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The Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493

The Nuremberg Chronicle is a fitting name because the driving force in its creation was a small but determined group of citizens of the imperial city of Nuremberg in southern Germany. Its author Hartmann Schedel was a learned humanist who wished to produce a chronicle of world history that would reflect his scholarship. It was very much a collaborative affair, bringing together a group of people to work on this ambitious Renaissance project. Crucially it gained the backing of a leading Nuremberg merchant and humanist, Sebald Schreyer (1446-1520), and his brother-in-law Sebastian Kammermeister (1446–1503), a fellow merchant. Their financial support ensured that the project was taken on by the influential Nuremberg printer Anton Koberger (c.1440–1513), and illustrated by two leading artists based in Nuremberg, Michael Wolgemut (1434–1519) and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff (c. 1450-94).

The result is a joyous mixture of humanist scholarship, wonderful printing and amazing book design which reflect the aspirations and ambitions of Nuremberg humanists during the Renaissance. The Library of Trinity College Dublin is fortunate to possess the first edition of 1493 and the pirated Augsburg edition of 1497.


Elizabethanne Boran

Dr Elizabethanne Boran is the Librarian of the Edward Worth Library in Dr Steevens' Hospital, Dublin. She is particularly interested in the history of the book and, more generally, the history of ideas in the early modern period.