About Saint Mary's

Agreement Signed for Historic Salzinnes Antiphonal Exhibition

3 February, 2017

Front: Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, President, Saint Mary's University; Nancy Noble, Director and CEO, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Back: Erin Sargeant Greenwood, Vice-President of Advancement, Saint Mary's University; Judy Dietz; Diane Chisholm, Chief Advancement Officer, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

A cultural artifact of international significance owned by Saint Mary’s University will featured at the Centuries of Silence: The Discovery of the Salzinnes Antiphonal exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia later this year as a result of an agreement signed Feb. 2, 2017.

The Salzinnes Antiphonal is a hand-scribed illuminated choir book dated 1554 and 1555, originating from the Cistercian Abbey of Salzinnes on the outskirts of Namur, Belgium.

Illumination is the embellishment of a manuscript with luminous colours including gold and silver. The Salzinnes Antiphonal includes rare full-page illuminations, decorated initials and is unique in that it provides an extraordinary document from the mid-sixteenth century containing religious text, musical notation and vivid illuminations portraying named nuns and patrons’ coats-of-arms. The manuscript contains sung portions of the Divine Office and was used by the choir during the cycle of daily prayers.
“The Salzinnes Antiphonal is an important historical and cultural document connected to our own history as an institution,” said Saint Mary’s President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray. “We are extremely pleased to share a piece of history with Nova Scotians by partnering with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.”
The exhibition is scheduled for May 5, 2017 and will be on display until October 29, 2017.
The Salzinnes Antiphonal was donated by Bishop James M. Hayes to the Patrick Power Library, at Saint Mary’s in 1975. Originally catalogued as a “Roman Catholic Antiphonary”, it was discovered in 1999 and identified in 2002 by Judy Dietz, who was the Manager of Collections and Gallery Services at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia at the time.

For more information on the Salzinnes Antiphonal and its discovery at Saint Mary's visit: http://www.smu.ca/academics/archives/the-salzinnes-antiphonal.html