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Construction of Utrecht Cathedral 1395-1529

Compiled by N.B. Tenhaeff and W. Jappe Alberts; assisted by C.A. Rutgers and E. Roebroeck

The publication was compiled to facilitate research into the history of how Utrecht Cathedral was built. However, the significance of the published source material extends even further. A wealth of data is presented on the socio-economic history of the Netherlands and neighbouring areas in the late Middle Ages. In addition to this, the publication contains interesting information that is relevant for several different branches of history, such as political, ecclesiastical, cultural, and art history.

The cathedral’s bills and financial accounts for the years 1325-1529 are published here. However, they are not confined to simply providing information on income and expenditure for extensions, renovations and maintenance work that was carried out on the cathedral during this period. In addition to the above, revenues made from religious services conducted at the time, as well as all sorts of other miscellaneous payments debited to the budget for the cathedral building, are also listed.

The financial accounts appear in Volume II (and are published in three parts); in the first part (up to 1480) the accounts appear in the form of summaries, while in parts two and three they have been more or less reproduced in full. The additional tables that have been provided on wages, the value of different exchange rates, and the price of grain, wine and wax are especially relevant for comparative research.

Volume I, which was intended for a different type of source material as well as the history of the cathedral’s actual construction, was never published. The documentary edition was used by W.H. Vroom during preparatory work for his publication entitled De financiering van de kathedraalbouw in de middeleeuwen, in het bijzonder van de Dom te Utrecht (Maarssen 1981).