Medieval Manuscripts on the Web


Siân Echard, Department of English, University of British Columbia

The list below is intended to offer quick access to various digitization projects on the web: clicking the project title will take you directly there. Listings are alphabetical by country, then city, and then by originating institution. Some cooperative projects are to be found at the relevant top level; so, a consortium of American libraries will appear as the first entry under the United States, for example. Sometimes a manuscript is physically located in one country, but has been digitized in another; in these cases, the sponsoring institution is used (so, for example, the British Library manuscript Cotton Nero A.x, because the images are housed at the University of Calgary, appears under the listings for Canada).

When I began this list many years ago, there were very few manuscript sites on the web. There are now so many that the list below has become unwieldy; I have included some notes about contents, formats, and intended audiences that I hope will be of some use.

The UCLA-based Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts has ceased development. It contains over 3000 entries, and while these represent only a portion of the manuscripts available online, the catalogue remains useful because it can be searched or browsed in a variety of ways.

Digitized Medieval Manuscripts is an ongoing project to present digitizations of medieval manuscripts on interactive maps.

A digital project that is also of potential interest professional users of this page is the Seymour de Ricci Bibliotheca Britannica Manuscripta Digitized Archive, a searchable database of the notes made by De Ricci towards his planned census of medieval manuscripts in British libraries.

Manuscripts Online : Written Culture 1000 to 1500 allows users to search a range of online primary sources related to Britain. Useful for finding resources, but note that many of these are subscription-based databases, rather than direct links to images.

I am always happy to hear about projects I might have missed: please feel free to e-mail me at

Last updated March 26, 2014.



National Library of Australia Digital Collections : most items in this ongoing effort are related to Australian history, but there are images from two Books of Hours (MSS 1097/9 and 1097/6).


ALO: Austrian Literature Online: Die digitale Bibliothek : complete digitizations of Austrian documents from the 11th C to the present. The easiest way to find the medieval and Renaissance manuscripts is via the Year Index. In German and English.



Belgica : the digital library of the Bibliothèque royale de Belgique/ Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België. Includes complete digitizations of 38 medieval manuscripts (access through the Collections tab). Site is in French or Flemish, but catalogue material is in English.


Choix de miniatures des manuscripts de l'Université de Liège : very old collection of miniatures from 14 medieval manuscripts. In French.


The Medieval Bestiary: Animals in the Middle Ages : includes images from many manuscripts.


University of Calgary

The Cotton Nero A.x. Project : includes images of every folio of Cotton Nero A x (the Gawain-manuscript)


University of Toronto Fisher Library

Collection of Manuscript Fragments : 190 pieces of vellum in Greek and Latin, to show development of handwriting from the 4th century to the end of Middle Ages.


University of British Columbia

Spanish Chant Manuscript : partial digitization; very confusing navigation


University of Victoria

Bartholomeus Anglicus' De proprietatibus rerum : complete (older) digitization.

Lydgate's Fall of Princes : complete (older) digitization.


Manuscriptorium : an aggregator site for digital projects coordinated by the National Library of the Czech Republic. Organization/ searching is a bit mysterious, but the “Selection of Interesting Documents” tab, as well as the various blog postings, can be helpful. In Czech or English.


The Copenhagen Maimonides : complete digitization of 14th-century copy of Moshe ben Maimon’s Guide for the Perplexed. In Danish or English.

E-manuscripts : portal to digitizations of manuscripts from the Kongelige Bibliotek/ Royal Library of Copenhagen. Many complete manuscripts. In Danish or English.

Treasures in the Royal Library : archived version of treasures exhibition from Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen, includes many images from medieval manuscripts. In Danish or English.



Antiphonarium Tammelense : musical/ liturgical manuscripts from Åbo Akademi University Library; in Finnish


Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits médiévaux : database of images from medieval manuscripts in libraries across France. Most manuscripts are represented by only a few images. Advanced search not particularly helpful (no author/ title searches). In French.

Europeana Regia : a project to reconstruct three important royal collections: Carolingian manuscripts, the Louvre collection at the time of Charles V and Charles VI, and the library of the Aragonese Kings of Naples.

Enluminures : database of images from medieval manuscripts in French municipal libraries. Casual users can access images via thematic strands; expert search is also available. Images are generally small, and of a few folia per manuscript only. In French. Note that many French municipal libraries also have complete digital facsimiles on their websites.

Liber Floridus : a growing collection of images from manuscripts in French university libraries. Can be searched by iconographic classification, or accessed by library. Images are generally small, and of a few folia per manuscript only. In French.


Bibliothèque de la Mazarine

Trésors : old site with a few small images; also includes some bindings and early printed books. In French. Many more images from the Mazarine can be found through Liber Floridus.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France

al-Idrîsî : la Méditerranée au XIIe siècle : exhibition organized around the Geography of al-Idrîsî. Includes images from other medieval manuscripts. In French.

