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EMCE Talk: The Usuarium Database: Methodology, Dimensions, Synthesis (Dr. Miklós István Földváry)

In the next talk of the EMCE series (Early Music in Central Europe: Local Elements –Transregional Connections –International Research), Dr. Miklós István Földváry will talk about the Usuarium database, possibly the largest current digital collection and database of Latin liturgical sources.The talk will take place on Wednesday March 1st at 5 PM CET via Zoom. The abstract and speaker bio are given below.

To obtain the zoom link for the talk, please register here: https://forms.gle/veb75ttX6eNzX9SM6

A PDF version of the invitation can be downloaded here.



By now, Usuarium is probably the world’s largest digital collection and database of Latin liturgical sources. It evolved from the rather modest need of contextualizing the earliest Hungarian evidence from the 11th century but resulted in a robust system of information from about a millennium of Christian worship in Europe. The two methodological pillars are the focus on uses, i.e. enduring local traditions instead of specific sources or ages and the concept of liturgy as a system of primarily textual items arranged in a grid of assignations to times, functions, and structural frames. The aim is a comprehensive presentation of the liturgical diversity of the Latin West from the earliest sources to the final abolition of local variants in the late 17th century. A real synthesis, however, will not emerge from the mere accumulation of data. It requires an interpretation of how our ancestors perceived their rituals, history, and identities.


Miklós István Földváry (b. 1978) is the leader of the Research Group of Liturgical History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and a member of the Department of Religious Studies at the University Eötvös Loránd, Budapest. Originally trained as a classical philologist, he turned to medieval Latin studies and especially to liturgical sources and practice. He is chiefly interested in the variation of western liturgical usages, and systematically edits the extant service books of medieval Hungary. Himself a liturgical singer, he is one of the leading personalities for the reinvigoration of the Roman Rite and its Esztergom Use.