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Gallica (BnF)

Gallica is the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and makes available nearly thousands of manuscripts, printed books, and images that may be searched or browsed online, some of which are available for download as .pdf or .jpg.

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Initiale

A French-language, searchable catalog of manuscript illuminations found in manuscripts in French public libraries, excluding the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The catalog may be searched by corpus, manuscript, decoration, or bibliography, and results include the manuscript citation, brief description, date, title, and images of the illumination.

International Center of Medieval Art

Website of the International Center of Medieval Arts, which promotes the study and understanding of visual arts produced in Europe, the Mediterranean, and Slavic world from c. 300 to c. 1500.  Includes image database (on Flickr), census of dissertations (1982 onwards), the Limestone Sculpture Provenance database, list of grad programs in medieval art history, and membership information on lectures, grants, employment opportunities, and other medieval news.  Access to Gesta (their journal) and current newsletters restricted to members.

* National History Day Selected Resource *

Irish Script on Screen

The object of ISOS is to create digital images of Irish manuscripts, and to make these images – together with relevant commentary – accessible on a WWW site. The purpose of such a site is to provide an electronic resource which will:

  • provide exposure on the internet for a vital part of Ireland’s cultural heritage.
  • place these primary materials at the disposal of scholars and students.
  • contribute to the conservation of these valuable books and documents by creating images of high-resolution detail which, generally speaking, will reduce the need to handle the artefacts themselves.

Mandragore

Les collections de la Bibliothèque nationale de France abritent plusieurs dizaines de milliers de manuscrits dont le décor constitue l’un des plus riches musées de peinture au monde. Par leur grande variété et leur intérêt iconographique, ces images composent aussi une véritable encyclopédie visuelle de leur temps. En accroissement continu, Mandragore compte aujourd’hui plus de 170.000 notices analysant des œuvres conservées au Département des manuscrits et à la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, et dont les plus anciennes remontent à l’Égypte pharaonique et les plus récentes à l’époque contemporaine. Leur indexation repose sur un vocabulaire de plus de 18.000 descripteurs.

The collections of the National Library of France house tens of thousands of manuscripts whose decoration comprises one of the richest painting collections in the world. Through their wide variety and iconographic interest, these images also make up a veritable visual encyclopedia of their time. Growing continuously, Mandragore now has over 170,000 records analyzing works held in the Department of Manuscripts and the Library of Arsenal, the oldest of which date back to Pharaonic Egypt and the most recent from modern times . Their indexing is based on a controlled vocabulary of more than 18,000 descriptors.

Manuscripta Mediaevalia

The result of a project to centralize the digital cataloging of medieval manuscripts held in German libraries, this German-language site offers a searchable database of those manuscripts, some of which are also digitized.

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Medieval Bestiary

This web site deals with any and all aspects of the general topic “animals in the Middle Ages”, though there is an emphasis on the manuscript tradition, particularly of the bestiaries, and mostly in western Europe. The subject is vast, so this a large site, with well over 3000 pages, and perhaps the best way to explore it is to just wander around. The various pages making up the site are extensively linked; any text appearing in this blue color is a link (except for that one!). You can also click the green arrows at the top and bottom of each page; these will take you from one section to the next, or to the next page in a series. If you get lost, click the  button on any page to return to the table of contents. If you are interested in bestiary manuscripts, start wil the section on the manuscript families, which will link you to various other pages of interest. If you want to learn about a particular animal, start with the Beasts pages. If you are looking for something in particular, try the site search. For more help in navigating the site, click the green  on any page.

Informal articles, opinionated reviews, and irreverent comments on the bestiary genre can be found in the bestiary blog, Chimaera.

 

(Please note: this resource has not been updated since 2011, including the bibliography)

Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections

This database contains descriptions of all medieval western manuscripts up to c. 1550 written in Latin script and preserved in public and semi-public collections in the Netherlands. These include the collections of libraries, museums, archives, collections of monastic orders and some private institutions open to researchers. No censorship has been carried out: all literary, historiographical, academic, hagiographical, and (para-)liturgical texts, artes texts, ego-documents etc. written in Latin or one of the Western European vernacular languages qualify for inclusion. However, fragments of manuscripts are only included when possible and useful: the texts must be identifiable or the fragments should have already been catalogued as an object. Archival documents and letters are not recorded, except when already part of another included manuscript.

Medium

A survey of microfilms and other images of medieval manuscripts kept at the Institute de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes. Many of these reproductions are now available online, and accessible via the database. 

