This manuscript sanctorale antiphoner, of unknown provenance and ownership history until its purchase by Boston College in 1998, was probably copied in the mid 1300s, in southern Germany, Austria or Switzerland. One of the few important and easily readable clues that remain within the manuscript itself is a single rubric that is not in Latin, as elsewhere in the manuscript and as would usually be expected, but in German (or perhaps Flemish/Dutch), suggesting that it was copied by a German-speaking scribe for German-speaking readers.
It is a relatively modest volume in its proportions and format, and its several creators took a practical approach in their simple copying and decorative schemes. Though no rubric or other metatextual indication identifies the book conclusively with the Franciscans (or Clarissans), the presence of offices for the founders, Francis (Franciscus vir catholicus, by Julian of Speyer, c.1235, revised 1260) and Clare (Jam sanctae Clarae claritas, anonymous contrafactum of Julian’s Francis office, c.1295, in regular use by c.1340s) and a sequence for Francis (Caeli cives in colono) together indicate that it was probably made by and for members of the order.
An unusual liturgical feature is the inclusion, within the proper, and significantly out of place in the expected calendrical sequence, of the office of Corpus Christi, Sacerdos in aeternum, promulgated in 1264 by Urban IV, but perhaps not in wide use before confirmation by Clement V at the Council of Vienne in 1311-12. The single most interesting musical feature of this otherwise completely monophonic manuscript is the inclusion of a short passage of written 2-voice polyphony at the opening of the sequence Caeli solem imitantes. Also distinctive liturgically and musically are the rarely encountered Magnificat antiphon at first vespers of Clare, O decus et gaudium (a contrafactum of the Francis antiphon O stupor et gaudium) and, in the sequence for Francis, Caeli cives in colono, a previously unreported extra double verse, Jam depulsa carnis mole. In other respects, the contents of this interesting but otherwise rather unassuming manuscript largely concord with earlier (1200s) and contemporary (1300s) Franciscan office books indexed in CANTUS.