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Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival, Cgm 9342
Fragments are parts of manuscripts which were subsequently used for binding books (once the printing press had been invented). They were often removed from these books and kept separately. The importance of fragments lies in their enormous value as source texts. Each fragment represents the last remaining witness of a book otherwise no longer existing and thus complements our unfortunately incomplete knowledge of the production of literature in Late Antiquity and in the Middle Ages. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek has selectively collected fragments since the beginning of the 19th century. The collection comprises about 3,000 Latin and more than 470 German fragments, dating from the 5th to the 15th century. Most of them have been recorded in modern catalogues and thus made available to research. In addition, there are several thousand manuscripts, which in contrast are still in situ, 1.800 of which were already identified and concisely described in the catalogue by H. Hauke and W.-V. Ikas in 2013.
Among the most outstanding specimens there are - just to mention the latest acquisitions or discoveries - fragments of the Old Saxon " Heliand" going back to around 850 (Cgm 8840) and "Parzival" by Wolfram von Eschenbach, dating from the middle of the 13th century (Cgm 9342), as well as a fragment form the so-called "Old High German Homiliarum" (Cgm 5248 (3, XII).