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About the Manuscript

Barnard MS 1 is an antiphoner in Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Barnard Ms 1 is an Italian manuscript, produced in Tuscany in the mid-14th century by the Franciscan Order. It was given to Barnard College in 1923 by Mary E. Larkin Joline. Barnard Ms 1 is paginated, so I use page numbers throughout this exhibit instead of folio numbers.

Key Terms (paraphrased from

An antiphoner (also called an antiphonal) is a collection of chants required for the celebration of the Divine Office.

The Divine Office is a series of prayers sung throughout the day at fixed times, primarily by religious orders like the Franciscans. Each office contains psalms and a mix of hymns, antiphons, litanies, canticles, responsories, and other chants.

A Feast is a specific day in the Liturgical calendar that celebrates a specific person or event. Feasts are either fixed–occurring on the same day every year–or moveable. In this project, I study the Common of the Apostles, which includes music to be sung on the feast days of the Apostles, and Corpus Christi, which celebrates the Holy Communion and is observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

The Franciscan Order is a mendicant order founded by its namesake Saint Francis of Assisi in 1209. Franciscans follow the Rule of Saint Francis, which includes a vow of poverty. Like the Dominican Order, the Franciscans underwent a period of liturgical standardization in the 13th century.

Liturgy is the practice of organized, formal worship, the ensemble of texts, music, movements, vestments, vessels, and even buildings used by a group of people to worship God. Liturgy encompasses two main types of service: the Mass and the Divine Office.

A processional contains the chants sung during the processions on certain important feasts of the church year, including, as in Plimpton MS 34, Corpus Christi.

Vertical Lines are the focus of this project. “Vertical” distinguishes these lines from the horizontal staff lines. Although they are related, these vertical lines are not bar lines in the modern sense–there is no metre implied by their presence. In musicological literature, vertical lines are also occasionally referred to as “vertical strokes” and, rarely, as “bar lines.” For more on the purpose and context of vertical lines, return to the home page and start the exhibit!

Useful Links

Barnard MS 1 is fully digitized via Columbia Library’s digital collections. Plimpton Ms 34 is as well. The Burns Antiphoner has been digitized by Boston College. Similarly, the Rimini Antiphoner can be found online at the State Library of New South Wales.

More information on the history and context of Barnard MS 1 can be found in Aleksandr Butovetskiy’s exhibit on Franciscan iconography, Clare Dwyer and Alina Shubina’s research on the provenance of the manuscript, and Grant Woods’s project on the preservation of Barnard MS 1.

Details about the Barnard MS 1 and Plimpton MS 34 can be found on the Digital Scriptorium. Zihang Chen has completed a partial transcription of Barnard MS 1.

Both Barnard MS 1 and Plimpton Ms 34 are inventoried on the Cantus Database. The Burns Antiphoner is as well.

Plimpton Ms 34 is featured in the 2015 Columbia course site.

More details about liturgical manuscripts at Columbia and more term definitions can be found at

For more on the physical creation of manuscripts and copying of square notation, see the University of Toronto’s Tools and Technicians of Medieval Manuscripts.


This project is hosted on WordPress using the theme “Chosen.” In addition, it uses “Draw Attention,” a WordPress plugin, for image interaction.


I am immensely grateful for Emily Runde’s assistance in laying the foundation for this project. A fascinating conversation with Dr. Eleanor Giraud yielded many new insights and connections. Jonathan Ligrani’s aid in building out my bibliography and guiding me to certain citations was invaluable. Michelle Wilson has been extraordinarily helpful with design issues, while Prof. Susan Boynton has been a steadfast and patient guide. Finally, I would be remiss not to thank my fellow students Aleks Butovetskiy, Zihang Chen, Claire Dwyer, Alina Shubina, Anya Wilkening, and Grant Woods.

Barnard MS 1, pg. 211.