L'Art du livre arabe : exhibition about Arabic book arts, with many medieval images. In French or English.

L'Atlas Catalan : focussed on a 14th-century atlas. CD-ROM available. In French.

Bestiaire médiévale : exhibition about medieval bestiaries. In French, English, or Spanish.

Enluminures en Islam : exhibition about Islamic illumination, including medieval Islamic manuscripts. Some content appears to be missing/ faulty (June 2012). In French.

Gallica: la bibliothèque numérique : portal to French digital collections, includes access to many medieval manuscripts. In French, English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

Gastronomie médiévale : exhibition about medieval cooking and dining, with many manuscripts images; includes recipes. In French or English.

Jean Fouquet, peintre et enlumineur du XVe siècle : exhibition of the work of medieval illuminator Jean Fouquet; includes various ways to page through samples from his work (navigation somewhat confusing). In French or English.

Jeux: exhibition about games, including section on medieval games, with images of manuscripts, cards, game boards and pieces. In French.

La légende du roi Arthur: exhibition about King Arthur; includes many images from medieval manuscripts. In French.

Livres à feuilleter : growing collection of pageable online digitizations, including many of medieval manuscripts. Master list accessible through the Expositions page in the link: open the menu item titled “Bibliothèque des livres à feuilleter.”

Mandragore : searchable iconographic database of catalogue records and images for illuminated manuscripts in the BnF collection. Aimed at scholars; uses Iconclass system to categorize images. In French.

Les mappemondes: Une image médiévale du monde: exhibition built around the Ebstorf mappa mundi, with images from other medieval manuscripts in the thematic material (navigation somewhat confusing). In French.

Miniatures Flamandes : online exhibition of Flemish illumination, in cooperation with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België. Includes interactive books. IPad app available. In French or Flemish.

Splendeurs persanes: online exhibition drawing on manuscripts from 12th - 17th centuries. In French or English.

Trésors Carolingiens: online exhibition of Carolingian manuscripts; includes some pageable books (such as the Sacramentary of Drogo) and some zoomable images. French or English.


Bibliothèque de Reims

There are over 200 manuscripts currently in the Bibliothèque Numérique, some in colour and some scanned from black and white microfilm. French.


Rouen nouvelles bibliothèques includes about 20 colour digital manuscript facsimiles. French.


The Bibliothèque numérique has pageable colour digital fascimiles of complete manuscripts, as well as an image database: choose navigation by list to avoid a very distracting spinning thumbnail gallery. French.


Médiathèque Grand Troyes: Patrimoine includes thousands of complete digital facsimiles, scanned from black and white microfilm. Searching is not easy. Uses Zoomify. French.


The Bibliothèque Valenciennes site includes pageable colour facsimiles of 4 medieval manuscripts. A mystifying database of images is also linked from this page, but is very difficult to search and navigate. French.


Manuscripta Medievalia : a portal site bringing together German manuscript digitization projects: links to full digitizations of manuscripts from Bonn, St Gall, Munich, Greifswald, Heidelberg. In German or English, but the English tab is currently (June 2012) unresponsive.


Universität Augsburg

Digitale Sammlungen : full digitizations. Some of the main library text is in English, but the text around the manuscripts is in German only.


Codices Electronici Ecclesiae Coloniensis : complete digitizations of some 400 manuscripts from the Episcopal and Cathedral Library of Cologne. Some of the framing text in the site is translated into English (access from the “Optionen” button), but most of the navigation and all of the cataloguing material is in German. It can be perplexing to figure out how to find a manuscript, but once found, the facsimiles are easy to use.



Digitale Bibliothek : Handschriften : portal to digitizations of complete manuscripts from the Bibliotheca Palatina (such as the famous Codex Manesse), the Codices Salemitani (monastic libraries of Salem and Petershausen), Heidelberg (western and oriental manuscripts), and the Bibliotheca Laureshamensis (monastic library of Lorsch). Site framework in German or English, but manuscript-level material is currently (June 2012) in German only. It can be difficult to find specific items, but once found, the facsimiles are easy to use. Manuscripts can be downloaded in PDF form.


UniKassel Bibliothek

Manuscripts : these are not all medieval; the link should point to the results sorted by date, however, with the result that the medieval manuscripts appear first in the list. In German, English, and Spanish.


Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek

MDZ Digitale Bibliothek : portal to projects of the Munich Digital Centre; includes complete digitizations of medieval manuscripts as well as early printed books. Site framing material available in German or English, but catalogue-level material is in German only.


e-sequence Digital Edition of the Saint Gall Corpus of Sequences by Notker Balbulus : includes a digital facsimile with sound files reconstructing the music. Some introductory material currently (February 2013) in German only.