MESA Medieval Electronic Scholarly Alliance

A community of  scholars, projects, institutions, and organizations that provides a searchable database of digital resources for medieval studies including texts, manuscript facsimiles, and many others, and also allows scholars to upload and publish their own work.

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Mittelalterliche Handschriften in Österreich / Medieval Manuscripts in Austria

Der Relaunch von manuscripta.at 2014 bietet neue Daten und Funktionalitäten, darunter:

  • einen Viewer für Digitalisate (Handschriften, ungedruckte Verzeichnisse und Materialien, Printpublikationen). Optional können die Digitalisate auch im DFG-Viewer betrachtet werden. Auf dislozierte Digitalisate wird verlinkt.
  • die direkte Verknüpfung der Handschrifteneinträge mit der “Bibliographie zu österreichischen Handschriften” (über den Link “Literatur zur Handschrift” oder “Weitere Literatur zur Handschrift”). Der direkte Zugang zur Bibliographie erfolgt über das Menü links (“Bibliographie”). Der Menüpunkt “Kataloge” erstellt eine gesonderte Liste der Handschriftenkataloge, geordnet nach Bibliotheksorten.
  • verbesserte Suchfunktionen, etwa die Schnellsuche nach einer bestimmten Handschrift über Ort/Bibliothek und Signatur (Teil von Signatur).

manuscripta.at soll nach und nach zum zentralen Nachweis- und Rechercheinstrument für mittelalterliche Handschriften in Österreich ausgebaut werden.


The relaunch of manuscripta.at in 2014 offers new data and functionality, including:

  • a viewer for digital images (manuscripts, unpublished directories and materials, print publications).
  • the direct linking of manuscript entries to the “Bibliography on Austrian Manuscripts” (via the link “Literatur zur Handschrift” or “Weitere Literatur zur Handschrift”). Direct access to the bibliography is via the menu on the left (“Bibliography”). The menu item “Catalogs” creates a separate list of manuscript catalogs, sorted by library type.
  • improved search functions, such as the quick search for a specific manuscripts by location / library and signature (part of signature).

manuscripta.at will continue to be developed into the central evidence- and research-tool for medieval manuscripts in Austria.

Monastic Manuscript project

The Monastic Manuscript Project is a database of descriptions of manuscripts that contain texts relevant for the study of early medieval monasticism, especially monastic rules, ascetic treatises, vitae patrum-texts and texts related to monastic reforms. We provide lists of manuscripts for each of these texts, which are linked to manuscript descriptions. The purpose is to offer a tool for reconstructing not only the manuscript dissemination of early medieval monastic texts but also to give access to the specific contexts in which a text appears.

Munich Digitization Center, Digital Library

The Munich DigitiZation Center (MDZ) is the digital imagining website of the Bavarian State Library and associated institutions. The website includes content in German, English, and Italian. The MDZ is responsible for digitizing and publishing images of the State Library’s rich medieval manuscript and early print book holdings, which total well over 15,000 items. The collections comprise items from across Europe particularly but also items from around the world. The library’s holdings are especially rich in early medieval manuscripts.

The MDZ has both an online catalog for searching in addition to regularly updated online exhibitions. New items are added to the digital collections continuously. The catalog allows for advanced searching by title, date, and author. Each entry in the image database contains a catalog entry as well as the ability to download images in differing sizes and format. Also included are IIIF-compliant images and a Mirador viewer.

New York Public Library Digital Collections

The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections is the NYPL’s digital image archive. It contains a continuously updated selection of digital exhibitions in addition to a collection of over 4,000 images of manuscripts and many more of early printed books. The NYPL’s digital collections are global in outlook, including manuscripts from across the globe. Its holdings range from the 1200s onward, with strengths in the later Middle Ages and early print as well as Jewish manuscripts and books.

Digital entries include catalog information, multiple options for download though only in JPG format, and a timeline of information about the item where available. Digital Collections entries also link back to the NYPL’s catalog entries. Items are made freely available with citations for each item available to copy and paste.

Oxford Cantigas de Santa Maria Database

The Oxford Cantigas de Santa Maria project is a platform containing numerous resources for the study of the 13th-century poems and their musical notation. The 429 poems of the Cantigas are each given an entry and within each entry one can find a synopsis of the poem, description of the miniature, a list of associated miracles, and a bibliography for that poem. Sometimes the poems will have linked recordings of their performance. The project also provides a fully searchable database of the qualities of the Cantigas so that one may search by a number of features, like the miracles, narrative, keywords, or manuscript. Likewise, the website presents an extensive bibliography of work on the poems. The project does not have the rights to reproduce the images of the manuscripts but can provide information on how to access and use them.

