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SfarData: The Codicological Data-Base of the Hebrew Palaeography Project

The goal of the project was to locate all the medieval codices written in the Hebrew script, which contained explicit production dates or at least scribe names; to study and document all their visual and measurable material features and scribal practices in situ, i.e. in the libraries in which they were kept; and classify these features and practices in order to expose a historical typology of the hand-produced Hebrew book and provide users of Hebrew manuscripts with a tool for identifying the production region and assessing the period of the studied manuscripts. Indeed, since the initiation of the project, almost all the dated manuscripts that were located have been studied and documented in some two hundred and fifty libraries and private collections.

Christine de Pizan Digital Scriptorium

The Christine de Pizan Digital Scriptorium is an ongoing project to make available digital surrogates of all the manuscripts of Christine de Pizan’s literary work. Currently, the project offers digital surrogates of 56 of the manuscripts of Christine de Pizan’s work, including all the manuscripts held in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Manuscripts are presented in a IIIF viewer.

Copyright to individual manuscripts and their images is retained by the institution that holds the material.

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.

DigiPal

DigiPal is a new resource for the study of medieval handwriting, particularly that produced in England during the years 1000–1100, the time of Æthelred, Cnut and William the Conqueror. It is designed to allow you to see samples of handwriting from the period and to compare them with each other quickly and easily.

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.

Hebrew Fragments in Austria

A joint venture between the Austrian National Library, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Institute for Jewish History in Austria, the Hebrew Fragments in Austria project provides images of Hebrew language fragments in Austrian manuscripts. The website functions in both English and German. There are over 500 images of fragments from over twenty repositories present in the database currently. Many of the fragments in the collection are contained in the bindings of other manuscripts and early printed books. Images are presented in JPG format and include catalog information. The projects also presents a list of the fragments arranged by text and manuscript.

The website for the project also includes a bibliography on the study of fragments generally and the study of fragments in Germanic countries specifically. Likewise, the website also presents a map of institutions in Austria holding fragments.

Italian Paleography

From the website:

The Italian Paleography website presents 102 Italian documents and manuscripts written between 1300 and 1700, with tools for deciphering them and learning about their social, cultural, and institutional settings. The site includes: digitized images of 102 manuscripts and documents; T-Pen, a digital tool to actively transcribe manuscripts and documents;
transcriptions and background essays for each item; a selection of calligraphy books and historical manuscript maps; a handbook of Italian vernacular scripts; additional resources, including a glossary, list of abbreviations and symbols, dictionaries, and teaching materials.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

Wren Digital Library

The Wren Digital Library is the digital archive of the Wren Library at Trinity College, Cambridge. The Wren is home to over 1,000 medieval manuscripts from the 10th century onwards, of which the digital archive has published over 800 in addition to many early printed books and modern manuscripts. The ongoing project of the digital platform is to digitally publish all manuscripts in M.R. James’ 1901-1903 print catalog of the library’s holdings.

As of 2020, the library has no search function, but one can filter manuscripts by title, shelfmark, and date. Each entry includes catalog information in addition to a bibliography. Images are available in IIIF format and can be downloaded free of charge, though high-resolution images can only be obtained by contacting the repository.

York’s Archbishops’ Registers Revealed

From the creators: York’s Archbishops Registers Revealed provides free access to over 20,000 images of Registers produced by the Archbishops of York, 1225-1650, in addition to a growing searchable index of names, subjects, places and organisations. The registers are a valuable, and in many cases, unexploited source for ecclesiastical, political, social, local and family history – covering periods of war, famine, political strife and religious reformation in the Archdiocese of York and the wider Northern Province.

The site contains over 5000 entries cataloged and organized with subject headings, indexes, and searchable contents. The project also offers IIIF capability for its images.