3. Online Collections of Manuscripts—and Manuscript-Driven Databases
- 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.
- Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits médiévaux (BVMM): http://bvmm.irht.cnrs.fr. Engineered by and hosted at the Research Institute for Textual History at the CNRS, this site provides access to a broad selection of medieval manuscripts in French repositories beyond the Bibliothèque nationale de France—in, for example, many French municipal libraries.
- 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 manuscripts of diverse kinds, including Bestiaire médiéval, Gastronomie médiévale, Idrisi: la Méditerranée au XIIe siècle, L'Aventure des écritures, L'Aventure du livre, La légende du roi Arthur, Les mappemondes: Une image médiévale du monde, and, above all, Trésors carolingiens.
- 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 ever-expanding and immensely useful e-codices website.
- Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music: http://www.diamm.ac.uk/.
- Durham Cathedral Archives: https://community.dur.ac.uk/medieval.documents/index2.htm. A collection of images of medieval documents from the cathedral archives, intended to provide a conspectus of the various types of document kept by a large monastery that had extensive estates and a wide array of privileges.
- 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’.
- Earlier Latin Manuscripts: Tools for Studying the Scripts of the Oldest Latin Manuscripts: https://elmss.nuigalway.ie. A database of manuscripts written in Latin before the year 800 based on the work of E. A. Lowe and his assistants published in Codices Latini Antiquiores, 12 pts (Oxford, 1934–71). The work for this project was conducted in the Department of Classics and the Moore Institute of the National University of Ireland Galway.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fragmentarium: Laboratory for Medieval Manuscript Fragments: https://fragmentarium.ms. According to its own description, ‘Fragmentarium enables libraries, collectors, researchers and students to publish images of medieval manuscript fragments, allowing them to catalogue, describe, transcribe, assemble and re-use them’. Includes catalogues of and images from various collections of medieval manuscript fragments, such as that at Exeter Cathedral.
- 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.
- Illuminated: Manuscripts in the Making: http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/illuminated. A virtual exhibition that ‘brings to life the finest illuminated manuscripts preserved at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge’.
- 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://www5.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 Netherlands.
- 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, 2001) [MHBD]).
- 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://parker.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.
- Lund University Library Digital Collections: https://www.ub.lu.se/en/digital-collections.
- The Schøyen Collection: http://www.schoyencollection.com/. One of the most significant, modern, collections of manuscripts in private ownership.
- 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.