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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.

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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Metropolitan Museum of Art: Met Publications

Met Publications is the publishing house website of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The site contains listings for many of the publications of the Met Museum dating back to 1911 on topics touching on all aspects of art history from all periods and regions. Included among these are numerous exhibition catalogs, collection catalogs, the Metropolitan Museum JournalThe Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, educational and pedagogical books, and other online publications. Titles that are currently in print by the Met are fully searchable, though one must purchase the books to see the entire text. For books that are out of print, the museum makes the fully text available online and for download for free.

The search function on the Met Publications site allows users to search the various types of publications by name, author, type of text, and date among other qualities. Publications are regularly updated.

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.

Monastic Manuscript project

The Monastic Manuscript Project is a database of descriptions of manuscripts that contain texts relevant for the study of early medieval monasticism, especially monastic rules, ascetic treatises, vitae patrum-texts and texts related to monastic reforms. We provide lists of manuscripts for each of these texts, which are linked to manuscript descriptions. The purpose is to offer a tool for reconstructing not only the manuscript dissemination of early medieval monastic texts but also to give access to the specific contexts in which a text appears.

Munich Digitization Center, Digital Library

The Munich DigitiZation Center (MDZ) is the digital imagining website of the Bavarian State Library and associated institutions. The website includes content in German, English, and Italian. The MDZ is responsible for digitizing and publishing images of the State Library’s rich medieval manuscript and early print book holdings, which total well over 15,000 items. The collections comprise items from across Europe particularly but also items from around the world. The library’s holdings are especially rich in early medieval manuscripts.

The MDZ has both an online catalog for searching in addition to regularly updated online exhibitions. New items are added to the digital collections continuously. The catalog allows for advanced searching by title, date, and author. Each entry in the image database contains a catalog entry as well as the ability to download images in differing sizes and format. Also included are IIIF-compliant images and a Mirador viewer.

Narrative Sources

Narrative Sources aims to offer an exhaustive and critical survey of all the narrative sources originating from the medieval Low Countries. The database is intended to inventory all texts which describe the past in a narrative way: annals, chronicles, letters, diaries, poems, saint’s lives, genealogies etc. Narrative Sources covers present day Belgium and the Netherlands as well as those areas which belonged historically to the Low Countries but are part now of France (French Flanders, French Hainault) or Germany (East Frisia, the northern Rhineland). The texts inventoried in Narrative Sources date from the sixth to the first half of the sixteenth century.

New York Public Library Digital Collections

The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections is the NYPL’s digital image archive. It contains a continuously updated selection of digital exhibitions in addition to a collection of over 4,000 images of manuscripts and many more of early printed books. The NYPL’s digital collections are global in outlook, including manuscripts from across the globe. Its holdings range from the 1200s onward, with strengths in the later Middle Ages and early print as well as Jewish manuscripts and books.

Digital entries include catalog information, multiple options for download though only in JPG format, and a timeline of information about the item where available. Digital Collections entries also link back to the NYPL’s catalog entries. Items are made freely available with citations for each item available to copy and paste.

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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Oxford Cantigas de Santa Maria Database

The Oxford Cantigas de Santa Maria project is a platform containing numerous resources for the study of the 13th-century poems and their musical notation. The 429 poems of the Cantigas are each given an entry and within each entry one can find a synopsis of the poem, description of the miniature, a list of associated miracles, and a bibliography for that poem. Sometimes the poems will have linked recordings of their performance. The project also provides a fully searchable database of the qualities of the Cantigas so that one may search by a number of features, like the miracles, narrative, keywords, or manuscript. Likewise, the website presents an extensive bibliography of work on the poems. The project does not have the rights to reproduce the images of the manuscripts but can provide information on how to access and use them.

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.

People of Medieval Scotland 1093-1371

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

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.

Piccard Watermark Collection

A digitized version of the watermark collection compiled by Gerhard Piccard to aid in the identification of watermarks in paper manuscripts of the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

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Piers Plowman Electronic Archive

Published by the Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts (SEENET), the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive is a collaborative, peer-reviewed, and open-source web platform for the study of the texts and manuscripts of the late Middle English poem, Piers PlowmanPiers Plowman is a poem rich in versions and variants, and the project sets as its goal the publication of digital editions of each of the over 50 manuscript witnesses to the poem. Thus far it has published eight manuscripts in addition to the a reconstructed digital edition of the archetype of the B text of the poem. Many other manuscript witnesses are in the process of being edited as of 2020.

Each manuscript’s edition displays the text and material features of the manuscript along with the images from that manuscript. Users can also compare the text of individual manuscripts to the edited version of the text, making the platform particularly useful for comparing variant readings. Users will also find teaching materials for Piers Plowman along with an extensive bibliography on textual and manuscript studies as they relate to the poem.

Though image copyrights are held by institutions, the edited editions are open for use with citation. The source code and markup for the Archive is also downloadable.

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.

REFRAIN

A searchable database of medieval refrains, or fragments of music or text that circulated between songs of various types during the thirteenth century.

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Registers van de Hollandse grafelijkheid 1299-1345

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.

RIALFrI

RIALFri (Computerized Repository of Ancient Franco-Italian Literature) is a project that aims to bring together the corpus Franco-Italian literature found in the north of Italy and south of France from the 13th to 15th centuries. The project presents texts, images of manuscripts, and lists of manuscripts containing examples of the linguistically mixed style. The project also includes a dictionary of Franco-Italian.

Rijmkroniek van Holland (366-1305)

The “Rhyme Chronicle of Holland” project presents downloadable images of all known fragments and manuscripts of the text. The Chronicle is an important document in the history of 13th-century and 14th-century Holland.

The website is presented in Dutch with English translations available for most pages.

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 *

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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St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai

Offers a description and photos of St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, as well as images of some of its architecture, icons, mosaics, murals, engraving, metalwork, woodcarving, embroidery, and manuscripts, including the partial Codex Sinaiticus. Also includes a bibliography of publications by the Mount Sinai Foundation.

St. Gall Project

Provides a digital reconstruction of the 9th-century libraries of the monasteries of Reichenau and St. Gall, including manuscript images, codicological descriptions bibliography, and virtual exhibitions of selections from the library. Also includes a high-resolution image of the Plan of St. Gall (Codex Sangallensis 1092) a detailed plan of the monastery complex, along with a modern diagram and a number of modern 2D and 3D models.

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