Chartulary (pronEng|ˈkaɹʧʊˌlɛɹi) renders two Latin words, for a collection of charters viz. an officer in charge of it.


A Cartularium or Chartularium, also called Pancarta and Codex Diplomaticus, is a medieval manuscript volume or roll ("rotulus") containing transcriptions of original documents relating to the foundation, privileges and legal rights of ecclesiastical establishments, municipal corporations, industrial associations, institutions of learning and private families. The term is also, though less appropriately, applied to collections of original documents bound in one volume or attached to one another so as to form a roll. The allusion of St. Gregory of Tours to "chartarum tomi" in the sixth century is commonly taken to refer to chartularies; the oldest, however, that have come down to us belong to the tenth century. [ [ "Record-keeping in eleventh-century Worcester"] : "The early Worcester archive include texts of over 200 "acta"... in addition, there are transcripts of at least another 57 pre-conquest single-sheet acta now lost."] Those from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries are very numerous. Sometimes the copyist of the chartulary reproduced the original document with literary exactness. Sometimes, however, he took liberties with the text to the extent of modifying the phraseology, modernizing proper names of persons or places, and even changing the substance of the meaning for some such purpose as to extend the scope of the privileges or immunities which the document granted. The value of a chartulary as an historical document depends not only on the extent to which it reproduces the substantial meaning of the original, but if edited, as a sign of the motivation for changes made under a new set of historical circumstances. These questions must be settled by the well-known canons of historical criticism. Generally speaking, a chartulary, attested by the signatures or marks of a number of prominent individuals, ranks as a public document possessing greater value than a private letter or the narrative of an annalist. We have no complete inventory of the chartularies of the various institutions of the Middle Ages, but many chartularies of medieval monasteries and churches have been published, more or less completely. The "Catalogue général des cartulaires des archives départementales" (Paris, 1847) and the "Inventaire des cartulaires" etc. (Paris, 1878-9) are the chief sources of information regarding the chartularies of medieval France. For the principal English (printed) chartularies, see Gross, "Sources and Literature of English History," etc. (London, 1900), 204-7 and 402-67. The important chartulary of the University of Paris was edited by Father Denifle, O.P., and M. Chatelain, "Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis" (Paris, 1889, sqq)


This title was a given to an ancient officer in the Roman Church, who had the care of charters and papers relating to public affairs. The chartulary presided in ecclesiastical judgments, in lieu of the Pope.

In the Greek Church, the chartulary was called chartophylax, but his office was much more considerable; some even distinguish the chartulary from the chartophylax in the Greek Church.


ources and references

* [ Catholic Encyclopedia article]

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  • Chartulary — • A medieval manuscript volume or roll (rotulus) containing transcriptions of original documents relating to the foundation, privileges, and legal rights of ecclesiastical establishments, municipal corporations, industrial associations,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Chartulary — Char tu*la*ry, n. See {Cartulary}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chartulary — [kär′chə ler΄ē] n. pl. chartularies alt. sp. of CARTULARY …   English World dictionary

  • chartulary — noun (plural laries) Etymology: Medieval Latin chartularium Date: 1571 cartulary …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • chartulary — /kahr cheuh ler ee/, n., pl. chartularies. 1. a register of charters, title deeds, etc. 2. an archivist. Also, cartulary. [1565 75; < ML chartularium, equiv. to L chartul(a) CHARTER + arium ARY] * * * …   Universalium

  • Chartulary — Book in which were kept copies of *charters and deeds and other legal documents. Such charters were important as proving entitlement, e.g. that a gift of land had been made. Monasteries frequently kept not only their own charters and deeds but… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • chartulary — char·tu·lary …   English syllables

  • chartulary — char•tu•lar•y or cartulary [[t]ˈkɑr tʃəˌlɛr i[/t]] n. pl. lar•ies a register of charters, title deeds, etc • Etymology: 1565–75; < ML chartulārium …   From formal English to slang

  • chartulary — /ˈtʃatʃələri/ (say chahchuhluhree) noun (plural chartularies) → cartulary …   Australian English dictionary

  • chartulary — I. ˈkärchəˌlerē noun ( es) Etymology: Medieval Latin chartularium case for storing papers, from Latin chartula little paper + arium ary : cartulary II. noun ( …   Useful english dictionary

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