Abbey Library of Saint Gall, Gallen, Switzerland

St. Gallen presents the history of the Latin script from the ancient world up to the Renaissance, thanks to its unique collection of manuscripts. On the basis of ancient writings, a great variety of regional writings developed in the early Middle Ages. A counter-movement took place under Charles the Great († 814), which led to a unification of the form of the letters. From the 9th to the 12th century, in many parts of Europe the Carolingian Minuskel was common.

In the Late Middle Ages this unity fell apart. For exquisite books, elaborate, calligraphic writings were used. In daily life and business life, a high writing time was in the foreground. Therefore, cursive writings with many abbreviations developed. From today’s point of view, readiness was sometimes lost.

To the south of the Alps, the humanists in the 14th and 15th centuries reverted to the Carolingian Minuskel and revived it. In this way, they created the basis for today’s common printings.

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