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.
DigiVatLib is a digital library service. It provides free access to the Vatican Library’s digitized collections: manuscripts, incunabula, archival materials and inventories as well as graphic materials, coins and medals, printed materials (special projects).
The Digital Charterbank of the Netherlands is a portal for searching all charters held in Dutch archives. Though the repository does not include images, it does offer links to the holding institution and descriptions of the materials. The website is presented in Dutch only. When available entries about charters are linked to images. You can navigate also from each entry to the finding aid of holding institutions.
A database of the volumes of the Monumenta Germaniae Historia (MGH), a collection of meticulously edited primary sources for the study of the Middle Ages with an emphasis on the German lands. The database may be searched or browsed by the department, and the volumes (published 1826-2010) may be read online or downloaded as .pdfs.
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.
Read More →
PhiloBiblon is a free internet-based bio-bibliographical database of texts written in the various Romance vernaculars of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. It includes the primary sources of those texts, both manuscript and printed, the individuals involved with the production and transmission of those sources and texts, and the libraries holding them, along with relevant secondary references and authority files for persons, places, and institutions.
Notes from reviewer:
PhiloBiblon combines a search of four online bibliographies of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages. As noted on the site, “There has been little concerted attempt to coordinate data among the four teams. Discrepancies will be found, for example, in the titles of texts originally written in Latin and in the names of individuals. In the case of translations from one Iberian language into another, however, the team describing the translated text tends to defer to the expertise of the team dealing with the original. There has been no systematic attempt to copy all of the information from the authority files of one bibliography into those of another.” This may make the resource confusing for inexperienced users.
The “Registers of the Counts of Holland, 1299-1345” contains over 3500 digitized charters from Holland in this period. The site is fully keyword searchable and includes a list of documents one can view based on time and place. The website is in Dutch with English translation for some pages.
This project offers online diplomatic transcriptions of the texts of charters as recorded in a number of registers of the counts of Holland, now hold at the Dutch national archives, the Nationaal Archief, The Hague. There are also archival descriptions of these registers, and itineraries of the counts between 1395 and 1400 as reconstructed from these registers are presented, too. These registers can rightly been viewed as cartularies.
The Community of the Realm in Scotland 1249-1424 is an ongoing project hosted by King’s College, London that seeks to provide digital editions of important Scottish documents from the middle and later medieval period. The creators of the project have begun with the Declaration of Arbroath, a seminal document in the foundation of a community of the realm of Scotland, and Regiam Majestatem, the foundational legal document for the realm. Rather than privileging stemmatic editing and its search for an archetypal version of a text, the Community of the Realm’s edition of the Declaration allows a user to compare versions of the document as it appears in different manuscript witnesses. When in comparison mode, a user can view others’ annotations or make their own. Likewise, users can view the document in Latin or in an English translation for comparison.
The project does not limit itself to just its viewer. The creators envision the platform as providing a space for discussion of Scotland in the high Middle Ages and beyond. The site provides a biweekly podcast, an active blog, multimedia videos on the history of Scotland, and the XML data they have used to create the editions. The site is free to use for non-commercial purposes.