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Early Printed Books of the Altomünster Monastery Published before 1803

At the beginning there was the cell of a missionary and hermit: Around AD 750, Alto, who was to become a saint later on, comes from the British Isles to the region between the rivers Amper and Lech, not far from the Roman road from Augsburg to Freising, in order to live and preach there. Around 970, the Guelphs take over the Benedictine monastery that had been built in the meantime then still dedicated to the Saints Peter and Paul. In 1056, the religious house is taken over by Benedictine nuns who relocate from the monastery of Weingarten (near Ravensburg). In 1481, the Count of Sandizell and his wife join the Bridgettine house of Maihingen (near Nördlingen). He uses his influence as ducal administrator: the Benedictine monastery is abolished in 1488 under Pope Innocent VII and transferred to the Order of the Most Holy Savior of St. Bridget of Sweden in 1496/97. Until its dissolution during the secularization in 1803, Altomünster is not only a monastery with a church dedicated to two saints – St. Alto and St. Birgitta – but also a dual monastery. The nuns live in the old convent building, while the monks do in a converted domestic wing. After the secularization, it is re-established, in 1842, as a monastery of the Bridgettine Order. By the time of the Second World War, the convent grows to 59 nuns, but in 2002 only six are left. On January 17, 2017, a decree of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life in Rome was executed, finally dissolving the convent of St. Birgitta in Altomünster and regulating its transition: the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising was entrusted with the Altomünster convent to use it for ecclesiastical purposes. This decree did not only close a chapter in the history of this special sacred place for good, but first of all formalized its continued existence. Measures were initiated to ensure the future of the monastic buildings of Altomünster. In this context, the diocesan library of Munich and Freising began, in close cooperation with the Bavarian State Library, cataloging the preserved holdings of the former Altomünster library (manuscripts and imprints published before 1803) from February 2017 onwards. This was followed by the digitization and online publication of these items. In total, almost 500 volumes were digitized in the course of that fruitful collaboration.