This collection houses sets of inventories that are currently not large enough to constitute a collection in their own right. Many of these inventories have been provided by contributing scholars and associates.
These acts were edited and transcribed by Vito Vitale in Documenti sul castello di Bonifacio nel secolo 13 (Genova: Regia Deputazione di Storia Patria per la Liguria, 1936). Click here to explore this subset.
The acts presented here concern Castello di Bonifacio, a town located on the southern tip of the island of Corsica. They are found in the Archivio di Stato di Genova because at the time, in 1239, Corsica was under the political control of Genoa.
The records in the Cagliari subset of the Miscellaneous Inventories collection have been contributed by Dr. Giuseppe Seche of the Università degli Studi di Cagliari. Click here to explore this subset.
Owing to Sardinia's complex political history, sources for later medieval Sardinian history can be found not only in the archives of the island but also in Italy and Iberia. Before 1323, the island was divided into the four kingdoms (giudicati) of Calari, Arborea, Torres and Gallura, and connected with Genoese and Pisan interests. From 1323, Sardinia became part of the Crown of Aragon, and later joined the great Mediterranean Commonwealth controlled by Barcelona. Inventories are typically found in notarial registers and associated charters. Although notaries appear to have been common on the island, few notarial registers have survived from the medieval period; only eight are extant from the fifteenth century and all pertain to Cagliari. Along with the inventories of private households, consisting primarily of post-mortem inventories, there are several patrimonial lists deriving from public and ecclesiastical institutions.
A notarial register currently in the possession of Daniel Lord Smail (given to him as a gift by Prof. Giles Constable) includes an inventory from the town of Crest, in the Drôme, from September of 1403. Click here to view this inventory.
The Archives départementales de la Côte d’Or preserve an exceptional number of household inventories from Dijon in the later middle ages. These inventories featured prominently in many of the works of the historian Françoise Piponnier, and a print edition focusing on the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth centuries has recently been published by Guilhem Ferrand. The current sub-set available on DALME consists of an inventory of the silver of Bonne d’Artois, which, along with the resulting auction, was preserved in a record of the Duke of Burgundy's household accounts. These two records have been transcribed and edited by Dr. S.C. Kaplan. Click here to explore this subset.
The acts from Douai have been transcribed and edited by Dr. Lise Saussus of the Université Catholique de Louvain. The set features several post-mortem inventories of canons and accounts of auctions for the cathedral chapter of Saint-Amé in Douai. They were produced between the mid fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century. At present, they are the only inventories in the DALME environment kept in Picard, the vernacular of the Low Countries and northern France. Click here to explore this subset.
The inventories from Dublin presented here offer a sample drawn from Henry Fitz-Patrick Barry, ed., Register of Wills and Inventories of the Diocese of Dublin in the Time of Archbishops Tregury and Walton, 1457-1483: From the Original Manuscript in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. (Dublin: University Press for the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 1898). Click here to explore this subset. The records have been prepared for publication by Ryan Low and Sama Mammadova.
English Probate Inventories
The existing records in this set have been collected, transcribed, and contributed by Sarah Hinds. Click one of the links below to explore the associated record(s).
The post-mortem inventories in this series all originate from the records of the medieval courts of the Archbishopric of Canterbury, now divided between The National Archives of the United Kingdom and Lambeth Palace Library. Surviving inventories date primarily from the latter half of the fifteenth century with the majority produced under the Archbishopric of John Morton between 1486 and 1500. In this period the Prerogative Court of Canterbury had jurisdiction over the probate of testators who died with notable goods (bona notabilia) in more than one diocese. These inventories therefore tend to represent the moveable possessions of some of the wealthiest people in fifteenth-century England. They do, however, include examples of burgess, peasant, gentry, and priestly decedents and provide insights into the material culture of a variety of elite late medieval English households.
This subset contains post-mortem inventories from the town of Vic-Fezensac (Gers) and its environs. These include inventories of a member of the nobility, a number of artisans, and even two cagots - a despised class of outcasts - one of whom was the descendant of lepers. Unlike other inventories from late medieval Europe, these only rarely include mentions of clothing, and there is a complete absence of any mention of coin or money. The fourteen inventories range in time from 1413 to 1461.
The Gascon collection provides important details concerning local society and language. A number of objects - especially utensils and tools - appear both in Latin and in the Gascon dialect. A dozen inventories name the decedent’s heirs, which include a total of twenty-seven children. Bernard Dussans, from the village of Séailles, named one son and eight daughters, only two of whom were of age, as his heirs.
