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.
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.
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.
People of Medieval Scotland 1093-1371 is a research project administered by King’s College London, University of Glasgow, and University of Edinburgh. The project has created an online database of all Scottish people mentioned in the over 8600 extant documents from the period 1093CE to 1371CE, though names and documents extend into the early 15th century. The database allows a user to search by keywords, people, places, sources, or “factoids,” which are legal events committed to documents. Each entry provides a list of associated people, the type of document, dates, and other documentary evidence as well as the holding institution for the document. When available, the project includes images of the documents in an on-screen viewer.
The project also presents an interactive network map that allows a user to visualize social connections in medieval Scotland. Additionally, the project presents a map of Scotland that a user may lay over with places and events as derived from the documentary evidence.
The database and its materials are free to use. The project is ongoing with the period under consideration extended in recent updates.
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.