State of research on the former monastic library
5-7 september 2018 Avranches (France)

Call for paper

Around the Digital Library of Mont Saint-Michel. State of research on the ancient monastic library. September 5-7,2018. Avranches - Mont-Saint-Michel

Since the publication of the Millénaire monastique du Mont Saint-Michel (1967) and the book by John J. Alexander Norman Illumination at Mont St. Michel, 966-1100 (1970), numerous articles and publications have been published on the manuscripts of this monastery. Several works of editing and translation of « Montois » texts will be published soon. Examples include the critical edition and English translation of the Chronicle of Robert de Torigni, abbot of Mont Saint-Michel (1154-1186), which is currently being finalized by Harvard University professor Thomas Bisson, and the critical edition and French translation of De abbatibus (a chronicle of Mont Saint-Michel abbots), recently completed by a group of researchers from the University of Caen Normandie. The Mont Saint-Michel manuscripts will also be featured in the Catalogue des manuscrits enluminés normands des Xe-XIe siècle de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, currently being written by Laure Rioust and Marie-Thérèse Gousset (BNF).

The objective of this meeting is to take a look of recent research and work on books, both manuscripts and printed books, and on the library of Mont Saint-Michel. The period covered includes the Middle Ages and modern times: from the foundation of Mont Saint-Michel by the Bishop of Avranches Aubert (708) to the closing of the monastery during the French Revolution (1791).

The papers will cover recent or ongoing studies concerning:

- manuscripts produced by and/or from the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, i. e."Montois" books kept in the Avranches heritage library, but also those scattered in other collections (New York, London, the Vatican, Berlin, Maredsous, Paris, Rouen, Caen, Bordeaux, Vendôme, Figeac, etc.). The study may cover codicological, palaeographical, philological or textual aspects;

- the print library;

- comparative approaches to manuscripts or libraries;

- the materiality of the old monastic library: architecture, content organization, etc.


Proposals for papers must be submitted to the conference site by March 1st, 2018. They will include :

- the title of the communication;

- a maximum of 300 words summary;

- the list of Mont Saint-Michel works studied;

- a short biography of the participant.

This deposit requires registration on the website (it is nevertheless possible to log in with your Hal identifier).

Accommodation (single room in a lodging), catering, visits (of the Scriptorial, the Heritage Library and the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel) and transport to sites will be provided. However, the cost of the travel to Avranches remains at the expense of the participants. However, doctoral students can still apply for funding for these transport costs (each situation will be studied on a case-by-case basis, depending on the funding possibilities of the organisers).

For any questions, do not hesitate to contact Stéphane Lecouteux (stephane.lecouteux[@] and/or Marie Bisson (marie.bisson[@]


Selected contributions will be published. These proceedings will provide a synthesis of recent research conducted on the manuscripts and library of Mont Saint-Michel. They will be referenced in the records posted on the Digital Library of the Mont Saint-Michel website and will thus contribute directly to the enrichment of information and data kept up to date within the framework of this program.

Scientific Committee

- Marie Bisson, source analysis engineer, University of Caen Normandie (MRSH et CRAHAM)

- Pierre Bouet, honorary lecturer, University of Caen Normandie

- Charlotte Denoël, head of the service of medieval manuscripts at the Bibliothèque nationale de France

- Catherine Jacquemard, professor, University of Caen Normandie (CRAHAM)

- Stéphane Lecouteux, head of the heritage library of Avranches

- Anne-Marie Turcan-Verkerk, studies director, École Pratique des Hautes Études

Organizing committee

- Marie Bisson, source analysis engineer, University of Caen Normandie (MRSH et CRAHAM)

- Stéphane Lecouteux, head of the heritage library of Avranches


Ville d'Avranches  Scriptorial - Musée des manuscrits du Mont Saint-MichelMRSH - Pôle document numériqueOffice Universitaire d'Etudes Normandes  Centre de Recherches Archéologiques et Historiques Anciennes et Médiévales - Centre Michel de Boüard  Université de Caen NormandieCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique 


Biblissima - Patrimoine écrit du Moyen Âge et de la RenaissanceBibliothèque nationale de France   Centre des Monuments NationauxInstitut Universitaire de France


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