SIMS@Penn Manuscript Video: MS Codex 902, Chansonnier

A chansonnier is a type of medieval songbook popular in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. Many chansonniers, including Penn MS Codex 902, include song texts, but not the music, so they are not songbooks in the modern sense. Earlier chansonniers  might include both secular and sacred songs, but around 1420 they began to be broken out into separate collections. In this brief video, University of Pennsylvania PhD candidate Elizaveta Strakhov introduces Curator for Digital Research Services Dot Porter to University of Pennsylvania MS Codex 902, a Chansonnier collecting 310 poems by Guillaume de Machaut, Oton de Grandson, Brisebare de Douai, Eustache Deschamps, Philippe de Vitry, and others. Following a general introduction to the manuscript and its contents, Strakhov discusses the enigma of ‘Ch’ – is there a connection between our manuscript and the great Middle English author Geoffrey Chaucer? Ms. Strakhov’s article “The Poems of ‘Ch’: Taxonomizing Literary Tradition” will be published in Taxonomies of Knowledge, edited by Emily Steiner and Lynn Ransom (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Libraries), forthcoming in 2014.

A digital facsimile of this manuscript is available at

More digitized Chansonniers:

Special thanks to Katie Rawson, CLIR PostDoc at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, for editing the video.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s