and Calvinists can get together and discuss an ecclesiastical reunion. Although the works of the Heidelberg professors deal with the discussions with the Lutherans on predestination, Christology, and the Lord’s Supper, they tend to stress that Luther and Reformed theology belong together. They constantly point out that it is possible for Lutherans and Calvinists to have one theology and one Church. This irenical attitude made it possible for students from a broad range of Protestantism to come to Heidelberg.
Heidelberg in this period has often been called “Calvinistic.” However, the Heidelberg theologians strongly rejected this attribution. This self-understanding provided an opening also for those who did not wish to follow Calvin in all aspects. This makes the theology taught at Heidelberg rather unique. The goal of the theologians was to make it clear that there is no essential difference between Luther and Calvin. This theological position was largely the fruit of professors who had been trained in the school of Melanchthon.
Heidelberg played an important role especially in the issue of predestination. The works of the professors reveal a diversity on this point, which led to their hope that, for example, the Remonstrants and contra-Remonstrants could be reunited at the Synod of Dordt.

A humanistic and scholastic program
One consequence of the humanistic training program was a focus on language studies. Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic were taught intensively. The Heidelberg professors produced Hebrew grammars and dictionaries, and contributed to the discussion on the right translation of the Bible, for example by producing a new translation. Heidelberg was also characterized by a strong interest in classical studies and an openness to the results of the other sciences taught at the University.
Interestingly, this whole program was combined into a scholastic theology that demonstrates how fruitfully and naturally Reformation theology and scholasticism can be united. Until now, the works of the Heidelberg theologians have received remarkably little attention. However, this new IDC collection fills that lacuna. These resources will contribute essentially to further research in the theology of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century, as well as to the history of the early modern university.
Religious Minorities: The Waldenses
Polemic and historiography of a religious minority between 1510 and 1712

The aim of the Reformation
Nowadays "new" is considered good and "old" obsolete. Values were different in the 16th century, when "antiquity" symbolized truth and goodness. Anything new was suspect. That was why Catholic theologians accused Luther, Zwingli and Calvin of devising a new doctrine and founding new churches. Protestant theologians disagreed, arguing that the aim of the Reformation was to do away with the novelties unrelated to the Bible that popes had introduced over the preceding centuries, such as the doctrines of purgatory, transubstantiation and papal primacy. The Reformation was an effort to restore the "old" doctrine of the "old" church rather than a quest for innovation. As had been the case in the old Apostolic Church, the Bible should once again become the sole standard for the Christian doctrine and way of life.

Return to the Apostolic Church
Protestant theologians interpreted "antiquity" as the return to the Bible and the Apostolic Church rather than continuity with the medieval church. They regarded the Middle Ages as a period in which the Catholic Church had suppressed the old Biblical truth and substituted its own novelties. Even in these dark ages, though, they believed that God had preserved a "remnant" faithful to the Bible. They considered such individuals to be the ones condemned by the Catholic Church as heretics, such as John Wycliffe, Jan Hus and Savonarola, who henceforth counted as "precursors" to the Reformation.

The Waldenses
In 1556 Flacius Illyricus published his major work Catalogus testium veritatis, in which he paid tribute to the Waldenses by assigning them an honorary position in "the chain of witnesses to the truth." The Waldenses were one of the few remaining medieval heretical movements. They had survived all persecutions in the Western Alps on the border between France and Italy. In 1532 they joined the Reformation and by 1556 were starting to form their own communities after the model of Calvin in Geneva. Historically, the Waldenses originated with Peter Waldo of Lyon, who, following the example of the apostles, decided to travel around in poverty as a preacher in 1174. Since the 13th century, however, the Waldenses themselves claimed to have their basis in the apostles. They maintained this stand after joining the Reformation movement.
Flacius Illyricus remained sceptical about this legend. In the 17th century, however, many Dutch Calvinist, Lutheran and Anglican theologians believed the reports in the Waldensian historiographies that this group dated back to the apostles and regarded the adherence of the Waldenses to the Reformation as proof that Protestantism had truly restored the "old" doctrine and church. Henceforth, the Waldenses came to be regarded as "progenitors of the Reformation". This view became so widespread that the Waldenses consistently received political and financial support from Protestants throughout Europe whenever they were persecuted.

