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John Hinsdale Scheide Collection

The collection consists of 7,935 Western European documents and other manuscript
materials collected by William T. Scheide (1847-1907) and his son John Hinsdale
Scheide (Princeton Class of 1896). More than half of the collection is comprised of
notarial documents (contracts, wills, deeds, etc.) from Fabriano, Vicenza, Bergamo,
Tirano, Caravaggio, and other northern Italian towns in the period 1200-1650. Also
includes a substantial number of medieval documents from England and France;
16th-19th century family papers from France; 14th -19th century papal bulls; a few
documents from the Low Countries; and miscellaneous documents from Germany, Ireland,
Malta, Russia, Spain, and Wales. The collection provides source material for the
localized study of Italian and French social, economic, legal, and institutional
history during the late Middle Ages, Renaissance, and early modern period.More than half of the 7,935 items in the Scheide collection are Italian notarial
documents from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the bulk of them dating from about
1200 to 1650. The documents include wills, dowers, pious donations to churches,
leases, business contracts, and other legal documents. They tend to document
particular towns, including 500 or more documents each for Vicenza and Fabriano;
100-200 each for Bergamo, Tirano, and Caravaggio; and scattered documents for Asti,
Beneventum, Ferrara, Florence, Venice, Verona, and many other northern Italian towns.
Though the inventory gives the names of particular towns where the notaries practiced
their trade, the documents themselves may concern the surrounding contado or other places. The notarial documents include:
(1) the original minutes for legal documents of a contractual nature, such as land
conveyances, prepared by the notaries, filed archivally for future reference by the
notary, and in most cases recorded in notarial protocols or registers; (2) engrossed
personal copies made by notaries for individuals and bearing later endorsements; and
(3) non-contractual documents such as estate inventories and court judgments.Perhaps the most important part of the Scheide collection is a substantial part of
the archives of an Italian monastery. The Benedictine (later Silvestrine) abbey of S.
Vittore delle Chiuse was founded in the 10th century on the right bank of the River
Sentito, in the hills overlooking Castel Petroso (now Pierosara), near the town of
Fabriano in the March of Ancona. Dating from 1007 until the beginning of the 15th
century, the hundreds of S. Vittore documents now in the Scheide collection had been
taken for safekeeping after 1810 by the monk Benedetto Rosei di Fabriano, whose heirs
sold the material to Leo S. Olschki, who in turn sold them to William T. Scheide. The
S. Vittore archives include notarial documents retained by the monastery.French materials account for almost 2,500 items in the Scheide collection, chiefly
the papers of the D'Olive family of Toulouse, whose noble lineage may be traced back
to the mid-15th century. The papers were kept by members of the family for centuries
and organized in the latter half of the 18th century by Joseph-Denis d'Olive (d.
1783), who served as President of the Chambre des Requêtes of the Parlement of
Toulouse. In defense of its landed wealth and seigniorial rights, chiefly in the
villages and manors of Esperce as well as Brugiéres and others, the D'Olive family
was frequently involved in litigation and retained records of at least 26 court
cases.Other French archival materials were acquired from the Slade Collection along with
D'Olive Family Papers, including several boxes of French documents (boxes 156-164)
partially identified in Seymour De Ricci, Census of Medieval
and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (vol. 2, pp.
1822-37) and the 1938 Parke-Bernet auction catalog's description of the Slade
collection (pp. 48-50). Of particular interest in the boxes are four notarial
registers kept between 1382 and 1486 by members of the Borelli family and other
notaries in the small southern French town of Montech, Dèpartment de Tarn-et-Garonne,
northwest of Toulouse. Also of great research value are an account roll (1476) kept
in Castres, Dèpartment de Tarn-et-Garonne, by Pierre Bayard, treasurer and counselor
to Charles VIII (1483-98); a 14-page censier or roll of
quit-rents (1517) for the town of Brugiéres, near Castres; and a 78-page rentier or rent roll (1562-69) for the manor of
Quemper-Guèzennec, a village in the Dèpartment des Cotes-du-Nord, Brittany. Found in
the same boxes as the D'Olive Family Papers is a smaller group of notarial documents
from the village of Pont Farcy pertaining to Burguet family and the area of Avranches
in Normandy, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Scheide Collection also
includes a series of documents (boxes 89-97) that were originally collected around
1887 by a certain Dr. Vaunaire of Gannat, France; these materials pertain to Roches,
Villars, Percenat, Tronget, and other small French towns in the Dèpartment
d'Allier.Finally, John Hinsdale Scheide also included in the collection various small groups
of English documents, many from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872),
as well as French, Italian, Flemish, and other items from the Middle Ages to the 19th