Abbé Gilbert Loubès edited these inventories in 1969, drawing upon notarial registers from the series I in the Archives départementales du Gers. They are published in Gilbert Loubès, “Inventaires de mobilier et outillage gascons au XVe siècle,” Bulletin philologique et historique 1969, 583-627. The edition also includes an extensive glossary, not re-published here. We are grateful to the Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques for their kind permission to re-publish this important collection.
To explore this subset, perform a search for records whose names include the word “Loubès,” or select one of the village names linked below.
The Archivio di Stato di Genova holds the oldest and richest collection of notarial registers extant from anywhere in later medieval Europe. Post-mortem and other estate inventories from Genoa, however, were often incomplete, lacking a full list of the movable goods. Curiously, the notary sometimes left space in the register but did not trouble to fill it in.
In his Studi sull'economia genovese nel medio evo (1936), Roberto Lopez transcribed inventories and other acts associated with twenty estates of decedents in thirteenth-century Genoa. These form the core of the collection from Genova. Certain editorial components have been silently altered for the editions published here, including elements listed in the notes such as blank spaces that have been incorporated in the text.
The DALME team will be adding additional acts shortly. Click here to explore the subset.
The island of Mallorca has a rich set of notarial registers. Republished here is an inventory of the estate of Ramon de Sant Martí from 28 May 1434, edited by Gabriel Llabrés in the late nineteenth century. Click here for the inventory.
The inventories from Messina presented here were edited by Ferdinando Gabotto in “Inventari messinesi inediti del Quattrocento,” Archivio Storico per La Sicilia Orientale 3, no. 1 (1906): 251–76. The edition prepared by Gabotto includes an extensive set of notes and an excellent glossary; these elements were published in the same volume, pp. 479-487, as well as Vol. 4, number 1, pp. 154-164 and pp. 483-495. Click here to view the subset.
The records in the Montpellier subset of the Miscellaneous Inventories collection were contributed by Lucie Laumonier. Click here to explore this subset.
Najac is a town located in Rouergue, a province that corresponds roughly to the present-day department of Aveyron. At the end of the middle ages, it was under the authority of the king of France. Dominated by an imposing fortress in the French style, the town constituted a key element in the military protection of Rouergue, and boasted a sizable population, with an estimated 2200 hearths in 1328. The inventories found in the extant notarial registers offer just a tiny sample of the original body but are nonetheless extremely valuable. The notaries of Najac, to judge by the extant records, were unusual insofar as they kept their records not in Latin but instead in Occitan.
The inventories from Paris, at present, include an inventory of Merot, the son-in-law of Benoest de Saint-Denis, edited by Antoine Le Roux de Lincy, and an inventory edited by Dr. Katherine Baker. Click here to view the subset.
Poems of Household Goods (Germany)
The lists of goods in this collection have been edited and/or contributed by Marco Tomaszewski, who has also authored a DALME essay highlighting some features of the collection. Click here to view the collection.
A literary genre from the late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period in which material objects were thematized are the so-called "poems of household goods." In this collection, six German examples are presented. They comprise handwritten as well as printed versions and include anonymous texts as well as poems of well-known authors like Hans Sachs and Hans Folz.
These poems of household goods contain lists of what is needed to run a household, enumerating, among others, household goods and food supplies. Thus, the poems not only provide vivid insights into the material furnishings of late medieval and early modern households, but also reveal discourses on material objects. Twelve German poems have been handed down since the 14th century, while similar ones already existed in the 13th century in French.
The German poems presented here can be divided into two groups (Assion 2012). The texts of the first group deal with privations and poverty in matrimony. These texts enumerate what is lacking in the household. The poems of the second group are didactic in nature, giving lessons to young people who intend to get married. The inventories in these poems are intended to illustrate the large expenses which were necessary for running a household. In doing so, these poems point to the risk of poverty related to marriage and the foundation of a household.
- Assion, Peter. 2012. "Hausratgedichte". Verfasser-Datenbank [online]. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter. Available from: https://www.degruyter.com/document/database/VDBO/entry/vdbo.vlma.1582/html. [Accessed 2021-07-16]
- Blosen, Hans. 1993. "Nürnberger Hausratgedichte: Hans Paur, Hans Folz, Hans Sachs." In Über die Ehe. Von der Sachehe zur Liebesheirat, edited by Ursula Rautenberg, 73–86.
