Leeds University Library

Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514)

Hartmann Schedel was born in Nuremberg in 1440, the son of a merchant. He studied law in Leipzig and then in 1463 went to Padua to study medicine but extended this to include grammar, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. The Italian humanist Matheolus Perusinus was one of his tutors. In 1466 he returned to Nuremberg to practise as a doctor.

From 1470 Schedel lived in Nördlingen and then in Amberg, but he returned to Nuremberg until the early 1480s, where he formed part of an important circle of humanists. Schedel himself is famous for compiling the Nuremberg Chronicle, first published in 1493, which is a world history enriched with over 1800 woodcuts. These high quality maps and illustrations render it the most complex and richly illustrated book of its time.

Schedel himself owned an important collection of over 800 books and manuscripts as well as many prints. The bulk of Schedel’s library was eventually acquired by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria in 1571and still forms an important part of the Bavarian State Library.