Wolfenbütteler Digitall Library : full digitizations of over 500 manuscripts from the Herzog August Bibliothek. In German or English; parts of the site are also available in Latin.


Libri sancti Kyliani : full digitizations of manuscripts from the Dombibliothek. There is a visualization option for searching, but the list tab is more approachable. German or English.


National and University Library of Iceland : database almost 1000 historical manuscripts. A “quick group” link opens a list of 219 pre-1500 manuscripts; not all are digitized, however, and the search function is currently (June 2012) a bit fussy. In Icelandic, English, or Danish.



Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Irish Script on Screen : database of digitized Irish manuscripts from many institutions, with catalogue descriptions. The Google search used on the site is not particularly helpful, but there is a useful index page that groups manuscripts by institution. Low-resolution images accessible to all; (free) registration allows scholarly users access to higher-resolution images. In Irish or English.

Royal Irish Academy

Saint Patrick's Confession is a site that includes pageable colour facsimiles of 8 medieval manuscripts of the text.


Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts Catalogue : the National Library of Israel online catalogue now includes links to thousands of digitized Hebrew manuscripts from around the world. The announcement page I have linked here describes the scope of the project, and various ways of accessing the manuscripts.


Manus online is a database of catalogue descriptions and digital images of manuscripts (and other archival materials) in Italian libraries. The advanced search option is the best way to find material, though this still requires a fair bit of drilling down. Most useful if you already know what you are looking for. In Italian and English.


Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana

Teca Digitale : includes complete reproductions of the manuscripts in the Fonds Plutei, along with the 18th-century catalogue records; while the Laurenziana has an English option on the home page, the search page linked here is in Italian only. Display of images requires Java.

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze

Biblioteca Digitale : many complete digitizations of manuscripts. The site is entirely in Italian. The home page features direct links to several manuscripts, and also has a tab that opens a list of all digitized manuscripts by shelfmark.


Vercelli Book Digitale is a project to digitize the whole of the Vercelli Book. A beta version is now (January 2014) online, with at present only two sections of the text. The facsimile includes an edition. Italian and English.

Vatican City

Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

Manoscritti digitalizzati offers direct links by shelfmark to over 200 colour manuscript facsimiles. Some navigation text available in German or English.

NETHERLANDS : this portal for Dutch literature includes an extensive medieval section, with many images of medieval MSS. A site aimed at Dutch students, written entirely in Dutch.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Beeldbank : the image bank of the university library includes complete digitizations of 9 medieval manuscripts, with plans to add more. In Dutch.

The Hague

Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Beatrijs : selected images from the manuscript of the Middle Dutch legend of Beatrijs in HTML or Flash. In Dutch or English.

Book of Hours of Philip of Burgundy : complete digitization (oddly, this is not clear from the List of Images link) in HTML or Flash. In Dutch or English.

Book of Hours of Simon de Varie : complete digitization in HTML or Flash. In Dutch or English.

The Bout Psalter-Hours : selected images in HTML or Flash. In Dutch or English.

Chronicles of Jean Froissart : complete digitization in HTML or Flash.

De naturen bloeme : complete digitization of Jacob van Maerlant’s encyclopedia, in HTML or Flash. In Dutch or English.

The European Library Exhibitions : several of these online exhibitions include images from medieval manuscripts from a range of European libraries. Hosted by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek. For the casual user.

Highlights from Medieval Manuscripts : selected highlights, organized in thematic galleries. In Dutch or English.

Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts : database of images from illuminated manuscripts from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum. Organized by the Iconclass system. Aimed at professional users. Languages include Dutch, English, French, and German.

The Trivulzio Book of Hours : complete digitization in HTML or Flash. In Dutch or English.



Auckland City Libraries

Rossdhu Book of Hours : searchable version, including complete online digitization, of Med.Ms G146, from the Sir George Grey Collection



Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal

Biblioteca nacional digital : portal to digitizations of books and manuscripts from the collection of the National Library of Portugal. To find medieval manuscripts, begin with the Index page that lists digitized items by date. Some English, but most of the site is in Portuguese.

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian

Art of the Book : a few images from 8 manuscripts. In English or Portuguese.

Book of Hours of Afonso I d'Este : complete digitization. In English or Portuguese.



Biblioteca de Catalunya

Manuscrits de la Biblioteca de Catalunya : many fully-digitized manuscripts, but the medieval manuscripts are mixed in with later works, and the search function and filters are very limited. In Spanish.

Biblioteca de l'Orfeó Català

Treasures of the Library of Orfeó Català : a few musical manuscripts. In English, Spanish, and Catalan.


Biblioteca Nacional de España

Biblioteca Digital Hispánica includes thousands of completely digitized manuscripts

Real Biblioteca

Libro de Horas de Isabel la Católica : pageable digital facsimile of a Book of Hours. Accompanying explanatory text is Spanish. The Real Biblioteca Digital homepage currently (March 2013) has only a few digital facsimiles, including this one.



