Opening the Geese Book

ACMRS hosts the international multimedia project Opening the Geese Book. Launched in 2012, this free-access internet-based publication makes a major manuscript from the Middle Ages available to scholars and the broader public.

The Geese Book is a lavishly and whimsically illuminated, two-volume liturgical manuscript today housed in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York , bearing the shelf number M. 905. Completed in 1504 and 1510 for the parish church of St. Lorenz in Nuremberg, this gradual preserves the mass liturgy for the entire church year, as it was sung by the choir of school boys and young adults until the Reformation was introduced in the city in 1525. Today the large codices are particularly valued for their high-quality illuminations, several of which show fanciful and provocative satirical imagery. The book takes its name from an enigmatic, self-referential illustration that shows a choir of geese and a fox singing from a large chant manuscript with a wolf as their choirmaster.

This interdisciplinary pilot project employs new digital media to explore multisensory art experiences of the past. It provides a critical model for re-integrating the arts, recontextualizing them historically, and interrogating them theoretically.

Generous grants from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Sparda Bank Nuremberg, Stadtsparkasse Nuremberg and other German institutions made this project possible. Bavarian Radio Corporation in Nuremberg, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, the Schola Hungarica of Budapest, and Naxos collaborated with ACMRS to facilitate research, performance and presentation.

Faculty and graduate students interested in participating in this undertaking should contact the project directors:

Volker Schier: Volker.Schier@fen-net.de and Corine Schleif: cschleif@asu.edu.


Opening the Geese Book

International Multimedia Project directed by Volker Schier and Corine Schleif
Opening the Geese Book Website