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Archives

British Library manuscripts

A database of manuscripts digitized by the British Library; see the website for the full range of its archival collection.

CORSAIR Online Collection Catalog (The Morgan Library & Museum)

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.

Durham Priory Library Recreated

From the creators: The purpose of the project is to collect all information relating to the books of Durham Priory, manuscript and printed work inherited, given, bought or created by the monks of the Benedictine priory of Durham, its predecessors and cells.

As of 2020, the project has made available catalog descriptions and IIIF-compliant images of over 150 of the manuscripts associated with Durham Cathedral. Currently items are not searchable but are arranged by shelfmark. The project is regularly updated as has an active blog associated with it.

Fragmentarium: Digital Research Laboratory for Medieval Manuscript Fragments

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.

Manuscripts of Lichfield Cathedral

The Manuscripts of Lichfield Cathedral Project presents digital surrogates and bibliography on two medieval manuscripts held in Lichfield Cathedral: the 9th-century St. Chad’s Gospels and the 15th-century Wycliffite New Testament. The project offers both standard and multispectral imaging of the manuscripts, alongside RTI, or Reflectance Transformation Imaging for selected openings from the books.

Manuscripts of the West Midlands

Manuscripts of the West Midlands is an online catalog of the vernacular manuscript books of the West Midlands from c. 1300 to 1475. Created by a team at the University of Birmingham (UK), the project presents catalog entries of around 150 manuscripts associated with the region. Catalog entries include information on the text contained within a manuscript in addition to the physical features of the manuscript and its shelfmark at the institution of which it is a part. Users may find lists of manuscripts by repository, title, people, and bindings. There is also a keyword search function as well as a means to search by IMEV number.

Middle English Dictionary

Welcome to the electronic Middle English Dictionary. The print MED, completed in 2001, has been described as “the greatest achievement in medieval scholarship in America.” Its 15,000 pages offer a comprehensive analysis of lexicon and usage for the period 1100-1500, based on the analysis of a collection of over three million citation slips, the largest collection of this kind available. This electronic version of the MED preserves all the details of the print MED, but goes far beyond this, by converting its contents into an enormous database, searchable in ways impossible within any print dictionary.

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.

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.