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Lexis of Cloth and Clothing Project

Cloth and clothing have been integral to life for every person since civilization began.

In the Middle Ages dress was an identifier of occupation, status, gender and ethnicity; textiles ranged through opulent, symbolic, utilitarian and recycled. Cloth production and international trade constituted a major sector of the economy of medieval Britain.

Evidence for medieval textiles and clothing is sought in diverse academic disciplines: archaeology, archaeological textiles, art history, economic history, literature, languages.

The vocabulary of the various languages spoken and written in the British Isles is documented in different specialist dictionaries, yet geographical proximity and interaction through labour and trade would argue that this evidence should be categorised and analysed together.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council made an award of £765,576 within the Research Grants (Standard) Scheme to fund a 5-year Project to undertake a trans-disciplinary study with the purpose of  producing an analytical corpus of medieval dress and textiles terminology of the British Isles in the form of a searchable database, innovatively illustrated.

At its centre was the assembly and examination of textiles/clothing lexis in the early languages of Britain (Old and Middle English; Welsh, Old Irish and minor Celtic languages; Anglo-Norman/French, Medieval Latin, Anglo-Norse), investigating the genesis and subsequent development of the vocabulary.

The terms and their citations from both documentary and literary texts have been analysed in awareness of surviving textiles/dress accessories and graphic images in medieval art.


From the reviewer:

This website represents an ambitious project – “lexis” being the total stock of words in a language – in this case we are looking at words specific to the British Isles. The sections that focus on words are the best – the Dictionaries tab and the Search the Database are useful and provide data. The Gallery tab provides detailed photographs. The Research tab leads to interesting books – they are mostly dated from 2006 -2012, however.

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.

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.

Medieval Soldier Database

The Soldier in Medieval England originated from a major project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This Research Grant was worth just under £500,000 and was awarded jointly to Professor Adrian Bell of the Henley Business School and Professor Anne Curry of the University of Southampton to challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453. The original project ran from 1/10/2006 – 30/9/2009 and the team was made up of Adrian, Anne and Dr Andy King, Dr David Simpkin and Dr Adam Chapman (who completed his PhD during the course of the activity).

Since the end of the official project we have continuously developed this sustainable website and its searchable database. We have welcomed our many interactions with colleagues, academics and ‘citizen’ historians and now host a number of soldier profiles resulting from this use of our datasets.

In the Summer of 2016, working with Dr Aleksandr Lobanov we refreshed the website and database following feedback from users. We look forward to continuing our conversations with all those who value this resource as we do.

Our database contains the names of soldiers serving the English crown between 1369 and 1453. Most were fighting the French. In this second phase of the Hundred Years War major invasions of France were launched, including that of 1415 which culminated in Henry V’s victory at Agincourt 1415. We have also included soldiers serving in other theatres (Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Spain, Calais etc), and in all types of service (expeditions on land and sea, garrisons, escorts, standing forces).

Why do we know so many names? The simple explanation is that soldiers received pay and this had to be audited. The financial officials of the crown were keen to check the soldiers were present and correct. The main way of doing this was by checking off their names at a muster, at the beginning of a campaign or during it, or every few months for troops in garrison. Thousands of muster rolls survive in archive collections in England, France and beyond. We also have the evidence of letters of protection which soldiers bought from the Chancery to prevent legal actions whilst they were absent from home.

 

 

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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Middle English Dictionary

Welcome to the electronic Middle English Dictionary. The print MED, completed in 2001, has been described as “the greatest achievement in medieval scholarship in America.” Its 15,000 pages offer a comprehensive analysis of lexicon and usage for the period 1100-1500, based on the analysis of a collection of over three million citation slips, the largest collection of this kind available. This electronic version of the MED preserves all the details of the print MED, but goes far beyond this, by converting its contents into an enormous database, searchable in ways impossible within any print dictionary.

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.

Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

Searchable annotated bibliography of over 5000 modern print and online editions of medieval primary sources, intended for a broad audience including high school and college level instructors as well as more advanced scholars or enthusiasts. 

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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.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg, first begun in the 1970s, aims to provide free access to reading materials via the internet. The project currently includes over 50,000 open-access works, covering multiple subjects and representative of many time periods. Some of the works will be of interest to medievalists; editions of the Divine Comedy can be found in Italian on the site, for example, and other works of potential interest, both primary and secondary, are certainly to be found within the large collection. However, both the search and browse functions are outdated given current search engines. Even given the large number of volumes included, medieval works are more sparse than one might desire for inclusion in the MDR.

Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (PASE)

PASE is a web-accessible relational database of recorded inhabitants of Anglo-Saxon England from the late sixth to the late 11th century, drawn from sources like the Domesday Book, saints’ lives, inscriptions, chronicles, and other evidence.

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RELMIN : Le statut légal des minorités religieuses dans l’espace euro-méditerranéen (Vème –XVème siècles)

RELMIN recueille, étudie et publie des textes juridiques définissant le statut des minorités religieuses dans l’Europe médiévale. Riche et varié, le corpus couvre dix siècles et s’étend sur une large zone géographique ; écrits en latin, arabe, grec, hébreu et araméen (ainsi qu’en espagnol, portugais, et en d’autres langues vernaculaires européennes), ces textes sont actuellement dispersés dans les bibliothèques et les dépôts d’archives de toute l’Europe. Ils sont maintenant recueillis dans la base de données RELMIN dans leur langue originale et accompagnés de traductions, ainsi que de commentaires. Ces textes sont ainsi mis à disposition de la communauté scientifique, des étudiants et des citoyens partout dans le monde, librement et de manière pérenne.

RELMIN collects, studies and publishes legal texts defining the status of religious minorities in medieval Europe. Rich and varied, the corpus covers ten centuries and extends over a wide geographical area; Written in Latin, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic (as well as Spanish, Portuguese, and other European vernacular languages), these texts are currently scattered in libraries and archives throughout Europe. They are now collected in the RELMIN database in their original language and accompanied by translations and comments. These texts are thus made available to the scientific community, students and citizens around the world, freely and permanently.

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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Middle English Text Series (METS)

The TEAMS Middle English Texts are published for TEAMS (The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages) in association with the University of Rochester by Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. The General Editor of the series is Russell Peck of the University of Rochester. The texts are made available here by permission of the Executive Committee of TEAMS and The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University.

The goal of the TEAMS Middle English text series is to make available to teachers and students texts which occupy an important place in the literary and cultural canon but which have not been readily available in student editions.

The focus is upon literature adjacent to that normally in print, which teachers need in compiling the syllabi they wish to teach. The editions maintain the linguistic integrity of the original works but within the parameters of modern reading conventions.

We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for its generous support in creating and maintaining this site.

* National History Day Selected Resource *

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.