Modern histiography
Catholic theologians, on the other hand, had by the Middle Ages already challenged the view that the Waldenses had their basis in the apostles. This polemic climaxed with Bossuet's Histoire des variations published in 1688. The modern historiography of the 19th and 20th centuries has definitively "de-mythologized" the Waldenses by presenting sources linking the Waldenses to Waldo and refuting any ties to the apostles. In addition, it is demonstrated in this historiography that the Waldenses abandoned virtually all their medieval traditions upon joining the Reformation and were therefore definitely not Protestants before the fact.
Nonetheless, the Waldenses retained a special significance in Protestant circles. They continue to be regarded as "precursors" to the Reformation, and some churches in North America, such as the Baptists and the Adventists, even claim to be rooted in the medieval Waldenses.

This collection
This microfiche series documents the historiography and polemic about the Waldenses between 1510 and 1712 and reveals how prominently the Waldenses figured in the debate over whether the Reformation churches were old or new. Accordingly, this series is worthwhile both for historical research on impressions of the Reformation and for the very current question as to the raison d'être of Protestant churches today.
This series features a unique collection of rare books and pamphlets about the Waldenses, of which many are the only copies in existence. They have been collected from thirty libraries, most from the library of the Società di Studi Valdesi in Torre Pellice and the Biblioteca Reale in Turin. This collection is therefore of tremendous value for studying the history of books. The series also comprises the reference works by Crespin, Pantaleon, Flacius Illyricus and Bossuet, which are still immensely important for historical research on "heretical" movements during the Middle Ages and the Protestant "martyrs" of the 16th century.
Ethics in the Early Modern Period

While many of the disciplines and sub-disciplines pertaining to philosophy during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries are now part of other academic fields and subject-matters, ethics has remained as a resilient area of philosophical inquiry to this day. Textbooks on ethics were published throughout the early modern period, together with sections on ethics within encyclopaedic writings devoted in whole or in part to philosophy. And academic disputations were devoted to specific topics and questions pertaining to ethics.

Moral virtue
Within general discussions of ethics during the early modern period the concept of moral virtue (virtus moralis) normally was accorded a central role. Moral virtue was normally conceived as the mean between extremes (mediocritas). The bulk of textbooks on ethics was normally devoted to examination the individual moral virtues (e.g., fortitude, humility, justice, modesty, taciturnity, and temperance) and often accompanied by discussion of corresponding vices (e.g., audacity and cowardice as the two vices corresponding to fortitude).

Additional concepts
General discussions of ethics also focus on a number of additional concepts related in some manner to moral virtue; these generally included intellectual virtue (sub-categories of which could be wisdom, prudence, and sometimes individual arts and science disciplines), dispositions (habitus), friendship, free will, honor, happiness, and moral actions. Charity, faith, hope, and piety also were frequently given attention. From the late 17th century onwards, natural law was sometimes also discussed. Good and evil, which normally were examined within the subject-matter of metaphysics, nonetheless were generally accorded direct and/or indirect attention within ethics. Moral good (which has its origin at least in part from God) is sometimes placed alongside morality, which normally based upon human conventions.

Ethics in the 21st century
During the early modern period, ethics served as a foundation of family life, politics, and moral theology. At an elementary level, fables, phrases, and stories were used to teach ethical precepts. But in the 21st century, ethics is an increasingly important factor in the context of business, law, and health professions as well as within the realms of character education and general professional ethics.

Prof. Joseph S. Freedman, Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama
Logic in the Early Modern Period

While textbooks and other writings on logic (e.g., disputations, sections within encyclopaedias) were utilized in large quantities during the early modern period, the relation between logic and philosophy was not always clear and is still sometimes a matter for debate to this day. For much of the 16th and well into the 17th century, whether logic was a part of philosophy or was preparation for the same was an issue of contention for many authors. In much of the European Continent, logic was taught in schools and then again at the university level, and sometimes with the use of highly diverse authors (e.g., Petrus Ramus at the secondary school level and Aristotle at the university level).

