The basse danse manuscript of Margaret of Austria in the KBR museum


B-Br-9085 edge-closed © Alamire Digital Lab / KBR

1 Dec. 2022

In 2021, the Alamire Foundation, the Royal Library of Belgium, and AMUZ (Flanders Festival Antwerp) joined forces to launch a research project on Margaret of Austria’s basse danse manuscript.

The famous dance manuscript is one of the flagships of the KBR’s collections and is considered a highlight of Habsburg-Burgundian culture for both its content and its presentation. On the occasion of this VGP Foundation funded project, last November the Alamire Foundation presented a brand new documentary offering a fascinating glimpse into the research on the dance, music, and codicology of this manuscript.

This documentary is also being shown in the KBR museum’s new exhibition, which has been on display in Brussels since 22 November. The production will be exhibited alongside a new selection of manuscripts and prints from the time of the Burgundian dukes. Because of its fragility, the dance book rarely leaves the vaults of the manuscript department. Exceptionally, and for the first time in decades, the original basse danse manuscript will be shown to the public; this will take place on the weekend of 3 and 4 December. In order to minimize the wear and tear on the manuscript later on, the Alamire Foundation is creating a facsimile based on the high-quality images made by the Alamire Digital Lab. This facsimile will replace the original dance-book in the museum. In addition, the images have also been added to the Integrated Database for Early Music allowing the manuscript to be consulted in greater detail online.

More information about the exhibition can be found on the KBR museum’s website. The documentary on the basse danse manuscript is also available on