Parker Library on the Web

The Parker Library on the Web project is a joint endeavor by the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and Stanford University to publish images of the roughly 600 medieval manuscripts housed in the library. To date, they have digitized and made freely available over 500 of those manuscripts. The Parker Library is one of the richest collections of early English books in the world, having been gifted the collections by Matthew Parker, the 16th-century Archbishop of Canterbury.

Parker Library on the Web has been at the forefront of library digitization projects. It was an early adopted of the IIIF image format. In addition to a wide range of manuscript images, including detailed images of illuminations, each entry has a detailed cataloging information and a bibliography for the item. Additionally, the platform also presents past digital exhibitions in addition to copious information on how to use the site.

Piccard Watermark Collection

A digitized version of the watermark collection compiled by Gerhard Piccard to aid in the identification of watermarks in paper manuscripts of the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

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Roman de la Rose Digital Library

A searchable catalog of digitized manuscripts containing the Roman de la Rose, an allegorical love poem in the form of a dream vision composed in Old French in the 13th century. The current collection of 130 manuscripts (of an estimated 320 total) may be browsed by repository, shelf mark, date, origin, or illustrations, allowing cross-manuscript comparison of illustrations and sections of text.  Much of the data downloadable in .csv format.

* National History Day Selected Resource *

Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts

The SDBM continuously aggregates and updates observations of pre-modern manuscripts drawn from over 13,000 auction and sales catalogs, inventories, catalogs from institutional and private collections, and other sources that document sales and locations of these books from around the world.  It may be searched or browsed by author, title, seller, provenance, date, and others, and the datasets may also be downloaded in .xlsx or .csv format. Members of our user community are invited to log in and help us to build, maintain, and improve this resource.

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St. Gall Project

Provides a digital reconstruction of the 9th-century libraries of the monasteries of Reichenau and St. Gall, including manuscript images, codicological descriptions bibliography, and virtual exhibitions of selections from the library. Also includes a high-resolution image of the Plan of St. Gall (Codex Sangallensis 1092) a detailed plan of the monastery complex, along with a modern diagram and a number of modern 2D and 3D models.

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Syri.ac

This site aims to be a comprehensive annotated bibliography of open-access resources related to the study of Syriac. The primary goal of Syri.ac is to make research on Syriac literature, history, and culture as painless and direct as possible. The annotated bibliographies can be accessed through the list of authors and themes at the top right of the page (or through a dropdown menu on mobile devices). Each page offers direct links to editions and translations of the texts referenced. Our intention is to collate in one place a world-class scholarly library that can be accessed completely through the web.

Other tools for Syriac research are also available through the menu at the top of the page. The most significant is our database of Syriac manuscripts available in digitized form. The database is searchable and offers direct links to manuscripts, even specific folios of manuscripts, so that students and scholars can quickly consult high-quality images of physical Syriac texts online.

TELMA – Traitement electronique des manuscrits et des archives

L’objectif de TELMA est de mettre en ligne à la disposition de la communauté scientifique des corpus de sources primaires et les instruments de recherche nécessaires à leur exploitation. De ce fait, TELMA intègre deux types de corpus : des répertoires de ressources et des éditions critiques de sources manuscrites associées ou non à des images numérisées des documents.

The objective of TELMA is to make available to the scientific community a corpus of primary sources and research tools necessary for their exploitation. As a result, TELMA integrates two types of resources: databases and critical editions of handwritten sources with or without digitized images of documents.

 

The Canterbury Roll – A Digital Edition

The Canterbury Roll is a 15th-century, hand-written genealogy that begins with Noah and traces the rulers of England from the mythical Brutus to King Edward IV. The genealogy is accompanied by an extensive commentary in Latin. The five-metre long manuscript roll was purchased by the University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand in 1918 from a local family of British descent. The key products of the first stage of the Canterbury Roll Project are a new digital transcription and translation, both of which have been mapped to a high quality digital facsimile of the Roll. The ongoing project is a partnership between UC History, the UC Arts Digital Lab, the UC internship programme, the Collaborative Research Centre 933 of Heidelberg University, and Nottingham Trent University (UK).