Lund University

St Laurentius Digital Manuscript Library : complete digitization of 70 manuscripts in the Library collection. Navigation a bit awkward. In English.


Kungliga Biblioteket - Sveriges Nationalbibliothek

Codex Gigas (the Devil's Bible) : complete digitization. Images can be made very large, but viewer is quite slow. In Swedish, Czech, or English.

Uppsala University Library

Codex Argenteus Online : complete digitization of both the manuscript and of important early printed editions. In English.


e-codices: Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland : portal site for a very large collection of complete digitizations of medieval manuscripts in Swiss libraries. In German, English, French, or Italian. A notable collection accessible through this site is

Codices Electronici Sangallenses : complete digitization of 436 manuscripts from the Library of the Abbey of St Gall. In German, English, French, or Italian.


DIAMM: Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music : massive database of European sources of medieval polyphonic music. Thousands of records, most with high-resolution images. Aimed at the expert. Free registration required.

The Online Froissart: A Digital Edition of the Chronicles of Jean Froissart : a scholarly editing project offering access to the manuscript tradition of the first three books of Froissart’s Chroniques, with digital images of many manuscripts.

The Schøyen Collection : a privately-maintained collection of manuscripts and fragements. Many images, with extensive annotation.


University of Aberdeen

The Aberdeen Bestiary : complete digitization, with transcription, commentary, and translation of the Latin text. To access the images, go to the section Bestiary, and from there, to the section Commentary. From this point it is possible to page through the manuscript.

The Burnet Psalter : complete digitization. Images can be accessed through the Index to the Manuscript.

The St. Alban's Psalter : complete digitization. Includes commentary, transcription, and translation. Images can be accessed from the Commentary or Transcription pages.


National Library of Wales

The Battles of Alexander the Great (Peniarth 481D) : complete digitization, with the option to view the illustrations only as a gallery. In Welsh or English.

Bede's De natura rerum (Peniarth 540B) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

Beunans Meriasek (Peniarth 105B) : complete digitization of Middle Cornish play. In Welsh or English.

The Black Book of Basingwerk (NLW 7006D) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

The Black Book of Carmarthen (Peniarth 1) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

The Book of Llandaff (NLW 17110E) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

The Book of Taliesin (Peniarth 2) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

Brogyntyn ii.1 (Porkington 10), a Middle English miscellany : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

The Chronicle of the Princes (Peniarth 20) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

Dafydd ab Gwilym and the Cywyddwyr : a selection of images from manuscripts containing one or more poems by Dafydd ab Gwilym. In Welsh or English.

De Consolatione Philosophiae (Peniarth 393D) : complete digitization of Chaucer’s translation, believed to have been copied by Adam Pinkhurst. In Welsh or English.

The De Grey Hours (NLW 15537C) : complete digitization, with the option to view the illustrations only as a gallery. In Welsh or English.

A Gutun Owain Manuscript (NLW 3026C) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

The Hendregadredd Manuscript of the Gogynfeirdd (NLW 6680B) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

The Laws of Hywel Dda, Latin (Peniarth 28) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

The Laws of Hywel Dda, Welsh (NLW 20143A) : complete digitization, with option to view illustrations only as a gallery. In Welsh or English.

The Llanbeblig Book of Hours (NLW 17520A) : complete digitization, with the option to view the illustrations only as a gallery. In Welsh or English.

Medieval Astronomy Manuscript NLW 735C : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

Piers Plowman (NLW 733B) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.

The Roman de la Rose (NLW 5016D) : complete digitization, with option to view illustrations only as a gallery. In Welsh or English.

The Sherbrooke Missal (NLW 15536E) : complete digitization, with option to view illustrations only as a gallery. In Welsh or English.

The Vaux Passional (Peniarth 482D) : complete digitization, including of original binding.

The White Book of Rhydderch (Peniarth 4) : complete digitization. In Welsh or English.


Cambridge University Library

The Cambridge Digital Library is now the portal to a growing collection of digitized manuscripts, and incorporates some of the earlier, free-standing projects. Some of the contents include

The Book of Deer : the older complete digitization is now accessible via the Cambridge Digital Library

The Cairo Genizah collection : ongoing digitization of the Taylor-Schechter Cairo Genizah collection, the world’s largest single collection of medieval Jewish manuscripts.

Codex Bezae (Nn.2.41) : pageable, zoomable complete digitization.

Islamic Manuscripts : pageable, zoomable complete digitizations of collection of medieval Islamic manuscripts (whole and fragmentary).

The Life of Edward the Confessor (Ee.3.59) : pageable, zoomable complete digitization.

Treasures of the Library : portal page to ongoing efforts to digitize important manuscripts and books from the Library's collection.

