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Footprints: Jewish Books through Time and Place

The Footprints projects is a growing database of records that aim to track the circulation of printed “Jewish books” across time and space. Though the great majority of records come from the early modern period and beyond, there are currently over 200 entries from the invention of the printing press to the end of the 16th century.

The database tracks interactions with printed books through what it calls “footprints,” which is the project’s terminology for users’ interactions with books through marginalia, ownership marks, and numerous other qualities. The project features advanced search functionality that allows a user to search by time, place, and various textual and physical properties of the printed books. There is also visualization capability to show the path of books and holdings in various repositories around the world.

Additionally, an active community of users exists on the site as well as a blog that is updated regularly.

Glasgow Incunabula Project

The Glasgow Incunabula Project seeks to provide a catalog of the over 1000 incunabula in the University of Glasgow Library’s collections. The project provides multiple access points for the early printed materials. On the website, one can find lists of incunabula by authors, printers, dates, annotators, languages, prices, and multiple other qualities.

Most incunabula’s listings contain a detailed catalog entry and sometimes an accompanying image, all housed on Flickr. The project also has a blog that was active until 2017.

Hebrew Fragments in Austria

A joint venture between the Austrian National Library, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Institute for Jewish History in Austria, the Hebrew Fragments in Austria project provides images of Hebrew language fragments in Austrian manuscripts. The website functions in both English and German. There are over 500 images of fragments from over twenty repositories present in the database currently. Many of the fragments in the collection are contained in the bindings of other manuscripts and early printed books. Images are presented in JPG format and include catalog information. The projects also presents a list of the fragments arranged by text and manuscript.

The website for the project also includes a bibliography on the study of fragments generally and the study of fragments in Germanic countries specifically. Likewise, the website also presents a map of institutions in Austria holding fragments.

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.

Wren Digital Library

The Wren Digital Library is the digital archive of the Wren Library at Trinity College, Cambridge. The Wren is home to over 1,000 medieval manuscripts from the 10th century onwards, of which the digital archive has published over 800 in addition to many early printed books and modern manuscripts. The ongoing project of the digital platform is to digitally publish all manuscripts in M.R. James’ 1901-1903 print catalog of the library’s holdings.

As of 2020, the library has no search function, but one can filter manuscripts by title, shelfmark, and date. Each entry includes catalog information in addition to a bibliography. Images are available in IIIF format and can be downloaded free of charge, though high-resolution images can only be obtained by contacting the repository.