- Busch, Nathanael and Kanz, Claudia. 2015. "‘Was man als haben muß‘. Nürnberger Dichtung vom Hausrat." In: Nürnberg. Zur Diversifikation städtischen Lebens in Texten und Bildern des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts, edited by Heike Sahm and Monika Schausten, 25–42. Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie Sonderheft 134: Berlin: Erich Schmidt.
- Gaston, Raynaud. 1899. "Le dit des outils de l’hotel (Ms. Du Musée condé)", Romania 28:109, 49-60.
- Hampe, Theodor. 1899. Gedichte vom Hausrat aus dem XV. und XVI. Jahrhundert, in Facsimiledruck. Drucke und Holzschnitte des XV. und XVI. Jahrhunderts in getreuer Nachbildung. Strassburg: J.H.E Heitz.
- Jeay, Madeleine. 2006. Le commerce des mots: l’usage des listes dans la littérature médiévale (XIIe-XVe siècles). Publications romanes et françaises 241. Genève: Droz.
- Nyström, Urban. 1940. Poèmes français sur les biens d'un ménage depuis “L'Oustillement au villain” du XIII. siècle jusqu'aux “Controverses” de Gratien du Pont. Texte critique accompagné d'une étude littéraire et matérielle. Helsinki.
- Tomaszewski, Marco. 2021. "Die Hausväter und die Anderen. Männlichkeitsentwürfe und soziale Ungleichheit in städtischen Familienbüchern und Hausratgedichten (14.–17. Jahrhundert)." In Die Stadt und die Anderen. Fremdheit in Selbstzeugnissen und Chroniken des Spätmittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit, edited by Andreas Rutz, 71-91. Städteforschung A 101: Köln/Weimar/Wien: Böhlau, https://doi.org/10.7788/9783412521073.
The Teutonic Order
The records in the Teutonic Order subset of the Miscellaneous Inventories collection have been edited by Patrick Meehan. Two inventories are currently available, from Pawlowa and Zheleznodorozhny from Kaliningrad Oblast in what is now Russia. Click a link to explore the inventory associated with it.
The inventories presented here from the Toulousain (the region around Toulouse, France) were edited and published by Philippe Wolff in 1966, and have been OCRed and edited for publication by Eric Nemarich and Kathleen Smail. See Philippe Wolff, “Inventaires villageois du Toulousain (XIVe-XVe siècles),” Bulletin philologique et historique, 1966, 481–544. To explore this subset, perform a search for records whose names include the word "Wolff," or select one of the village names linked below to view the records associated with it.
The eighteen inventories in this subset range in time from 1358 to 1427. They represent one of the most substantial sets of published inventories of peasants and countryfolk from later medieval Europe. The subset includes several artisans and one woman, and the households range from poor to well-to-do. The Wolff edition includes an extensive glossary, not reproduced here. A nineteenth inventory, not reproduced here, is a preliminary draft of one of the inventories in the collection.
Wolff's original notes have been included in the record description. Since Wolff did not transcribe the lines of text describing parcels of land or houses, these entries have been identified as the author's paraphrase. A number of editorial alternations have been made, including the dropping of item numbers and the rendering of original marginal notes as notes.
We are grateful to the Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques for their kind permission to re-publish this important collection.
The inventories from València have been collected and edited by Juan Vicente García Marsilla and Antonio Belenguer González, researchers from the Departament d'Història Medieval i Ciències i Tècniques Historiogràfiques of the Universitat de València. Click here to view this subset.
In the later middle ages, the Kingdom of València formed part of a greater federation known as the Crown of Aragon, a region whose archives today preserve a voluminous body of documentation. The records in this subset derive from local archives, namely, the Arxiu del Regne de València and the Archivo de protocolos del Real Colegio-Seminario de Corpus Christi de València. Both archives preserve records from the fourteenth century to the present. The best estimates suggest that there are thousands of post-mortem inventories from the later middle ages to be found in these archives. Following the law of the Crown of Aragon, which in turn followed Europe’s common system of Roman law, heirs had the right to compile an inventory of the goods of their deceased family members. The corpus of Valèncian inventories is particularly noteworthy for the social breadth of the estates inventoried: we find the estates of individuals who range from poor craftsmen to wealthy citizens. Many of the decedents were women, either married or widowed. The usefulness of post-mortem inventories as a source for medieval history was demonstrated more than a century ago by local scholars such as José Sanchis Sivera. Nevertheless, only a fraction of the vast number of records have been studied to date. These documents continue to serve as the basis for ongoing research projects, including doctoral dissertations and scientific projects that benefit from government grants.