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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.

Patrologia Latina

A digitized version of volumes 1-217 of Migne’s Patrologia Latina, a collection of texts in Latin by church fathers, theologians, popes, councils, and many others from late antiquity through the high Middle Ages, indexed by volume. The texts, which are divided by author within each volume, may be read online or downloaded in .pdf format.

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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 However, both the search and browse functions are outdated given current search engines.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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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 *

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).

Treasures of Heaven

Based on the Treasures of Heaven exhibit (2011) at the Cleveland Museum of Art, this website offers a multimedia exploration of medieval art, architecture, and the cult of saints including high resolution images, explanatory essays, video, and links to related primary and secondary sources. Additional support by the British Museum and the Walters Art Museum.

* 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.