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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.

Franciscan Women: History and Culture

Franciscan Women: History and Culture is a project of the Franciscan Institute and Bonaventure University to gather information on women’s Franciscan orders across the globe from the 13th century to the 18th century. The website provides a free database where users can find an extensive searchable bibliography on Franciscan women. There is also an encyclopedia of Franciscan women in addition to a list of convents across the globe with years of operation and references to secondary sources that treat the person or location. As of 2020, there are hundreds of entries available. Individual entries vary in length and contents based and can be anywhere from one sentence to several paragraphs long.

The project also has a list of helpful links for the study of women’s orders.

Gallica (BnF)

Gallica is the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and makes available nearly thousands of manuscripts, printed books, and images that may be searched or browsed online, some of which are available for download as .pdf or .jpg.

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Gregorian Archive

The Gregorian Archive is primarily a collection of recorded solo performances of the nearly six hundred Gregorian melodies provided in the earliest manuscript sources for the chanted Propers of the Roman Mass.

Guto’r Glyn

Recent edition and discussion of the work of Guto’r Glyn, with plenty of material including detailed textual notes.

Guto’r Glyn Website / Gwefan Guto’r Glyn

This is a freely available online bilingual (Welsh and English) standard critical edition of the poetry of Guto’r Glyn (c.1435-c.1490). Guto’r Glyn is regarded as one of the most accomplished poets of late medieval Wales. As well as providing the user with translations of the poetry and paraphrases into modern Welsh, there are copious notes on the poems, the patrons, their homes, on the historical background and any notable linguistic features. Each poem is also accompanied by images from the most important manuscript witnesses (provided by the National Library of Wales), as well as transcriptions.

 

Initiale

A French-language, searchable catalog of manuscript illuminations found in manuscripts in French public libraries, excluding the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The catalog may be searched by corpus, manuscript, decoration, or bibliography, and results include the manuscript citation, brief description, date, title, and images of the illumination.

Lexis of Cloth and Clothing Project

Cloth and clothing have been integral to life for every person since civilization began.

In the Middle Ages dress was an identifier of occupation, status, gender and ethnicity; textiles ranged through opulent, symbolic, utilitarian and recycled. Cloth production and international trade constituted a major sector of the economy of medieval Britain.

Evidence for medieval textiles and clothing is sought in diverse academic disciplines: archaeology, archaeological textiles, art history, economic history, literature, languages.

The vocabulary of the various languages spoken and written in the British Isles is documented in different specialist dictionaries, yet geographical proximity and interaction through labour and trade would argue that this evidence should be categorised and analysed together.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council made an award of £765,576 within the Research Grants (Standard) Scheme to fund a 5-year Project to undertake a trans-disciplinary study with the purpose of  producing an analytical corpus of medieval dress and textiles terminology of the British Isles in the form of a searchable database, innovatively illustrated.

At its centre was the assembly and examination of textiles/clothing lexis in the early languages of Britain (Old and Middle English; Welsh, Old Irish and minor Celtic languages; Anglo-Norman/French, Medieval Latin, Anglo-Norse), investigating the genesis and subsequent development of the vocabulary.

The terms and their citations from both documentary and literary texts have been analysed in awareness of surviving textiles/dress accessories and graphic images in medieval art.


From the reviewer:

This website represents an ambitious project – “lexis” being the total stock of words in a language – in this case we are looking at words specific to the British Isles. The sections that focus on words are the best – the Dictionaries tab and the Search the Database are useful and provide data. The Gallery tab provides detailed photographs. The Research tab leads to interesting books – they are mostly dated from 2006 -2012, however.

Maldwyn

The Index to Welsh Poetry in Manuscript

Mandragore

Les collections de la Bibliothèque nationale de France abritent plusieurs dizaines de milliers de manuscrits dont le décor constitue l’un des plus riches musées de peinture au monde. Par leur grande variété et leur intérêt iconographique, ces images composent aussi une véritable encyclopédie visuelle de leur temps. En accroissement continu, Mandragore compte aujourd’hui plus de 170.000 notices analysant des œuvres conservées au Département des manuscrits et à la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, et dont les plus anciennes remontent à l’Égypte pharaonique et les plus récentes à l’époque contemporaine. Leur indexation repose sur un vocabulaire de plus de 18.000 descripteurs.

The collections of the National Library of France house tens of thousands of manuscripts whose decoration comprises one of the richest painting collections in the world. Through their wide variety and iconographic interest, these images also make up a veritable visual encyclopedia of their time. Growing continuously, Mandragore now has over 170,000 records analyzing works held in the Department of Manuscripts and the Library of Arsenal, the oldest of which date back to Pharaonic Egypt and the most recent from modern times . Their indexing is based on a controlled vocabulary of more than 18,000 descriptors.

Manuscripta Mediaevalia

The result of a project to centralize the digital cataloging of medieval manuscripts held in German libraries, this German-language site offers a searchable database of those manuscripts, some of which are also digitized.

