Some Electronic Resources
1. Technical Support / Online Training in Palaeography
- Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources: http://clt.brepolis.net/dmlbs/Default.aspx. Published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press between 1975 and 2013, this essential dictionary is now available online at Brepols Online Databases (2015).
- Éditions en ligne de l’École des chartes: http://elec.enc.sorbonne.fr/.
Hosts many useful sites and resources, including an online text of the Le Glossarium infimae et mediae latinitatis de Du Cange,
ed. L. Favre (1883–7), the comprehensive dictionary of medieval
Latin which remains a crucial reference text even though the first edition
was published in 1678.
- Lewis and Short Online: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0059. The vast Perseus database, hosted at Tufts University, includes an online version of C. T. Lewis and C. Short (eds), A Latin Dictionary (Oxford, 1879).
- Lexicon Abbreviaturarum: http://www.ub.uni-koeln.de/cdm/ref/collection/mono20/id/8533.
An online reproduction of the 1928 German edition of Capelli’s dictionary
- Medieval Research Centre at the University of Leicester: http://paleo.anglo-norman.org/medfram.html. Includes training in both early-modern and medieval palaeography.
- The National Archives: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/.
Learning Guides at
National Archives includes a number of useful tools for our purposes, including Latin
Palaeography, an online tutorial intended to help
students to learn how to read the handwriting found in documents written in
Latin between 1086 and 1500, and two guides to kind of Latin used in documents
between 1086 and 1733, one for Beginners and
the other for the More Advanced. It is oriented, however, towards the needs of readers of diploma scripts rather than towards those of bookhands.
- Orbis Latinus Online: http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/Graesse/contents.html. The essential dictionary of Latin place-names.
2. Search Engines and Overarching Databases
- British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts: http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/. Also has a useful glossary of technical terms.
- The Digital Scriptorium: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/digitalscriptorium/. Describes itself as ’an image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts
that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international
tool for teaching and scholarly research.’ Using keywords in the search
engine often turns up useful and extensive results, but the site offers ’samples’ of
pages from its MSS, rather than full facsimiles.
- Manuscripta Medievalia, Digitalisierte Handschriften: http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.de/.
A portal with links to collections of digitised manuscripts in
various German libraries.
- Manuscriptorium: http://www.manuscriptorium.com/. Describes itself as ‘a virtual research environment providing access to all existing digital documents in the sphere of historic book resources (manuscripts, incunabula, early printed books, maps, charters and other types of documents).... The service provides seamless access to more than 5 million digital images.’
- Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections: http://www.mmdc.nl/static/site/. Provides 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.
- Nuova Biblioteca Manoscritta: http://www.nuovabibliotecamanoscritta.it/. An online catalogue of medieval manuscripts held in the libraries of the Veneto with links to digitised examples.
- The Production and Use of English Manuscripts, 1060 to 1220: http://www.le.ac.uk/ee/em1060to1220/index.html. An e-book that aims to ‘identify, analyse and evaluate all manuscripts containing English written in England between 1060 and 1220; to produce an analytical corpus of material from late Anglo-Saxon England, through the Norman Conquest and into the high Middle Ages; to investigate key questions including the status of written English relative to French and Latin; and to raise awareness of agenda informing the production of so many texts in English during this important period’.
3. Some of the Many Websites that Provide Facsimiles of Medieval Manuscripts
a) Collections of Manuscripts
- Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: http://www.digitale-sammlungen.de/. The Bavarian State Library has one of the largest collections of MSS and printed books in Germany, many of which have been digitised for its online collection. Note esp. the pages devoted to medieval and modern manuscripts and Latin manuscripts.
- Belgica: http://belgica.kbr.be/fr/pres/pres_fr.html. The digital library of the Bibliothèque royale de Belgique.
- Biblioteca Ambrosiana: http://www.ambrosiana.eu/cms/english.html.
Various items from the Bibliotheca Ambrosiana in Milan.
- Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana: https://www.vatlib.it/home.php. The Vatican Library is slowly what is perhaps the greatest manuscript collections on the planet. For the manuscripts that can be accessed online, explore the Vatican Digital Library. Note especially the Pal.lat. and Reg.lat. collections.
- BnF archives et manuscrits: http://archivesetmanuscrits.bnf.fr/.
