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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.

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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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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Syri.ac

This site aims to be a comprehensive annotated bibliography of open-access resources related to the study of Syriac. The primary goal of Syri.ac is to make research on Syriac literature, history, and culture as painless and direct as possible. The annotated bibliographies can be accessed through the list of authors and themes at the top right of the page (or through a dropdown menu on mobile devices). Each page offers direct links to editions and translations of the texts referenced. Our intention is to collate in one place a world-class scholarly library that can be accessed completely through the web.

Other tools for Syriac research are also available through the menu at the top of the page. The most significant is our database of Syriac manuscripts available in digitized form. The database is searchable and offers direct links to manuscripts, even specific folios of manuscripts, so that students and scholars can quickly consult high-quality images of physical Syriac texts online.

TEAMS (Teaching Association for Medieval Studies)

TEAMS was originally founded as a committee of the Medieval Academy of America to develop new ways to support the teaching activities of its members. It was later re-organized as an independent nonprofit educational corporation whose mission continues to be the support of teaching in medieval studies at the undergraduate, secondary, and elementary school level through the provision of resources and the sharing of techniques.

Its current programs include the publication of TEAMS Teaching Texts in cooperation with Medieval Institute Publications, the maintenance of an online library of Middle English texts, and the establishment of a committee for outreach to secondary schools. It sponsors several sessions of papers at the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University. TEAMS also publishes a peer-reviewed electronic journal, The Once and Future Classroom: Resources for Teaching the Middle Ages in Grades K-12, and sponsors an annual teaching prize to recognize excellence in teaching medieval studies in the K-12 classroom.

TELMA – Traitement electronique des manuscrits et des archives

L’objectif de TELMA est de mettre en ligne à la disposition de la communauté scientifique des corpus de sources primaires et les instruments de recherche nécessaires à leur exploitation. De ce fait, TELMA intègre deux types de corpus : des répertoires de ressources et des éditions critiques de sources manuscrites associées ou non à des images numérisées des documents.

The objective of TELMA is to make available to the scientific community a corpus of primary sources and research tools necessary for their exploitation. As a result, TELMA integrates two types of resources: databases and critical editions of handwritten sources with or without digitized images of documents.

 

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).

European Library

Provides access to the contents of 48 European national libraries as well as a number of research libraries such as Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, including catalog entries and some full-text content. The European Library also provides the basis for the Europeana portal, which provides links to digitized books, including many early printed books.

The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts

The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts is a resource that aggregates catalog entries and images of Hebrew manuscripts from repositories around the world. The project currently has entries for over 400,000 manuscripts of all types and genres from 123 collections; manuscripts in the collections comprise a wide range of medieval dates, from the 9th century to the 16th century. Data and images are pulled from the holding institution’s catalog. Thus, image and data quality varies among institutions. Entries are searchable by a number of qualities, including author, date, type of text, language, and many others. Links to the document’s holding institution are frequently present.

Holding institutions retain the copyright on data and images in the database and users must follow their guidelines for use. The Collection often provides links to holding institutions for copyright information.

Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies

A collection of digital resources for medieval studies organized by category, including Art, Armor, Crusades, Gender, Manuscripts, and many others. The site may be browsed by category or searched, and each link is accompanied by a brief description of its contents.

* National History Day Selected Resource *

The Romaunt of the Rose

The Romaunt of the Rose project provides images and a side-by-side transcription of the Romance of the Rose from the University of Glasgow’s MS Hunter 409. The project also contains images of the library’s William Thynne’s 1532 edition of the Romance. Additionally, the website provides a description of the manuscript and a brief discussion of the text of the poem.

Usuarium

A digital catalog of over 800 manuscripts and printed books containing western liturgical texts from the Middle Ages and the early modern period, initiated, designed, and edited by the Research Group of Liturgical History (ELTE University of Budapest, Hungary).

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Vocabulaire Codicologique

French-language site that provides a glossary of French codicological terms cross-referenced with their equivalents in English, Spanish, Italian, and German, based upon Denis Muzerelle’s print Vocabulaire Codicologique: répertoire méthodique des termes français relatifs au manuscrits (Paris, 1985). The English parts of the site are incomplete, but provide a (French) definition of terms and illustrations where applicable.

Published in 1985, Denis Muzarelle, Vocabulaire codicologique : répertoire méthodique des termes français relatifs aux manuscrits, Paris : Editions CEMI, 1985. (Rubricae, 1.), has proved to be a useful tool for anyone working with medieval manuscripts. This hypertext version reproduces an enhanced version of Muzerelle’s printed text, with the accompanying figures, accompanied by translations of the terms into Italian, Spanish, English, and German, the latter two still in progress. The nomenclature of script is not addressed, and the definitions are in French (although the terms are translated).