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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.

Mapping Metaphor: Metaphor Map of Old English

Mapping Metaphor is a project hosted by the University of Glasgow and represents the portion of the Mapping Metaphor project devoted particularly to the study of Old English. Deriving its data from the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, the project aims to provide useful data and data visualizations that map words and their usage as metaphors in Old English. The project presents over 70,000 metaphorical words in several visual formats. Users can also see which metaphorical words pair most frequently with a variety of statistical analyses.

The project has several tutorials and glossaries that teach a user how to use the database. Though the data itself is not available for download, the project includes several modes of searching its findings.

Medieval Bestiary

This web site deals with any and all aspects of the general topic “animals in the Middle Ages”, though there is an emphasis on the manuscript tradition, particularly of the bestiaries, and mostly in western Europe. The subject is vast, so this a large site, with well over 3000 pages, and perhaps the best way to explore it is to just wander around. The various pages making up the site are extensively linked; any text appearing in this blue color is a link (except for that one!). You can also click the green arrows at the top and bottom of each page; these will take you from one section to the next, or to the next page in a series. If you get lost, click the  button on any page to return to the table of contents. If you are interested in bestiary manuscripts, start wil the section on the manuscript families, which will link you to various other pages of interest. If you want to learn about a particular animal, start with the Beasts pages. If you are looking for something in particular, try the site search. For more help in navigating the site, click the green  on any page.

Informal articles, opinionated reviews, and irreverent comments on the bestiary genre can be found in the bestiary blog, Chimaera.

 

(Please note: this resource has not been updated since 2011, including the bibliography)

Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database: A Visual Resource of Historical Sites c. 1100 – c. 1450

This database and website is a virtual museum of images produced between the late 15th through mid-20th century that document the architectural monuments of South Italy (the medieval Kingdom of Sicily) and their decoration (pulpits, mosaics, pavements) prior to destruction and restoration. The images, often produced during the Grand Tour or by artists and architects of a study journey to South Italy, are vital sources of information about the siting and character of the highly significant architecture sponsored by the Norman, Hohenstaufen, and Angevin rulers prior to the devastation of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and particularly the Allied bombardment of World War II.

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.

Medieval Soldier Database

The Soldier in Medieval England originated from a major project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This Research Grant was worth just under £500,000 and was awarded jointly to Professor Adrian Bell of the Henley Business School and Professor Anne Curry of the University of Southampton to challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453. The original project ran from 1/10/2006 – 30/9/2009 and the team was made up of Adrian, Anne and Dr Andy King, Dr David Simpkin and Dr Adam Chapman (who completed his PhD during the course of the activity).

Since the end of the official project we have continuously developed this sustainable website and its searchable database. We have welcomed our many interactions with colleagues, academics and ‘citizen’ historians and now host a number of soldier profiles resulting from this use of our datasets.

In the Summer of 2016, working with Dr Aleksandr Lobanov we refreshed the website and database following feedback from users. We look forward to continuing our conversations with all those who value this resource as we do.

Our database contains the names of soldiers serving the English crown between 1369 and 1453. Most were fighting the French. In this second phase of the Hundred Years War major invasions of France were launched, including that of 1415 which culminated in Henry V’s victory at Agincourt 1415. We have also included soldiers serving in other theatres (Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Spain, Calais etc), and in all types of service (expeditions on land and sea, garrisons, escorts, standing forces).

Why do we know so many names? The simple explanation is that soldiers received pay and this had to be audited. The financial officials of the crown were keen to check the soldiers were present and correct. The main way of doing this was by checking off their names at a muster, at the beginning of a campaign or during it, or every few months for troops in garrison. Thousands of muster rolls survive in archive collections in England, France and beyond. We also have the evidence of letters of protection which soldiers bought from the Chancery to prevent legal actions whilst they were absent from home.

 

 

Medieval Welsh Law

The project has two aims. Firstly, to present a guide to Cyfraith Hywel, medieval Welsh law, by explaining what Welsh law was, how the law worked, and suggesting further reading by listing subject-specific academic publications for several fields within this broad topic.

The second aim is to look at the law manuscripts, the starting point for working on Cyfraith Hywel. A short description of each manuscript is presented, along with a detailed list of contents for the individual manuscripts. It will be possible for anyone who is keen to learn more about the laws to turn to these tables to see exactly what is in the manuscripts, and also to see where else those sections may occur.

It is possible to use the explanatory sections together with the detailed work on the manuscripts to offer a fuller picture of what the texts of Cyfraith Hywel contain.

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. 

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.

Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH)

A database of the volumes of the Monumenta Germaniae Historia (MGH), a collection of meticulously edited primary sources for the study of the Middle Ages with an emphasis on the German lands. The database may be searched or browsed by the department, and the volumes (published 1826-2010) may be read online or downloaded as .pdfs.

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.