Corpus Christi College

Parker Library on the Web : complete digitization of most manuscripts (well over 500) in the Parker Library, along with professional-level cataloguing. Many aspects of the site (specialized search functions, larger images) are available by institutional subscription only.

Faculty of English, University of Cambridge

Scriptorium : digital archive of medieval and early modern manuscript miscellanies and commonplace books; many pageable fascimiles, and many resources for teaching and learning, including materials for studying English handwriting

Fitzwilliam Museum

The Cambridge Illuminations : exhibition of images from illuminated medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam collection.

Collections Explorer : the catalogue of images from the Fitzwilliam collection; includes many illuminated manuscripts. Entries include full catalogue-level data and multiple images.

Illuminating the Law : older exhibition of images from legal manuscripts.

The Macclesfield Psalter : exhibition of selected images from the manuscript. CD of the whole manuscript available for purchase.

Trinity College

The James Catalogue : some years ago, Trinity digitized the M.R. James catalogue of the college manuscripts. A program is currently (October 2013) underway to digitize the manuscripts themselves, and the James catalogue is being used as the portal. It is not at present possible to see a list of the manuscripts that have been digitized, but searching the catalogue will produce entries that include direct access to images (complete, pageable digital facsimiles), where they are available. Famous manuscripts currently online include the Eadwine Psalter, theTrinity Apocalypse, the Romance of Alexander, and Piers Plowman.

Update, March 2014: there is now a Virtual Manuscript Index that acts as a portal to the ongoing digitization project. Many wonderful manuscripts now online.


Cardiff Central Library

Llyfr Aneirin : complete digitization. Navigation a bit confusing: click “Next” under “This item has more pages”; click image itself to go to larger view. In Welsh or English.


National Libary of Scotland

The Auchinleck MS (NLS Advocates 19.2.1) : complete transcription and digital facsimile of the manuscript. The transcription is the focus of the project: image viewing is awkward (click to individual folia from the transcription), and images are very small, though zoomable within a small window. There is also a plug-in based version: the plug-in appears to be for Windows browsers only (June 2012).

The Murthly Hours : complete digitization of a 13th-century Book of Hours. Images are very small, though zoomable within a small window. There is also a plug-in based version: the plug-in appears to be for Windows browsers only (June 2012).


Glasgow University Library

Book of the Month archives : archived list of pre-2010 web pages. Many of the books of the month were manuscripts and early printed books. Stories typically offered general introductions and a selection of images.

A Corpus of Late Middle English Scientific Prose : digitizations, most of whole manuscripts, of scientific manuscripts from the Hunter collection, hosted at the University of Málaga. Includes diplomatic transcriptions. Free registration required.

Fifty Treasures from Glasgow University Library : archived exhibition of images from important books in the GUL collection.

The World of Chaucer: Medieval Books and Manuscripts : archived exhibition of images from medieval manuscripts and early printed books related to Chaucer.

The Hunterian Psalter: MS Hunter 229 : archived exhibition of selected images.

Ranulf Hidgen/ John Trevisa, Polychronicon (Hunter 367) : complete digitization at Senshu University website. Painfully slow and buggy viewer.

The Romaunt of the Rose: MS Hunter 409 : older project allowing one to compare digitized images of the whole of the GUL manuscript with digitized images of William Thynne’s 1532 edition of Chaucer’s works. Also offers transcription next to manuscript images.

Special Collections Flickr stream : hub page for photos posted by GUL Special Collections. Includes many photos of medieval manuscripts and early printed books.


Mappa Mundi is a new digitization of the Hereford mappa mundi, offering three clickable versions of the map: the original, a colour-enhanced version, and a 3D scan. Extensive annotation.


Manuscripts of Lichfield Cathedral : the St Chad (Llandeilo Fawr) Gospels and the Wycliffite New Testament. Cooperative project between the Chapter of Lichfield Cathedral and William F. Endres of the University of Kentucky. Galleries for each manuscript include images of every page, and offer the user the ability to overlay an image with a range of spectral bands.


British Library

Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts : growing searchable database, with many images, of western illuminated manuscripts in the British Library. Currently (June 2012) contains records for Arundel, Burney, Egerton, Hargrave, Harley, Henry Davis, Hirsch, King's, Lansdowne, Sloane, Royal, Stowe, and Yates Thompson collections, and for some Italian cuttings in the Additional collection.

Codex Sinaiticus Project : an international collaboration to bring together digital images from various institutions that hold parts of this 4th-century Greek Bible manuscript. The site includes high-resolution images, transcriptions, and a variety of viewing options. In English, German, Greek, or Russian.

