A cartulary or chartulary (/ˈkɑːrtjʊləri/, Latin: cartularium or
chartularium), also called pancarta or codex diplomaticus, is a
medieval manuscript volume or roll (rotulus) containing transcriptions
of original documents relating to the foundation, privileges, and
legal rights of ecclesiastical establishments, municipal corporations,
industrial associations, institutions of learning, or families. The
term is sometimes also applied to collections of original documents
bound in one volume or attached to one another so as to form a roll,
as well as to custodians of such collections.
The allusion of
Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours to chartarum tomi in the 6th century
is commonly taken to refer to cartularies. The oldest surviving
cartularies, however, originated in the 10th century. Those from
the 10th to the 13th centuries are very numerous.
Cartularies frequently contain historical texts, known as cartulary
chronicles, which may focus on the history of the monastery whose
legal documents it accompanies, or may be a more general history of
the world. This link between legal and historical writings has to be
understood in the context of the importance of past events for
establishing legal precedence.
Generally speaking, a cartulary attested by the signatures or marks of
a number of prominent individuals ranks as a public document
possessing greater value than a private letter or the narrative of an
Sometimes the copyist of the cartulary reproduced the original
documents with literal exactness. On the other hand, some copyists
took liberties with the text, including modifying the phraseology,
modernizing proper names of persons and places, and even changing the
substance, so as to extend the scope of the privileges or immunities
granted in the document. The value of a cartulary as a historical
document depends not only on how faithfully it reproduces the
substance of the original, but also, if edited, on the clues it
contains to the motivation for those changes. These questions are
generally the subject of scrutiny under well-known canons of
Many cartularies of medieval monasteries and churches have been
published, more or less completely. A listing of all known medieval
cartularies of the British Isles, edited by Godfrey Davis, was
published in 1958, and republished in a heavily revised and extended
edition in 2010: the revised edition contains entries for about 2,000
cartularies, including those of both ecclesiastical establishments and
secular corporations, dating from the 11th to 16th centuries, with
details of dates, provenance, current location, and (where
appropriate) publication. The Catalogue général des cartulaires
des archives départementales (Paris, 1847) and the Inventaire des
cartulaires etc. (Paris, 1878–9) were the chief sources of
information regarding the cartularies of medieval France. The
important cartulary of the University of Paris was edited by Father
Denifle, O.P., and M. Chatelain, Chartularium Universitatis
Parisiensis (Paris, 1889, sqq). There may be more recent developments
2 List of cartularies
6 External links
A cartulary may take the form of a book or a codex. Documents,
chronicles or other kinds of handwritten texts were compiled,
transcribed or copied to the cartulary.
Michael Clanchy attended to the monastic origin of both chronicles and
cartularies, and he defines the latter as "a collection of title deeds
copied into a register for greater security".
In the introduction to the book Les Cartulaires, it is argued that in
the contemporary diplomatic world it was common to provide a strict
definition as the organized, selective, or exhaustive transcription of
diplomatic records, made by the owner of them or by the producer of
the archive where the documents are preserved.
In the Dictionary of Archival Terminology a cartulary is defined as "a
register, usually in volume form, of copies of charters, title deeds,
grants of privileges and other documents of significance belonging to
a person, family or institution". In 1938, the French historian,
Emile Lesne, wrote: "Every
Cartulary is the testimony of the statement
of the Archives in a Church at the time when it was compiled".
Related terms in other languages are: cartularium (Latin); Kopiar,
Kopialbuch (German), Chartular (Oes.)[clarification needed];
cartolario, cartulario, cartario (Italian); cartulario (Spanish).
In medieval Normandy, a type of cartulary was common from the early
11th century that combined a record of gifts to the monastery with a
short narrative. These works are known as pancartes.
List of cartularies
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Cartularios de Valpuesta, two medieval cartularies from the north of
Hemming's Cartulary, two cartularies bound together, the Liber
Wigorniensis, made in
England around the year 1000, and a second
compiled by Hemming about a hundred years later.
