Missale Aboense

Missale Aboense is the first book printed for Finland. It was printed for the Diocese of Turku by Bishop Konrad Bitz and Cathedral Dean Maunu Särkilahti in 1488 in Lübeck, at the Bartholomeus Ghotan Printing House. It is the only incunabula, a book printed before 1501, belonging to Finnish literature.

The Missale Aboense is a liturgical book, also known as a missal, containing the texts and prayers of Mass. The Abo missal was printed on parchment as well as on paper. The printing colours were red and black. Some of the initials and illustrations are handpainted. In the parchment copies, gold was used alongside colour to embellish the manuscripts.

Of the four preserved missals printed on parchment, the missal of the church of Halikko, the only nearly complete copy in the original binding, is in the Royal Library of Copenhagen. Another copy, pieced together from fragments found as filler in the covers of bailiff’s ledgers, is kept in the Royal Library of Stockholm. Two parchment copies exist in Finland, one in Helsinki University Library and the other in here in Jyväskylä.

There are two facsimile editions of the Missale Aboense, one from 1971 and the other from 1988.

Pictorial in the Libraria collection of the Missale Aboense.

Based on the article “500-vuotiaan kirjan pitkä tie Jyväskylään” (One book’s 500-year journey to Jyväskylä” by Pirkko Audejev-Ojanen.

Missale Aboensen sivu