Digitised Manuscripts : fully digitised, pageable and zoomable manuscripts with professional-level cataloguing. Began as The Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project, to digitise 284 Greek manuscripts in their entirety. Ongoing work is adding non-Greek medieval manuscripts to the collection, including the newly-acquired St Cuthbert Gospel (Additional 89000), and such famous manuscripts as the Lindisfarne Gospels (Cotton Nero D iv), and the Old English Hexateuch (Cotton Claudius B iv), and many others. Note that at present, Cotton Nero A x, the Gawain-manuscript, is fully digitized, but available only through the University of Calgary website listed above, under Canada.

Images Online : the Library’s commercial image bank. Users can search for and purchase images here. Includes many medieval manuscripts.

Lindisfarne Gospels Exhibition : an older exhibition, that includes introductory material and a “Turning the Pages” version of selections from the manuscript. The whole of the manuscript (Cotton Nero D iv) can be viewed through the Digitised Manuscripts site.

Magna Carta : from the Treasures in Full collection. Viewer uses a Shockwave plugin. Visitors can zoom the document, view video clips, and read an English translation.

The Malory Project : includes complete digital facsimiles of the BL’s Winchester Manuscript, and the John Rylands Library copy of William Caxton’s first edition.

Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog : manuscript-related news from the BL, with many images; for example, includes monthly calendar pages from Books of Hours.

Online Gallery : portal to online content, including individual images of manuscripts, pageable digital facsimiles, exhibitions.

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination : site to accompany the exhibition includes links to Facebook albums of manuscripts on display. Material is also available via a paid app for tablets or smartphones.

Treasures in Full : portal to full digitizations. Emphasis is on early printed books (Shakespeare in Quarto, the Caxton editions of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, two copies of the Gutenberg Bible, and 253 Renaissance festival books). Navigation is straightforward, and the interface allows comparison; default view is small, but images can be enlarged.

Virtual Books at the British Library: the hub page for “Turning the Pages” versions of famous items (including manuscripts and early printed books) in the British Library. The pageable facsimiles with audio commentary offer selections only, and are aimed at the general reader. Silverlight plug-in does not play well with Safari (June 2012), but does work on a Mac in Firefox, though it is somewhat slow to load. Some of the material is also available in an app for tablets and smartphones.

Currently (June 2012) available Virtual Books include Sultan Baybar’s Qu’ran (Additional 59874), the Bedford Hours (Additional 18850), the Codex Sinaiticus (Additional 43725), Genealogical Chronicle of the English Kings (Royal 14 B vi), the Golf Book (Book of Hours, Additional 24098), the Golden Haggadah (Additional 27210), Psalter of Henry VIII (Royal 2 A xvi), the Lindisfarne Gospels (Cotton Nero D iv), the Lisbon Bible (Oriental 2626), the Luttrell Psalter (Additional 42130), a Bestiary (Royal 12 C xix), the Sforza Hours (Additional 34294), and the Sherborne Missal (Additional 74236).

The Wellcome Library

A Physician's Handbook (Wellcome 8004) : complete digitization, done as a pilot by the Wellcome to explore how best to digitize material in its collection.

Turning the Pages : the Wellcome has also used the BL’s Turning the Pages software. At present (June 2012), this portal links to two medieval and early modern manuscripts, the Wellcome Apocalypse (Western MS 49) and Nujum al-'Ulum (Stars of Sciences, Persian MS 373), in narrowband, broadband, and non-Shockwave versions. Images are selections only.


The John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog : news related to manuscripts and other rare books; stories frequently include images.

The Rylands Collection : highlights from the Special Collections division of the John Rylands University Library; included images from manuscripts and early printed books. Uses LUNA.

Rylands Genizah : images of items (10th - 19th C) from the Genizah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo. Uses LUNA.

Rylands Medieval Collection : images from the medieval MSS in the Rylands collection, emphasizing Middle English. Uses LUNA.


Bodleian Library

Bodleian LUNA Image Library : thousands of images from manuscripts in the Bodleian collection, scanned from film and slides, and searchable using LUNA software.

Images of Medieval Manuscripts : older collection of selected images, scanned from film, from western manuscripts in the Bodleian collection.

The Romance of the Middle Ages : exhibition of objects and books related to medieval romance. Many images of manuscripts. Includes audio and video clips related to exhibition materials.

University of Oxford

Digital Image Library : portal page to various University of Oxford digitization projects

Early Manuscripts at Oxford University : an early digitization project. Complete digitizations of over 80 early manuscripts from the collections of Balliol College, the Bodleian Library, Corpus Christi College, Jesus College, Magdalen College, Merton College, St John’s College (complete list here). Images are very large, so navigation can be difficult.


The Textus Roffensis : complete digitization of the Book of the Church of Rochester. Very high resolution images.


University of Southampton

Wessex Parallel Web Texts : an older project by Bella Millett, to produce an anthology for teaching of Middle English lyrics. Includes images of the manuscripts from which the editions are drawn.


