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).
The Historical Atlas of the Low Countries includes GIS datasets that represent various areas of the low countries including Brabant, Holland, Zeeland, Hainaut, Artois and others. The sets are made freely available for download and use under a Creative Commons license.
The Icelandic Saga Map project presents some thirty sagas from medieval Iceland with geotagged locations and images. The project aims to showcase the use landscape and eventually manuscript images alongside the places they represent.
The project presents a geo-tagged map and is free to use.
“This project presents an annotated copy of Matthew Paris’s c. 1250 map of Britain (BL Cotton MS Claudius D VI), made using Omeka’s Neatline extension.”
The annotated map is clickable with annotations that include text, images from medieval manuscripts, and sometimes modern photographs of locations depicted in Paris’s maps.
ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World reconstructs the time cost and financial expense associated with a wide range of different types of travel in antiquity. The model is based on a simplified version of the giant network of cities, roads, rivers and sea lanes that framed movement across the Roman Empire. It broadly reflects conditions around 200 CE but also covers a few sites and roads created in late antiquity.
The model consists of 632 sites, most of them urban settlements but also including important promontories and mountain passes, and covers close to 10 million square kilometers (~4 million square miles) of terrestrial and maritime space. 301 sites serve as sea ports. The baseline road network encompasses 84,631 kilometers (52,587 miles) of road or desert tracks, complemented by 28,272 kilometers (17,567 miles) of navigable rivers and canals.
* National History Day Selected Resource *
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.
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.
Recovering the Earliest English Language in Scotland is a project that aims to uncover Old English place names in southern Scotland. Old English is the predecessor to both Middle English and Scots, and the project relies upon place names to provide evidence of the early Northumbrian dialect of the language. As of 2020, the database includes a list of over 500 place names in southern Scotland derived from Old English. Users can view the list of places alphabetically, by map, or through advanced searching for keywords and other salient qualities. Places can be displays on a map and frequently include a description of the place-name in addition to bibliography where available.
Users can download all project data through its API, and all data is made available under a Creative Commons license. One can also find a glossary of early place terms in addition to links to other projects with similar goals.
Saints in Scottish Place-Names is a research project published by the University of Glasgow that seeks to catalog all the place names in Scotland derived from saints. The majority of the over 13,000 place names cataloged derive from the medieval period and from the many historical languages of Scotland, including Norse, Scots, Latin, and Gaelic. Users are able to search by either place name or saint’s name in addition to a more robust advanced search. Further, users may view a list of places and saints. Individual entries include the place-name, saint, and the source that first lists the place-name. The project also provides a map on which users may see the hagiotoponyms overlaid.
All information on the site is provided free of charge with citation.