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, as well as about broken links: please feel free to e-mail me at sian@mail.ubc.ca

Last updated June 29, 2014.

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AUSTRALIA

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).

AUSTRIA

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.

Vienna

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

The Digital Reading Room is a portal to various digitised holdings, including Manuscripts . The landing page is in English or German, but the search and catalogue pages are in German only. Currently holds almost 1500 manuscripts. Images in full digitizations are large, so navigation can be a bit slow.

BELGIUM

Brussels

Belgica : the digital library of the Biblioth√®que 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. There are also 41 manuscripts available through the Europeana Regia project.

Liège

Université de Liège

The Expositions Virtuelles currently (June 2014) includes a video about a planned digitization of medieval and renaissance manuscripts.

CANADA

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

Calgary

University of Calgary

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

Toronto

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.

Fisher Digitized Manuscripts : 22 manuscripts in full digital versions.

Vancouver

University of British Columbia

Spanish Chant Manuscript : partial digitization; very confusing navigation

Victoria

University of Victoria

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

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

CZECH REPUBLIC

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 many languages, including Czech or English.

Olomouc

There is a list of digitized manuscripts from the Research Library in Olomouc, in Czech; this generally points to small, selected images.

DENMARK

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.

FINLAND

Turku

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

FRANCE

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. There is a complete list of repositories under the Manuscripts tab.

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.

Paris

Bibliothèque de la Mazarine

Images from the Mazarine can be found through Liber Floridus.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France

The landing page for Expositions points to many exhibitions that include medieval material. See also the direct links below for some past exhibitions.

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.

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.

Reims

Bibliothèque de Reims

There are over 200 manuscripts currently in the Bibliothèque Numérique, some in colour and some scanned from black and white microfilm. Not easy to see what is included in the collection. French.

Rouen

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

Saint-Omer

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.

Troyes

Médiathèque Grand Troyes includes thousands of complete digital facsimiles, scanned from black and white microfilm. Searching is not easy. Uses Zoomify. French. As of June 2014, a notice states that materials are currently unavailable, due to technical difficulties.

Valenciennes

The Bibliothèque Valenciennes site includes pageable colour facsimiles of 8 medieval manuscripts. A mystifying database of images is also linked from this page, but is very difficult to search and navigate. French.

GERMANY

Manuscripta Mediaevalia : a portal site bringing together German-led manuscript digitization projects: links to full digitizations of manuscripts from a growing list of sites, including Bonn, St Gall, Munich, Greifswald, Heidelberg, as well as from outside Germany. In German or English, but the English tab is currently (June 2014) unresponsive.

Augsburg

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.

Cologne

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.

Heidelberg

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität

Digitale Bibliothek : 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; see entry below). Site framework in German or English, but manuscript-level material is currently (June 2014) 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.

Kassel

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.

Lorsch

Bibliotheca Laureshamensis is a project to reconstruct digitally the monastic library of Lorsch. Lorsch manuscripts from all over the world are made available here in complete, pageable facsimiles. It can be difficult to get at the facsimiles; begin with the Virtual Library menu item, and then persist. In German, English, Italian, or French.

Munich

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.

Tübingen

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 (January 2014) in German only.

Wolfenbüttel

Wolfenbüttel Digital 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.

Würzburg

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.

ICELAND

National and University Library of Iceland

Handrit.is : 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 2014) a bit fussy. In Icelandic, English, or Danish.

IRELAND

Dublin

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 Confessio is a site that includes pageable colour facsimiles of 8 medieval manuscripts of the text.

Trinity College Dublin

Digital Collections is a portal to the Library’s growing number of digitizations. It is not easy to see what the collection includes, but there is, for example, a complete digitization of the Book of Kells (note that this can be a bit slow to load).

ISRAEL

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.

ITALY

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.

Florence

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 (click on Inventario).

Naples

Biblioteca Nazionale Di Napoli

The Biblioteca Digitale includes complete digitizations of medieval manuscripts. Searching and navigation can be difficult (the site is in Italian only), but there is a complete list of all digital material, and manuscript highlights at I Manoscritti della BNN.

Perugia

Biblioteca Augusta

The Biblioteca Digitale includes complete digitizations of medieval manuscripts; click on a subcategory, and then on the Documents Index, to get a full list. Uses the DjVU plug-in viewer, which is a bit clunky, though one can download bundled versions of entire manuscripts for offline viewing. In Italian and English.

Rome

National Central Library of Rome

Virtual Library Nanontolana seems to be an orphan project; there are a few images from three manuscripts, and the site was last modified in 2010.

Turin

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 almost 650 colour manuscript facsimiles. Some navigation text available in German or English. See also the Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project , a collaboration between the BAV and the Bodleian Library to digitize ancient texts (focussing on Hebrew Manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and incunabula).

Bibliotheca Palatina

Bibliotheca Palatina digital is a project to reconstruct virtually the Heidelberg Bibliotheca Palatina, much of which went to the Vatican as the spoils of war in 1623. Complete facsimiles. In German and English

NETHERLANDS

Literatuurgeschiedenis.nl : 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.

Amsterdam

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

There is a list of Digitized Books and of Web Exhibitions. Medieval material includes:

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.

Utrecht

Universiteitsbibliotheek Utrecht

The homepage of Special Collections points to many digitizations of manuscripts and printed books in the collection. It is not easy to get a sense of just how many items there are in any one convenient place: users must read through the various themed topics and news items, and often click on a List button to reveal what is available. There is an alphabetical list of Digitized Objects , but it is overwhelming. Many famous manuscripts available, such as the Utrecht Psalter ; documents can be downloaded as colour PDFs.