Late Medieval English Scribes : online catalogue of all scribal hands appearing in the manuscripts of the works of Chaucer, Gower, Trevisa, Langland, and Hoccleve. Most entries include sample pages. Uses Zoomify.


Digital Scriptorium : growing, searchable database of selected images from medieval and Renaissance manuscripts from over 30 American institutions. Currently contains over 27,000 images. Aimed at expert users, but includes a Highlights page for casual readers.


Johns Hopkins University

Roman de la Rose Digital Library : a joint project of Johns Hopkins and the BNFr. Large database of Rose manuscripts from many institutions, with many pageable digitizations of complete manuscripts (the Popup option gives the largest images).

Walters Art Museum

Walters Art Museum Online Collection : images from medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the Walters collection can be accessed through several thematic threads, or through simple or advanced search. The Walters also has a Flickr photostream: Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts' Photostream

Bethesda, MD

National Library of Medicine

Islamic Medical Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine : many selected images. Older exhibition, with some updating. Framing material aimed at both the general visitor, and at a scholarly audience.

Medieval Manuscripts in the National Library of Medicine : very old exhibition, with selected images.


University of Indiana, Lilly Library

Four Thousand Years of Miniature Books : older exhibition, with images from manuscripts and early printed books.


Brandeis University

Book of Hours : older project; complete digitization. Images are small.

Cambridge, MA

Digital Medieval Manuscripts at Houghton Library : images of Harvard’s medieval and Renaissance manuscripts are available throught the Digital Scriptorium project, but the Houghton Library has set up this portal page to offer strategies for searching, as well as ongoing news about digitizing projects.

Chapel Hill, NC

The Mackinney Collection of Medieval Medical Illustrations : hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, this is a browsable/ searchable collection of over 1000 images, digitized from slides created and collected by Loren C. McKinney, a medieval historian.


Newberry Library

Illuminated Manuscripts and Printed Books: French Renaissance Gems of the Newberry Library : exhibition with many images from items in the Newberry collection.

University of Chicago

The Goodspeed Manuscript Collection : an ongoing project to digitize 68 Biblical manuscripts, dating from the 5th to the 19th centuries. Many full digitizations. Uses Zoomify.

Rose and Chess (Roman de la Rose and Le jeu des échecs moralisés) : complete digitizations of MS 1380 and MS 392. Uses Zoomify.

Collegeville, MN

Hill Monastic Manuscript Library

Vivarium, the online image collection of Saint John’s University and the College of St Benedict: this includes material from the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library manuscript microfilm collections. Various methods for searching can be accessed at the HMML Research page.

Columbia, SC

University of South Carolina

Pages from the Past: A Legacy of Medieval Books in South Carolina Collections : digital record of all medieval manuscripts in South Carolina collections. Many images, of both full manuscripts and leaves and cuttings.


Highlights from Bridwell Library Special Collections : images from rare books and manuscripts in Bridwell Library of Southern Methodist University; emphasis on religious texts.

Los Angeles

The Getty Museum

Illuminating the Renaissance : exhibition of Flemish manuscript painting. Older exhibition with zoomable images.

Past Exhibitions : a long list, including many exhibitions based on manuscripts in the Getty collection; see also Explore Art: Manuscripts, for an overview of manuscripts in the Getty.

New Haven

Beinecke Library, Yale University

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library: Digital Library : includes many images from papyrus, medieval and Renaissance MSS, and early printed books.

New York

Jewish Theological Seminary

Special Treasures of the Jewish Theological Seminary Library : includes images from The Prato Haggadah (JTS 9478), The Rothschild Mahzor (JTS 8892), the Esslingen Mahzor (JTS 9344), and the Maimonides and Cairo Genizah fragments.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry : exhibition site includes video introductions to the manuscripts, as well as a link to a blog with some images.

Choirs of Angels: Painting in Italian Choir Books, 1300 - 1500 : exhibition site includes links to almost 40 images from the manuscripts in the exhibition.

Early Buddhist Manuscript Painting: The Palm-Leaf Tradition : exhibition site includes only a few images.

Lisbon’s Hebrew Bible: Medieval Jewish Art in Context : exhibition site includes images from the Cervera Bible.

Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages : exhibition site includes one video, and a link to a blog with quite a few images.

Search the Collections : searchable database of items in the Museum collection. Includes images of medieval manuscripts.

The Washington Haggadah: Medieval Jewish Art in Context : exhibition site includes videos introducing the manuscript, but few images.

The Morgan Library and Museum

Apocalypse Then: Medieval Illuminations from the Morgan : images from exhibition emphasizing the Las Huelgas Apocalypse (M.429), with other Morgan Apocalypse manuscripts included.

The Black Hours (M.493) : complete digitization. Zoom view or quick view.

Corsair: Images from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts : catalogue of images from medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the Morgan collection.

