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British Library manuscripts

A database of manuscripts digitized by the British Library; see the website for the full range of its archival collection.

British Museum Collections Online

Searchable database of tens of thousands of images and records of objects in the British Museum collection, spanning thousands of years and from all across the world.

* National History Day Selected Resource *

CORSAIR Online Collection Catalog (The Morgan Library & Museum)

Named after Pierpont Morgan’s yacht, CORSAIR is a single database providing unified access to over 250,000 records for medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, rare and reference books, literary and historical manuscripts, music scores, ancient seals and tablets, drawings, prints, and other art objects. Records continue to be added for the balance of the collection as well as for new acquisitions.

The depth of detail is unusual for an online catalog. Many records include summaries of the content of individual letters, lengthy notes about provenance, and detailed descriptions of bindings. Specialized indexes enable researchers to find all of the Morgan’s holdings associated with a given name, date, or place. For example, with a single search a scholar interested in Dickens can find records for manuscripts and letters in the author’s hand, early printed editions of his novels, original illustrations, photographs, and personal possessions such as Dickens’ ink pot and cigar case.

CORSAIR also serves as the gateway to one of the largest repositories of medieval images on the Internet, providing access to more than 57,000 digitized images from the Morgan’s collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Users may page through every illustrated leaf within a manuscript, or search for individual images by place or date of creation, artist’s name, illustration type, and subject. The images and descriptions may be accessed directly through CORSAIR, or by visiting Images from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.

Fragmentarium: Digital Research Laboratory for Medieval Manuscript Fragments

Fragmentarium’s primary objective is to develop a digital library specialized for medieval manuscript fragment research. Although based on the many years of experience of e-codices — Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland, the Fragmentarium Digital Library has an international orientation. First and foremost it is conceived as a social platform for libraries, scholars and students to do scholarly work on fragments. It conforms to the latest standards set by digital libraries and will set new standards, especially in the area of interoperability.

The web application contains a series of tools:

  • A cataloging tool that enables libraries, collectors, researchers and students to gather and describe fragments via a CMS.
  • A tool for curated and social tags, facets and keywords, allowing efficient research through comparison and cross-checking.
  • A tool to link and assemble fragments offers the possibility to arrange cuttings, fragments of leaves, and individual leaves in any order.

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.

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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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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