Reasoning process
The central focus of virtually all logic textbooks is the reasoning process, i.e., the process by means of which humans acquire knowledge. In logic one begins with themes (also referred to, for example, as categories, predicaments, or universals). With the use of arguments – which also can be referred to as predicates, places, or topics – one forms enunciations (i.e., propositions), which in turn are used to form syllogisms. The following arguments were generally among those discussed: antecedent and consequent, cause and effect, classification, comparison, definition, part and whole, relation, signs, and testimony. Among the sub-categories of enunciations commonly examined were affirmative, negative, true, false, necessary, contingent, simple, composite, non-modal, and modal enunciations. Syllogisms were usually discussed by diagramming common modes – i.e., kinds – of syllogisms (normally 48 in number) of which only 14 can result in valid syllogisms; various kinds of syllogisms – e.g., demonstrative or necessary syllogisms – were usually included.

Knowledge process
Discussion of syllogisms was normally accompanied by discussion of fallacies, induction, and demonstration / proof. Terms were discussed in one or more contexts; ideas and/or concepts were sometimes included. Scientia (which could be understood to mean knowledge and/or science), opinion, and other general topics pertaining to the knowledge process – including impediments to knowledge (e.g., error, prejudice) – were sometimes given attention. From the late 17th century onwards, logical interpretation (i.e., hermeneutics), and criticism (normally comprising or including literacy criticism) were included within the realm of logic.

From the year 1550 onwards – especially within logic texts authored by Protestants – pedagogical subject-matter was also included. The concept of method and disputation theory were normally examined; sometimes discussion of the how logic should be practiced and/or logical exercises were added. Method evolved into the modern concept of teaching methods; disputations serve as the precursors of the master's thesis, the doctoral dissertation, and academic debating. The pedagogical component of early modern treatises on logic served as the basis for the academic and professional subject-matters which today comprise the general field of pedagogy.

Prof. Joseph S. Freedman, Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama
Reformed Protestantism
5. East Friesland and North-Western Germany

Part I
In the 16th century, the seaport town of Emden at the heart of East Friesland grew into the “mother church” of Dutch Calvinism, which was the driving force behind the Dutch Revolt. Concurrently, in neighbouring North-Western Germany the so-called “second Reformation” took place, that is, the calvinizing of Lutheran lands. From 1555 onwards, the Lutheran cities of Bremen and Hamburg became the scenes of sacramentarian controversies which had an impact far beyond their borders. They marked a critical phase in the transition of German left wing Lutherans to (a form of) Calvinism and in the consolidation processes of the Lutheran and Reformed confessions in North-Western Europe.

• Number of titles: 144
• Languages used: German and Latin
• Title list available
• MARC records are available
• Purchase option: Outright purchase

Location of originals: Johannes a Lasco Library at Emden

Part II
The second part of this collection focuses on the cities in which early modern North German Reformed Protestantism was centered: Bremen and Emden. The collection presents a nearly exhaustive array of sources on their theologians and their works, correspondence and biographies, on the Bremen Academy, the confessionalization process, and the general and ecclesiastical historiography of the region.

• Number of titles: 385
• Languages used: German and Latin
• Title list available
• MARC records are available

The second part of this collection focuses on the cities in which early modern North German Reformed Protestantism was centered: Bremen and Emden. The collection presents a nearly exhaustive array of sources on their theologians and their works, correspondence and biographies, on the Bremen Academy, the confessionalization process, and the general and ecclesiastical historiography of the region.

Location of originals: Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Bremen; Johannes a Lasco Bibliothek, Emden; Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel; Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague; Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit Groningen; Bibliotheek Theologische Universiteit Kampen; Universiteitsbibliotheek Amsterdam; Universiteitsbibliotheek Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden; Universiteitsbibliotheek Maastricht; Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht

This collection is also included in the Reformed Protestantism Sources of the 16th and 17th Centuries collection.
Editor: Charles Gunnoe
Reformation in Heidelberg

Part I
This collection has been gathered for the purpose of illuminating the intellectual and religious developments during the reigns of Ottheinrich (1556-1559) and Frederick III (1559-1576). Its primary goal is to present the complete works of the major Heidelberg figures (Bouquin, Erastus, Olevianus, Ursinus, Zanchi) and a major sampling of the works of many secondary figures. Secondarily, its aim is to illuminate the theological development of the Palatinate including the origins and reception of the Heidelberg Catechism. Here the collection ventures outside the strict bounds of Reformed Protestantism to include attacks on the Palatine confession by Lutheran scholars.