NEW ZEALAND

Auckland

Auckland City Libraries

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

POLAND

Warsaw

Polona is the digital portal of the National Library of Poland; the site is in Polish, but if you go to the Search page and select Rekopisy from the tabs on the search page, you will see a selection of manuscripts, some of which are medieval.

Wroclaw

The Digital Library of the University of Wroclaw has many medieval manuscripts available in digital form. For a complete list, go to the Publications List: Manuscripts. In Polish, Czech, English, German, and French. Defaults to the DjVu browser plugin, which can be fiddly.

PORTUGAL

Lisbon

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.

RUSSIA

Moscow

Russian State Library

Some full digitizations through Manuscripta Mediaevalia (much of this site is in German); click Bibliotheksorte, then scroll down to Moskau.

Saint Petersburg

National Library of Russia

The Exhibitions link includes some images of manuscripts. There is a Digital Library , but it is entirely in Russian, and I have not been able to determine if the "manuscripts" referred to in the brief English description are medieval.

SPAIN

Barcelona

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.

Madrid

Biblioteca Nacional de España

Biblioteca Digital Hispánica includes thousands of completely digitized manuscripts

Real Biblioteca

The Real Biblioteca Digital homepage currently (June 2014) has only a few digital facsimiles; I have noted that these seem to change with the passage of time.

Valencia

Universitat de València, Biblioteca Històrica

This collection is included in the Europeana Regia project; there are 92 fully-digitized manuscripts.

SWEDEN

Lund

Lund University

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

Stockholm

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.

SWITZERLAND

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.

UNITED KINGDOM

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.

Aberdeen

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. Albans Psalter : complete digitization. Includes commentary, transcription, and translation. Images can be accessed from the Commentary or Transcription pages.

Aberystwyth

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 Aneirin (Cardiff MS 2.81) : 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 Hengwrt Chaucer (NLW Peniarth 392D) : complete digitization.

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

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 (June 2014) 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

Cardiff Central Library

The Llyfr Aneirin (Book of Aneirin) is now fully digitized on the National Library of Wales site.

Edinburgh

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).

University of Edinburgh

Image Collections : thousands of images, displayed using LUNA software. There is also a Centre for Research Collections Flickr stream. It can be difficult to get a sense of the scope of the medieval offerings: Western Medieval Manuscripts is the main category. As with most LUNA interfaces, searching is difficult, and navigation is clumsy. Notable items include the whole of MS 56, the 11th-century Celtic Psalter. Most items are displayed as a gallery of images, but there are also a few pageable facsimiles, including MS 12, an 11th-century Gospel book, and MS 19, a Bible Historial.

Glasgow

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.

Hereford

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.

Lichfield

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.

London

British Library

Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts : growing searchable database, with many images, of western illuminated manuscripts in the British Library. Currently (June 2014) 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. The paid app for tablets or smartphones that was created to accompany the exhibition is no longer supported.

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 Victoria and Albert Museum

The Search the Collections function can, with some patience, be persuaded to turn up several hundred images from medieval manuscripts; most of these are leafs and cuttings. The collection also includes facsimiles of medieval manuscripts by such artists as Henry Shaw and Caleb Wing, as well as examples of the work of the Spanish Forger.

The Wellcome Library

Wellcome Arabic Manuscripts is a database of about 1000 Arabic manuscripts related to the history of medicine.

Manchester

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.

Nottingham

University of Nottingham Library

The department of Manuscripts and Special Collections has a variety of online Exhibitions , many of which include medieval items. There is also a pageable partial facsimile of the Wollaton Antiphonal (there are both plugin and images and text only versions).

Oxford

Balliol College

Balliol College Medieval Manuscripts is a gallery of images, usually covering whole manuscripts, of books in Balliol’s collection: there are currently over 100 manuscripts, and a note indicating that digitization is proceeding according to user demand (with a contact link). Images are displayed in Flickr albums. The catalogue of Balliol MSS by R.A.B. Mynors has also been photographed and mounted in full.

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 Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project , a collaboration between the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and the Bodleian Library to digitize ancient texts (focussing on Hebrew Manuscripts, Greek manuscripts, and incunabula).

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.

The Vernon Manuscript : exhibition celebrating the publication of the digital facsimile. While the full facsimile must be purchased, the exhibition does include quite a few images.

Christ Church

Christ Church has recently (May 2014) begun a project to digitize many of its manuscripts and rare books. The Digitization Project landing page promises links to manuscripts as they become available. As of June 2014, the only live link points to a full digitization of MS 92 (Walter de Milemete, De Nobilitatibus, Sapientiis, et Prudentiis Regum) ; however, the older Western Manuscripts landing page has descriptions of many manuscripts, with some images.

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.

Rochester

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

York

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.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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.

Baltimore

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.

Bloomington

University of Indiana, Lilly Library

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

Boston

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.

Chicago

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.

Dallas

Southern Methodist University

Western Manuscripts at Bridwell Library to 1650 : descriptions and some images, arranged in either call number or chronological order. The Exhibitions of the Bridwell Library include many images from manuscripts and early print; emphasis on religious material.

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 Collections database can be searched in various ways, and contains many images from medieval manuscripts. In addition, there are various exhibitions archived on the site, including:

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.

Philadelphia

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.

Princeton

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

Rochester Institute of Technology

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

St Benedict, OR

Mount Angel Abbey

The Abbey is digitizing its manuscripts: the List of Currently Digitized Manuscripts points to complete facsimiles, in PDF, of at present (June 2014) 12 manuscripts, mostly Books of Hours.

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

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.

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.

PALAEOGRAPHY

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 Institute of Historical Research, 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)

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