In the Van Hulthem-manuscript (Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, hs. 15.589-623) more than 200 medieval Dutch texts have survived, making this manuscript an important monument of Middle Dutch literature. One remarkable feature of the Van Hulthem-manuscript is that most of the texts conclude by stating the total number of lines. In 1968 it was suggested that the Van Hulthem-manuscript probably functioned as an exemplar in a scriptorium, from which scribes could make their copies. This hypothesis is called the 'scriptorium-hypothesis'. A few years later this scriptorium hypothesis was also applied to another important manuscript of Middle Dutch literature, the so-called Comburg manuscript (Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. poet. et phil. 2°22). Both manuscripts show similarities, but they also have numerous differences. In this article a critical assessment of the scriptorium hypothesis is presented.
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