Introduction

With a remaining collection of 1450 manuscripts, to which are added some 400 incunabula and printed documents dating from the beginning of the XVIth century, the collection from Clairvaux is the first known French medieval collection. The most important part of this collection is preserved within the collections of the Mediatheque de l’Agglomération Troyenne.

During the XVth century, at the request of the first abbot of Clairvaux, Pierre de Virey, this collection was the object of an important inventory in 1472.

In 2008, the Communauté de l’Agglomération Troyenne required a recognition by the Unesco for this group of documents consisting of 1118 volumes. That collection was registered as "Memory of the world" on July the 31st, 2009.

The most important part of those manuscripts is preserved at the Médiathèque; some other manuscripts are preserved in European libraries such as : the interuniversity Library of Montpelier ( 70 ), the French National Library ( 17 ), the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence ( 4 ), the British Library in London ( 2 ), the National library of Hungary in Budapest ( 1 ), the Municipal library of Mons (1), the Saint-Geneviève Library in Paris ( 1 ), as well as in the Municipal library of Laon ( 1 ).

The classification by Unesco recognizes the international interest and the exceptional worldwide character of the preserved collection.

This exhibition tries to present all the historical, memorial and cultural value of this collection of documents.