Though far from complete, the new electronic catalogue at the Bibliothèque
nationale de France is powered by
an excellent search engine. The library's
website also houses
some useful sub-sites which have been built to support exhibitions of illuminated
manuscripts, including Bestiaire
la Méditerranée au XIIe
siècle, La légende du roi Arthur, Les mappemondes: Une image médiévale du monde, and, above all, Trésors
- British Library's Collection of Digitised Manuscripts: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/. An important new collection.
- Cambridge Digital Library: http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk.
- Codices Electronici Ecclesiae Coloniensis (CEEC): http://www.ceec.uni-koeln.de/.
Provides access to 400 or so manuscripts in the Episcopal and Cathedral Library of
- Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG): http://www.cesg.unifr.ch/en/.
Provides access to 144 MSS (so far) in the Library of the monastery of
St Gall. For the Annals of St Gall, see Cod. Sang. 915. Part of the vast e-codices website.
- Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music: http://www.diamm.ac.uk/.
- E-Codices: http://www.e-codices.ch/en/. A uniquely generous state project, e-codices provides ‘free access to all medieval and a selection of modern manuscripts of Switzerland by means of a virtual library’.
- Early Manuscripts at Oxford University: http://image.ox.ac.uk/. Sometimes slow because the resolution of the images is very
high, but offering tremendous detail and including MSS of a number of important
manuscripts, such Oxford, Corpus Christi College, MS 157, the holograph of
John of Worcester’s Chronica chronicarum.
- Europeana Regia: http://www.europeanaregia.eu/en. A project that aims to digitise 874 rare and precious manuscripts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Bavarian State Library, the library of the University of Valencia, the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, and in the Bibliothèque royale de Belgique.
- The Gascon Rolls Project (1317–1468): http://www.gasconrolls.org/.
- Harvard University's Houghton Library: http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/early_manuscripts/. Houghton’s Latin MSS date chiefly from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but there are some remarkable items in its ever expanding collection of digitized books, e.g. a 12th-century copy of the poems of Hildebert of Lavardin (MS lat 300).
- Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel: http://www.hab.de/en/home/library/wolfenbuettel-digital-library.html.
- Irish Script on Screen: http://www.isos.dias.ie/.
A library of high-quality digitized images of Irish manuscripts, based at the
Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies but from all the major Irish collections.
- Det Kongelige Bibliotek (Copenhagen): http://www.kb.dk/en/nb/materialer/haandskrifter/HA/e-mss/.
The most useful items here appear under Codices Latini Haunienses and Fragmenta Latina Hauniensia.
- De Koninklijke Bibliotheek (The Hague): http://www.kb.nl/manuscripts/.
Images of illuminated manuscripts in the National Library of the
- Leiden University—Digital Special Collections: https://socrates.leidenuniv.nl/. An important collection that includes many remarkable Carolingian and high medieval manuscripts, such as Codex Vossianus Latinus Q.79, a ninth-century copy of the Latin translation by Claudius Germanicus of Aratus’s poem Phainomena. The original text—as opposed to the alternative translations which have been inserted in the margins and on blank leaves—was written in a quasi-classical script, and lavishly illustrated with images of the constellations.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art: http://www.metmuseum.org. Among its online exhibitions are some useful sites offering images from illuminated manuscripts, including Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages.
- Monumenta Germaniae Historica Digitale Bibliothek: http://www.mgh.de/bibliothek/digitale-bibliothek/. Provides access to many useful resources, including an online reproduction of the 1905 facsimile of the Dresden manuscript
of the Chronicle of Theitmar of Merseburg, for which there is an excellent modern edition (Thietmar of Merseburg, Die
Chronik und ihre Korveier ‹berarbeitung, ed. R. Holtzman, Scriptores
rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum, n.s. 9 (Berlin, 1935) [MHB69+]) and an English translation (D. A. Warner, Ottonian
Germany: The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg (Manchester,
- Musicologie médiévale: http://www.univ-nancy2.fr/MOYENAGE/UREEF/MUSICOLOGIE/musmed.htm.
A large site devoted to music manuscripts at the Université Nancy 2.
It offers, among other things, a very full listing of sites with images of
manuscripts with notation.
- The National Library of Scotland: http://digital.nls.uk/gallery.cfm. The library has put a number of its MSS online, including the Aberdeen Breviary (http://digital.nls.uk/aberdeen-breviary/) and the Murthly Hours, a lavishly decorated and early example of this important late medieval genre of liturgical book (http://digital.nls.uk/murthlyhours/).