Cartulary of Windsheim, O.E.S.A. made in Germany (Windsheim) between
1421 and 1462.
Supetar cartulary, a twelfth-century cartulary of the monastery of St.
Peter in Poljice, Croatia
Cartulario de Óvila, of the monastery Santa María de Óvila
Liber feudorum maior, a twelfth-century cartulary of the Crown of
Liber feudorum formae minoris, an early thirteenth-century
continuation of the Liber feudorum maior
Liber instrumentorum memorialium, an early thirteenth-century
cartulary of the Lords of Montpellier
Liber instrumentorum vicecomitalium, also called the Trencavel
Cartulary and the Foix Cartulary, a thirteenth-century French
Liber feudorum Ceritaniae, a thirteenth-century cartulary of the
County of Cerdanya
The Tropenell Cartulary, from the west of
England estates of Thomas
Tropenell, 15th century
Chartularium Sithiense or Abbey of Saint Bertin's cartulary, written
in Latin and whose first part is attributed to Folquin (or Saint
Folquin, died 14 December 855 in Esquelbeques)
The Register of St Osmund, a 13th-century cartulary belonging to
Textus Roffensis (c. 1123), the first part is a collection of
primarily secular documents written in Old English, whilst the second
part is the cartulary of
Rochester Cathedral written in Latin.
Main article: Chartoularios
The late Roman/Byzantine chartoularios was an administrative and
fiscal official. In the Greek Orthodox Church, the corresponding
position was called chartophylax. This title was also given to an
ancient officer in the Roman Church, who had the care of charters and
papers relating to public affairs. The chartulary presided in
ecclesiastical judgments, in lieu of the Pope.
^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1971, "Chartulary".
^ "J. Herold, 'The Earliest Records of Worcester Cathedral'":
"Worcester Cathedral's pre-Conquest and Conquest-era archive is known
to have included texts of over 200 acta ... in addition, there are
transcripts of at least another 57 pre-conquest single-sheet acta now
^ Graeme Dunphy. "
Cartulary chronicles and legal texts." Encyclopedia
of the Medieval Chronicle. Brill Online , 2012. Consulted 18 May 2012
^ Davis et al. 2010.
^ Clanchy, M.: "Cartularies", 1979, pp. 79–80; McCrank, "Discovery
in the Archives of Spain and Portugal, p. 85
^ Les Cartulaires, O. Guyotjeannin, L. Morelle, M. Parisse. Paris:
École des chartes, 1993; p. 7 of the Avant-propos.
^ Walne, P. (ed.): Dictionary of Archival Terminology. Munich: K. G.
^ Geary, P.: "Entre gestion et gesta", O. Guyotjeannin, L. Morelle, M.
Parisse (eds.), Les Cartulaires. Paris: École des chartes, 1993; pp.
13–24, p. 13.
^ van Houts, Elizabeth (2002). "Historical Writing". In Harper-Bill,
Christopher and Elizabeth van Houts. A Companion to the Anglo-Norman
World. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell. pp. 103–121.
^ "Rouse MS. 1. CARTULARY OF WINDSHEIM, O.E.S.A." Digital Collections.
UCLA Library. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
^ Anales de la Universidad de Madrid: Letras - Volume 2 - Page 2
Universidad Complutense de Madrid - 1933 "Il Cartulario de Óvila es
un códice encuadernado modernamente y escrito a línea tirada y con
clara y elegante letra gótica en el transcurso del siglo xm. Los
títulos e iniciales de adorno son de tinta roja. Como en otros
cartularios de la misma..."
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name
needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain: Chambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name
needed". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences
(first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.
Davis, G. R. C.; Breay, Claire; Harrison, Julian; Smith, David M.,
eds. (2010). Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain. London: British
Library. ISBN 9780712350389.
Códices Diplomáticos Hispánicos
Cartulary of Windsheim, O.E.S.A. [permanent dead link]
Codice diplomatico della Lombardia Medievale (CDLM)
BNF: cb133187632 (data)