Manuscripts, incunabula and rare editions

Thanks to rich collections, the Dobrée museum tells the history of books and their illustrations.

The museum has about 60 manuscripts, a hundred incunabula and numerous rare prints from the 16th century. Only a few examples of printed royal manuscript are known to exist in European libraries. Great collectors such as Thomas Dobrée, Paul Thoby and Louis Chevalier-La-Barthe are to thank for this prestigious collection.

Manuscripts were often made to order only because of their high cost. They could be made in monastic or urban workshops and required the work of scribes, copyists, illuminators and binders.

Incunabula (the first books printed between 1450 and 1501) are evidence of the vitality of printers in European cities.

Engravers worked with artists of the Renaissance and Parisian or regional bookshops to help spread these books.

Head of the department:

Claire De Lalande,

Study our manuscripts online!

The Institute for Textual History and Research has digitized a selection of the manuscripts housed at the Musée Dobrée. You can now consult these documents online, via the Virtual Library of Medieval Manuscripts:

Discover some of the most emblematic artifacts of the manuscripts, incunabula and rare editions department. cg44.plugin.grandpatrimoineplugin.portailAccueil.label.afficher-masque