- The National Library of Wales has put a some of its
best manuscripts online, including the ’Book of Llandaff’ (MS 17110E)
and the ’Brut y Tywysogion’ (Peniarth MS 20): http://www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=126.
- Parker Library on the Web: http://parkerweb.stanford.edu/parker/.
Based at Stanford University, this site offers access to one of the greatest collections of medieval and especially Anglo-Saxon
manuscripts in the UK, that of Corpus Christi College Cambridge.
- Philadelphia Free Library Medieval Manuscripts: https://libwww.freelibrary.org/collections/medieval/.
- Princeton University Digital Library: http://pudl.princeton.edu. Includes a number of western medieval manuscripts, many of which can be found in the section devoted to Treasures of the Manuscripts Division. Note also the fascinating collections of Islamic and Yemeni manuscripts.
- Research Library at Olomuc: http://dig.vkol.cz/.
A small library of later medieval manuscripts in digital facsimile. The apparatus
is in Czech, but many of the titles are in Latin.
- St Laurentius Digital Library: http://laurentius.ub.lu.se/. Digital images of sixty-four manuscripts in the Library of Lund University.
- The Schøyen Collection: http://www.schoyencollection.com/. One of the most significant, modern, collections of manuscripts in private ownership.
- Virtual Monastic Library of Lorsch: http://www.bibliotheca-laureshamensis-digital.de. Hosted by the library of Heidelberg University, this site aims to ‘virtually reconstruct’ the monastic library of the important monastery at Lorsch in the Rhineland by providing online facsimiles of the 330 manuscripts that have survived—330 codices that are presently found in over 68 libraries across the worldwide.
- Wren Digital Library: http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/library/wren/digital. Trinity College is digitizing its substantial corpus of medieval manuscripts and making them freely available on the Web.
- Yale University Beinecke Digital Library: http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/. Yale University Library has made a number of its finer manuscripts available as digital resources, including Beinecke MS 416, a late thirteenth- or early fourteenth-century collection of didactic diagrams from the Cistercian abbey of Kamp in western Germany. It comprises eight folios of figures which are often called the Speculum theologiae. Another notable manuscript is Yale MS 229, an illuminated collection of poems from the so-called Vulgate cycle of Arthurian romances (i.e. Le livre de Lancelot du Lac, bk iii, La queste del Saint Graal, and La mort au Roy Artus). It was written in northern France towards the end of the thirteenth century.
b) Individual Manuscripts
- The Aberdeen Bestiary: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/bestiary/. A much celebrated manuscript.
- The Aucklinleck Manuscript (National Library of Scotland, Advocates MS 19.2.1): http://auchinleck.nls.uk. A collection of Middle English verse, produced in London in the 1330s.
- The Burnet Psalter: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/heritage/collects/bps/. A psalter made in north-eastern France or Flanders in the fifteenth century.
- The Canterbury Roll: http//:www.canterbury.ac.nz/canterburyroll. Covering the succession of British and English kings down to Edward IV, this roll, which belongs to the ‘Noah family’ of English genealogical texts, was originally drawn up by an anonymous scribe between 1429 and 1438 as a pro-Lancastrian document. Its uniqueness lies in the fact it was heavily modified later in the century to create a piece of Yorkist propaganda favourable to Edward IV.
- Le graduel de Bellelay: http://el.enc.sorbonne.fr/bellelay/. Hosted by l’École des chartes, this site provides a complete facsimile of one of the earliest sources for the liturgy of the Praemonstratensian Order. The index is particularly useful.
- Das Jenaer Martyrologium: http://martyrologium.thulb.uni-jena.de. A thirteenth-century martyrology famous (or notorious?) for the violence of its illustrations.
- Opening the Geese Book: http://geesebook.asu.edu. The site presents the full facsmile of New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS Morgan M.905, vols. I and II, a lavishly and whimsically illuminated gradual that was produced in Nuremberg between 1503 and 1510. The site includes a codicological report, archival sources, bibliography, videos with background information and critical commentary in English and German and recordings of selected chants performed by Schola Hungarica.
- St Alban’s Psalter: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/stalbanspsalter/english/. An illustrated psalter which may have been made for Christina of Markyate.