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.
DigiVatLib is a digital library service. It provides free access to the Vatican Library’s digitized collections: manuscripts, incunabula, archival materials and inventories as well as graphic materials, coins and medals, printed materials (special projects).
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.