Demons and Devotions: The Hours of Catherine of Cleves : digitization of all 157 miniatures from M.945, in zoom view or quick view format. Exhibition includes multimedia introductions to the manuscript.

Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands : includes complete digitization of a French Instruction for Kings (M.456), in quick or zoom view.

Illuminating the Medieval Hunt : exhibition built around a copy (M.1044) of Gaston Phoebus’s Livre de la chasse. Images from this manuscript and from related manuscripts.

The Morgan Picture Bible : images from M.638.

Opening the Geese Book : a multimedia presentation of M. 905, a gradual from St. Lorenz in Nuremberg. A complete digization of the manuscript, accompanied by video and audio files.

The Prayer Book of Claude de France : complete digitization of M.1166, in quick or zoom view. Exhibition includes virtual lecturs.

Treasures of Islamic Manuscript Painting from the Morgan : images include complete digitizations of several manuscripts, available in zoom view or quick view format.

Two Masterpieces Illuminated by Jean Poyet : images from the Hours of Henry VIII, and the Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne.

New York Public Library

NYPL Digital Gallery: Renaissance and Medieval Manuscripts : index page with links to over 1500 images from medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the NYPL. Online images are low resolution, but users can buy higher resolution versions.

Oberlin, OH

The Artz Hours : complete older digitization of Book of Hours belonging to Oberlin College.


Free Library of Philadelphia

The Edward IV Roll : images can be accessed in various sizes, including large images using Zoomify.

Gallican Psalter (Lewis E 185) : images can be accessed in various sizes, including large images using Zoomify.

Medieval Manuscripts : hub page for complete and partial digitizations of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Images from this collection are also part of Digital Scriptorium.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Leaves of Gold : older, collaborative exhibition of manuscripts in Philadelphia collections. Images are small.

University of Pennsylvania

Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts : portal to catalogue information and digital facsimiles of manuscripts in the University of Pennsylvania collection. Hundreds of complete digitizations, pageable and zoomable to actual size.

Petrarch at 700 : older exhibition of manuscripts and early printed books related to Petrarch.

Roll 1066: Genealogical Chronicle of the Kings of England to Edward IV : wonderful presentation of the whole roll, with full transcription appearing on click. Extensive index.

Bibliotheca Schoenbergensis: An Exhibition from the Collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg : older exhibition of medieval and early modern manuscripts.

Plano, TX

Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts : the project’s goals include digitization of extant Greek New Testament manuscripts from many institutions around the world. Index page lists manuscripts, but the View button does not necessarily indicate that images are available online, though there are many manuscripts for which images are freely available.


The Charrette Project : older site containing texts and manuscript images witnessing Chrétien de Troyes’s Chevalier de la charrette. See also Charette Project 2, at Baylor University. Free registration required to view manuscript images.

Princeton Digital Library of Islamic Manuscripts : will contain complete digitizations of 200 Islamic manuscripts, some of which are medieval.

Yemeni Manuscript Digitization Initiative : complete digitizations of Arabic manuscripts from the 10th century to the present.

Provo, UT

Brigham Young University

DScriptorium : older, small collection of digital images of medieval manuscripts.


Rochester Institute of Technology

Cary Graphic Arts Collection Image Database : includes samples from medieval and early modern manuscripts.

South Bend, IN

University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts : images of manuscripts owned by Notre Dame and by Notre Dame in conjunction with the Newberry Library can be accessed through the Digital Scriptorium, but they can also be found via this page.


Syracuse University

Medieval Manuscripts of Syracuse University Library : selected images from 10 manuscripts.

Washington, DC

Library of Congress

Creating French Culture: Treasures from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France : older exhibition. Images are quite small.

Dresden: Treasures from the Saxon State Library : old exhibition, with a few, very small images.

Library of Congress Bible Collection : older exhibition, with many images from manuscript and print Bibles. While images can be flipped through and zoomed, they remain small.

Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library and Renaissance Culture : very old exhibition, with quite a few small images.

The Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection : includes significant medieval and early modern material. Many complete, pageable digitizations, with high-resolution images available.


Users of this page might also be interested in these online resources for palaeography:

DigiPal: Digital Resource and Database of Palaeography, Manuscripts and Diplomatic : a portal and blog site for a project based inthe Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London, on digital technology and palaeography. A developing project aimed at experts.

English Handwriting, 1500-1700: An online course (from Cambridge)

InScribe: Palaeography Training Materials : a free online course from the University of London

Paleo Anglo-Norman (sections for both medieval and early modern paleography). Quite old now.

Paleography tutorial, 1500-1800 (National Archives, UK)

Scottish Handwriting (16th-18th centuries) (National Records of Scotland)

©Siân Echard. Not to be copied, used, or revised without explicit written permission from the copyright owner.