Written by the Lüneburg town clerk Hermann Nitzschewitz (d. 1503), Emperor's chapelain and apostolic pronotary, this text on the miracles of the New Testament may have been created in response to the perceived Turkish threat in Germany. The text consists of 150 prayers regarding the Virgin Mary, reflecting the fervent Marian devotion of the Cistercian order, as well as being a topical pamphlet against the Turks.
The Novum Psalterium, modelled on French Books of Hours, is one of the most richly illustrated German incunables. With the work of two artists' hands evident, the woodcuts exhibit scenes from the Life of Christ and the Virgin Mary, as well as one large illustration depicting the Emperors Frederick III and Maximilian. This representation is understood to be an homage, expressing gratitude for subsidizing the printing costs. Nitschewitz's Psalterium is thus the first series of books sponsored by Maximilian, Frederick's successor.