January 23, 2022

New From Boston Public Library: Rare Chronique Anonyme Universelle Manuscript Now Viewable Online

From Boston Public Library:

Today, the Boston Public Library announced that the Chronique Anonyme Universelle, or “Genealogy of the Bible,” a 35-foot scroll and manuscript dating from approximately 1470-1479 is now available online. The ornate manuscript depicts the history of the world from Creation to 1380, tracing the genealogy of individuals from the Bible to the royal houses of France and England, and weaving in biblical stories alongside Roman and Greek history.

Users can view the scroll at the BPL’s Digital Commonwealth portal, zooming into the piece to see the historic writing and colorful images of castles, medieval sword fights, and the Garden of Eden.


The Chronique Anonyme Universelle features a Christian genealogy of the Bible, beginning with the creation of the world and continuing to the foundation of London in 1380. The scroll features biblical stories, ancient histories of Rome and Greece, and the royal houses of France and England. Viewers will also see a genealogical tree from Adam to Romulus and Remus. The manuscript features Gothic script with Parisian artwork, and miniature illustrations in medallions with decorative letters, floral designs, and borders in blue, green, red, brown, and gold. Lisa Fagin Davis, a leading Medieval scholar, researched and described the manuscript for the BPL.


The scroll, conserved by the Associates of the Boston Public Library and digitized by Boston College, is part of the BPL’s Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts Collection of Distinction, comprised of religious and devotional texts, as well as secular and scientific titles, many of which are illuminated.

Direct to Chronique Anonyme Universelle

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.