• Number of titles: 99
• Languages used: German and Latin
• Title list available
• MARC records are available

Location of originals: Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel

Part II
This collection completes the series The Reformation in Heidelberg. It comprises a wide array of rare primary sources gathered from libraries in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It expands the number of works available by such theologians as Pierre Boquin and Zacharias Ursinus, and features more works by the prominent medical humanists, Thomas Erastus and Johannes Lange.

• Number of titles: 78 primary titles, 23 secondary titles
• Languages used: mainly Latin and German, also English, Dutch and French
• Title list available
• MARC records are available

Location of originals: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München; Bodleian Library, Oxford; Universiteitsbibliotheek Amsterdam; Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart; Zentralbibliothek Zürich
Sorbian Publications, 1693-1853
Library of Russian Academy of Science, St. Petersburg

Sorbian writings
Sorbian writings are the cultural heritage of a small West Slavic language group that used to be spoken in what is now south-eastern Germany. It is closely related to Polish, Kashubian, Czech, and Slovak, and is still used in Upper and Lower Lusatia.
This is the first time that this collection of Sorbian works, comprising 64 books and 5 periodicals dating from the end of the seventeenth/beginning of the nineteenth century, is being published. The materials presented in this collection are written in Upper and Lower Sorbian, Latin, and German.

Exclusive collection
The first extensive written Sorbian texts - translations of the religious literature of the Reformation - were composed in the sixteenth century. This collection contains the oldest works on Sorbian linguistics, for example, De Originibus Linguae Sorbicae by A. Frenceli, Vocabularium Latino-serbicum by J. Swetlik, and fourteen Bibles in Upper and Lower Sorbian. Sorbian Literature started flourishing in the end of the 18th century after being strongly influenced by the ideas of Enlightment. Writings from the beginning of the nineteenth century, such as educational brochures, early magazines, and scientific monographs, reflect the period of the national renaissance of Sorbian culture. Such periodicals as Serbska Jutnicka, Jutnitzka, Serbski Nowinkar, etc. are almost complete, which demonstrates the exclusiveness of this collection. MA collection of seven Wittenberg brochures Jadno pratkowane na nezelu, issued by a group of young Sorbian translators, strongly influenced the development of Sorbian literary language. They are extremely rare and practically unknown to Western scientists. The collection also contains Pjesnicki hornych a delnych Luziskich Serbow - a unique publication of Sorbian folk songs and tales collected by L. Haupt and J.E. Smoler.

Translations of The Bible
The pride of the collection is fourteen translations of the Bible into Upper and Lower Sorbian. Because of the religious division of Sorbs, the Bible has been translated into two languages - Upper Sorbian, which was meant for Catholics (printed in Bautzen/Budeshin) and Lower Sorbian - for Reformed (printed in Cottbus/Choschobus). One can find here the very first and complete translation into Upper Sorbian, dated 1728. First examples of Lower Sorbian, which are translations of the Old and New Testament date back to 1796 and 1709 (the latter item used to belong to Prince Aleksei, son of Peter the Great).

The Russian Academy of Sciences Library (BAN)
BAN is the oldest library in Russia and one of the biggest libraries in the world. It consists of three sections - Russian, Slavic and Foreign, which store more than 20,000,000 volumes. The Slavic section of BAN is a universal information source for researchers in Slavic Studies. It contains around 270,000 volumes, printed between the 17th century and 1930 in all Slavic languages, except Russian. The most valuable items of the Slavic section have been acquired between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Sorbian Publications, 1693-1853 is the oldest part of a vast Sorbian collection of BAN. Today the Russian Academy of Sciences Library owns 271 Sorbian books and 22 Sorbian periodicals, which were collected between 1900 and 1920. Sorbian materials arrived in BAN in several different ways. A part of the collection was donated by linguists A. Muka (1854-1932) and I.I. Sreznevskii (1812-1880) form their private collections, and some were obtained from the Russian linguist A.L. Petrov in 1924. The rest of the collection comes from various sources, starting with the year 1908. The collection is very rare, as fascists destroyed the central archive and library of Sorbs in 1937.
The Anabaptist, Mennonite and Spiritualist Reformation
The radical reformation
Part I also includes polemical writings for and against the Reformed and Catholic Churches. Titles in part II treat the period of Münster, Münsterite Anabaptism itself and the post-Münsterite period as separate subjects. The collection includes all the 16th century books in the Library of the United Mennonite Congregation in Amsterdam, now housed in the Amsterdam University Library.