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Archival description
Peter H. Brieger fonds
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Books of the Bible

Sub-series consists of typed and handwritten notes, organized by books of the Bible (Old Testament), detailing illuminations, illustrations, and other details of each book from various versions of the Bible that were examined. Many files also include a typed manuscript detailing the findings. Some files also include photocopies of reference material.

Bible Project

Series consists of records relating to the Bible project of Peter Brieger and Jürgen Paul. The original idea of the project was to compile a complete collection of photographs of French and English illustrated Bibles produced between the end of the eleventh century and around the year 1270, with a focus on the iconography of their illustrations. The project likely began in the late 1950s. In 1965, Dr. Brieger met Dr. Jürgen Paul, who moved to Toronto, from Germany, in 1967 to help Dr. Brieger finish the book.

Dr. Paul helped define the focus of the book, from a multi-volume corpus of all illustrations, to a study of “questions of iconography, the variety and development in the choice of subjects for illustrating the biblical books, and to concentrate on the Old Testament. It was to be demonstrated how over the period of the two centuries changes in subjects of illustration selected were influenced by changes in Christian theological exegesis of the Old Testament.” [1] The pair worked together in an office in Sydney Smith Hall during the winter and spring of 1967/68.

The pair later organized trips to several repositories to examine manuscripts. As Dr. Paul writes, “I had already realized that the material of French and English illustrated Bible manuscripts was still incomplete. Therefore, during the summer of 1968 we, together with Mrs. Brieger, spent several weeks in England checking the college libraries in Oxford and Cambridge. It turned out that in both universities large numbers of most interesting Bible manuscripts existed that were not even registered. No catalogues existed. After the stay in England we went by car through France checking the manuscript collections in Paris and provincial libraries between Avranches and Dijon. After that, we went to Italy checking the manuscripts in the Vatican library and in Laurenziana in Florence.”

When Dr. Brieger’s health began to fail, Dr. Paul continued the project, to a lesser degree, with Ann Hilty. The project was never published.


[1] From an account written by Dr. Paul. The full account can be found in the case file for B2016-0007.

University of Toronto. Fine Art Club

Series consists of records relating to the University of Toronto’s Fine Art Club from the 1960s and 1970s, including records documenting trips to New York, Cleveland, and Detroit, and a publication put out by the group. Also includes the constitution, minutes, correspondence and newspaper clippings of the Fine Art Society in 1981.

General

Sub-series consists of general records relating to research for the Bible project. Records include correspondence, grant records, notebooks, articles by Brieger and others, and other research materials. The last file in the series consists of samples of the cards that were created for the project, which include photographs of illustrations. These cards have been retained only as a sample, in order to demonstrate the project’s methodology. The remainder of the cards are still with Dr. Paul. One oversized folder contains a large chart, that indexes features of each Bible edition.

Research sites

Sub-series consists of type- and hand-written lists of Bibles held at various repositories, with detailed notes on bindings, illustrations, illuminations, and other elements.

Notebooks and notes

Series consists of various notes and notebooks kept by Dr. Brieger, containing research notes, course notes, travel information, sketches, and other information. Many date from his time in Germany in the early 1930s.

Lectures

Series consists of typed and hand written lecture notes on various topics in art history, especially medieval and Baroque art. See file listing for more details.

Writing

Series consists of manuscripts, drafts and offprints of writing by Dr. Brieger. See file listing for titles.

Work by others

Series consists of offprints, manuscripts, and other copies of works by other authors, including limited student work and exams from the 1960s.

Correspondence

Series consists of minimal, and various, correspondence with family, colleagues, museums, galleries, publishers, and editors relating to Dr. Brieger’s personal life, professional life, and research.

Peter H. Brieger fonds

  • UTA 1061
  • Fonds
  • 1918-1987

Fonds consists of records documenting the life and work of Dr. Peter H. Brieger, including his early career in Germany and his later research on medieval manuscripts and the Bible. Records include correspondence, notebooks, lectures, articles, research notes and manuscripts. One series also documents the activities of the Fine Art Club at the University of Toronto. Photographs consists of those taken of illuminated manuscripts, for research purposes.

Brieger, Peter