By Women's Hands . Medieval Manuscripts from Cologne Collections

26.10.2021 – 30.01.2022

Exhibition at the Museum Schnütgen – in cooperation with the Erzbischöfliche Diözesan- und Dombibliothek Köln

The handwritten, artistically embellished books of the Middle Ages still exert a strong fascination today. The production of these books was not the sole preserve of men, but also often lay in the hands of women. In cooperation with the Erzbischöfliche Diözesan- und Dombibliothek Köln (Archiepiscopal Diocesan and Cathedral Library of Cologne), the Museum Schnütgen is showing a selection of manuscripts created by religious women in northern France, Cologne, Lower Saxony and Nuremberg. The work as a scribe and illuminator required discipline, intellectual ability and skilled craftsmanship. High-quality and artistically valuable books were produced for use in the women’s own churches and also for external clients, manuscripts which were in no way inferior to those made by men.

Examples from the period around 800 and the late 13th to the early 16th century allow visitors to explore principles of layout, changes in book illumination and also the question of a specifically female design.



6 €, concession: 3.50 € (incl. the permanent exhibition of the Museum Schnütgen)


In cooperation with


We thank for their generous support: