Index, commentary, and complete digital version of the Aberdeen Bestiary created by the University of Aberdeen.
The Alchemy Website: Database of Alchemical Manuscripts
Database aims to include descriptions of all alchemical manuscripts in U.S. and European collections. Extensive bibliography and images.
Antike und mittelalterliche Handschriften in der Schweiz
Active project to provide access to cataloging, commentary, and digital images for all manuscripts in Swiss collections. In German and French.
This tenth century manuscript, in the collections of the Walters Art Museum, is the unique source for two of Archimedes' treatises, The Method and Stomachion, as well as the unique source for the Greek text of On Floating Bodies. The website documents research, conservation, and digital imaging projects.
Austrian Literature Online: Erlebnisraum Altes Buch
Access to 59 fully digitized medieval manuscripts from Austrian university collections.
Index of manuscripts held by the Bamberg Staatsbibliothek with links to full descriptions and selected digital images. Includes link to an associated bibliography.
Blockbücher aus bayerischen Sammlungen: Weiterführende Literatur
Project of the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online, this resource provides access to medieval block book images, texts, bibiographies, watermarks, and provenance.
Images and text from Avril Henry's Biblia Pauperum (1987).
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana = Vatican Library
Website of the Vatican Library. Contains links to the Archivio Segreto Vaticano and other resources including the map, Forma Urbis Romae. Best used with Internet Explorer 5.x or above.
Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon
Searchable database with images of manuscripts held by Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon. Contains more than 400 manuscripts and documents.
Bifolium: Nieuws over handschriften en oude drukken
Portal for Dutch manuscript and early book news, publications, events, conferences, and digital projects. Actively covers 2007 - present with an archive of publications back to 1983.
Blockbooks in Bavaria
Approximately 90 blockbooks known in Bavarian collections have been digitized, cataloged, and made accessible through the Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online. Infrared images of watermarks are included. In German.
British Library Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
This searchable catalog contains descriptive records for manuscripts drawn from all the regions and periods represented in the British Library collections.
The British Library Sacred Manuscripts Collection
Digital versions of 78 religious texts. Includes a high resolution "page-turner" digital version of the Lindisfarne Gospel.
The Cary Collection
Fifty-one manuscript leaves from Western European 12th-16th century manuscripts from the collections of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
CEEC: Codices Electronici Ecclesiae Coloniensis
Multiple function website with hundreds of high resolution digital manuscripts from the Episcopal and Cathedral Library in Cologne. Some static pages, i.e. Project Description, are available in English. Includes a link to a useful tool in English, The Medieval Manuscript Manual.
Centre for the Study of Fifteenth Century Painting in the Southern Netherlands
Includes a list of approx. 1,700 paintings of 'Flemish Primitives' with artist, title, and subject information. The list is based on Hélène Mund's Early Netherlandish Painting (1400-1500) and is updated frequently. Also contains the Rogier van der Weyden Bibliography since 1984 with multiple images of his works.
Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece
Closer to Van Eyck: Rediscovering the Ghent Altarpiece presents the results from Lasting Support, an interdisciplinary research project to assess the structural condition of the Ghent Altarpiece. This project ran from April 2010 through June 2011, and consisted of three main segments: an urgent conservation treatment, an assessment of the current condition of the altarpiece, and a campaign of technical documentation. This website contains extensive conservation documentation as well as a viewing and comparison tool for images from the altarpiece produced through macrophotography.
The Codex Gigas or the Devil’s Bible is a medieval manuscript at the National Library in Sweden. It is reputed to be the largest surviving European manuscript. It also contains a large, full page portrait of the Devil. This site contains a digitized version of every page of the manuscript as well as commentaries on its history, texts, script, initials and decoration.
Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG)
The Abbey Library of St. Gall online with high resolution digital images, searchable manuscript descriptions, and digital versions of entire manuscripts. Multi-language interface.
Comité international de paléographie latine
Publications, programs, links to resources, and selected manuscript catalogues by country. In French.
CORSAIR: The Online Research Resource of the Pierpont Morgan Library
Digital images from the Morgan Library’s collection of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Covers ten centuries of Western illumination and contains manuscripts from all major schools.
Decentral Digital Incunabula Collection (vdIB)
This project, funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation) was carried out in co-operation with the University of Cologne, the Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek Cologne, and the Herzog August Bibliothek. Over 1,000 incunabula between the years 1450-1484 have been fully digitized.
Deutsche Texte des Mittelalters Handschriftenarchiv
Index to German manuscript collections prepared by the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. In German.
List of links to digital images of medieval manuscripts from various U.S. collections.
Digital Library of Illuminated Manuscripts
Cooperative digital project containing 12th - 16th century illuminated manuscripts from several American university collections. Full browsing and downloading available.
Digital Medieval Manuscripts at Houghton Library
The Houghton Library’s collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts represents a significant resource for the study of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Western Europe. This Web site provides strategies for searching Houghton's medieval manuscripts as well as links to bibliographies related to these materials compiled by the Library.
The Digital Scriptorium was conceived as an image database of dated and datable medieval and renaissance manuscripts with the intent to unite scattered resources into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. Catalog entries include images and bibliography. Searchable by multiple indexes.
e-codices: Virtuelle Handschriftenbibliothek der Schweiz
Collection of digital ms. from 11 Swiss libraries. May be browsed by author/title/age/signature or searched by keywords. English interface.
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University
This website provides access to over 80 early manuscripts in high resolution digital images. These manuscripts are held in 7 institutions associated with the University of Oxford. Access is through browsing full pages or thumbnails.
A joint production of CNRS and Direction du Livre et Lecture, this searchable database includes more than 14,000 images from over 1200 illuminated manuscripts. In French.
The Europeana Regia project (2010) will digitise 874 rare and precious manuscripts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance with the collaboration of five major libraries located in four countries. This 30 month project and will draw together three collections of royal manuscripts that are currently dispersed and which represent European cultural activity at 3 distince periods: the Biblioteca Carolina (8th-9th c.), the Library of Charles V (14th c.), and the Library of the Aragonese Kings of Naples (15th-16th c.).These manuscripts will be fully accessible through this portal and on the websites of the partner libraries and Europeana.
Digital version of the Göttingen Library copy of the Gutenberg Bible and also the Model Book for painting manuscripts which was used to illuminate the Göttingen Bible.
Handschriftencensus: Eine Bestandsaufnahme der handschriftlichen Überlieferung deutschsprachiger Texte des Mittelalters
Searchable index of manuscripts in German collections. Created and maintained by the Marburger Repertorien. In German.
Hill Museum and Manuscript Library
Use VIVARIUM to search for digitized manuscripts, art, rare books, photographs, audio, video, and other resources among the more than 90,000 manuscripts in the Hill Museum and Library. Use the “Catalogue Search” option to search the entire collection.
Honderd hoogtepunten uit de Koninklijke Bibliotheek
One hundred highlights from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in digital format based on a 1994 exhibition.
A Hypertext Book of Hours
An introduction to the structure of a book of hours based on several sources. Includes explanatory materials, Latin/English facing pages texts, and numerous links to other books of resources.
Index of Medieval Medical Images
The Index of Medieval Medical Images in North America (IMMI) describes and illustrates the content of medieval texts and illuminations on medical topics from 6 North American libraries.
INKA - Inkunabelkatalog deutscher Bibliotheken
Union catalog that enables searching for incunables across German collections. In German.
IRHT: Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes
Sponsored by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the IRHT website provides a variety of research tools, publications and links for the study of French manuscripts from antiquity to the renaissance. Research categories include iconography, paleography, codicology, musicology and Byzantine sources. In French.
Koninklijke Bibliotheek Web Exhibitions
Includes a section, Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts, which presents almost 11,000 unique illustrations from 400 illuminated manuscripts from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum in The Hague.
Late Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts on the Web
Finding aid to digital images from various manuscripts compiled by the CHD: Center for Håndskriftstudier i Danmark/Institute for the Study of Illuminated Manuscripts in Denmark.
Database supporting iconographical and other index searches of illuminated manuscripts preserved in the Bibliothèque Mazarine and the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève. Includes digital images for all manuscripts. In French.
Database of manuscripts in the Bibliotheque Nationale with extensive images. Searchable by keyword.
MANUS: Censimento dei Manoscritti delle Biblioteche Italiane
Union catalog of manuscripts in Italian libraries. Includes links to forums, newsletters, events, and online exhibitions. In Italian.
Manuscript Libraries in Austria
Comprehensive list of MS in Austrian collections linked to extensive bibliography. May be searched by institution or MS name/shelfmark. Also contains links to MS Web sites and digital projects.
A feature of this site is that digital images of all printed mss. catalogues of German collections are searchable by incipit. Also contains high quality digital images of nearly 100 manuscripts, multiple indexes to iconography and manuscript literature. Supports searching by manuscript identifiers or thematically.
Manuscriptorium (Memoria Project)
Manuscriptorium is designed for collecting and providing access to information on historical book resources with links to a virtual library of digitized documents. The Manuscriptorium is created and maintained by the National Library of the Czech Republic.
Manoscritti datati d'Italia / MDI
Ongoing project to catalog all Italian manuscripts. Now includes searchable database and full-text of printed catalogs and project documentation. In Italian.
Medieval Imagainations: Literature and Visual Culture in the Middle Ages
Searchable database of images illustrating connections between the literature and visual culture of medieval England. Images have been selected to correspond to the main episodes dramatized in the English Mystery Plays. Images may be search by thematic content, keywords, titles, place, and date. Based on a project designed at the University of Cambridge.
Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections
This database contains descriptions of all medieval western manuscripts written in Latin script and produced up to c. 1550 now preserved in public and semi-public collections in the Netherlands. These include the collections of libraries, museums and archives, as well as the collections of monastic orders and some other private institutions that are open to researchers.
A Medieval Mirror: Speculum humanae salvationis, 1324-1500
Full-text version of Adrian Wilson's 1984 study of the many versions of the Speculum humanæ salvationis. Includes all illustrations, bibliography, and index.
Memoriae Mundi Series Bohemica
Digitization project containing collections from more than thirty important Czech cultural institutions and co-ordinated by the National Library of the Czech Republic. Includes access to medieval manuscripts through the Manuscriptorium project.
Paleography - Virtual Library (VL)
This extensive collection of Paleography resources is part of the larger Virtual Library History Project project in 2000 by a group of German scholars Georg Vogeler, Patrick Sahle, Horst Enzensberger and Thomas Frenz. The portal and various sections have been translated to English.
Parker Library on the Web
A prototype interactive workspace designed to support use and study of the manuscripts in the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England. Known as the Parker-on-the-Web Digitisation Project it has been jointly developed by the College and Stanford University and is supported financially by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation.
Digital images of an unfinished 14th century Spanish manuscript with "page turner" features. There are pproximately 85 leaves of which 30 are fully illuminated and 58 are partially illuminated.
St. Gall Manuscripts & Reichenau Manucripts
A new addition to the St. Gall Plan's website is a project to digitize manuscripts from across Europe and North America known to have been in the monasteries of Reichenau and St. Gall in the ninth century. The manuscripts are intended to be a virtual presentation of the two monasteries’ libraries and give us a window into the intellectual context that inspired the creation of the Plan. There are curerntly 77 manuscripts available. Additional manuscripts, metadata and site features (such as a comprehensive search function) will be added over the course of 2011 and 2012.
Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts
Database containing more than 60,000 entries for manuscripts written before 1600 and consisting of five or more leaves. It includes bibliographic information from approximately 4,000 catalogues from 400 dealers and auction houses since the early 19th century. This data is supplemented by entries from inventories and catalogues of private and institutional libraries.
The Schøyen Collection
The Schøyen Collection comprises most types of manuscripts from all regions spanning over 5000 years. It is the largest private manuscript collection formed in the 20th century. The collection, MSS 1-5268, comprises 13,497 items: 6,850 from 3300 BC - 500 AD; 3,864 from the medieval period, 500 - 1500; and 2,783 from the post-medieval period.
Schriftlichkeit in süddeutschen Frauenklöstern
Documentation for a joint project to digitize manuscripts from female monasteries in Bavaria. Monasteries include Altenhohenau, Altomünster, Pütrich-Seelhause, Angerkloster, and Neuburg an der Donau.
Spätmittelalterliche Bilderhandschriften aus der Bibliotheca Palatina
Digital versions of 27 late medieval illustrated manuscripts from Heidelberg University. In German, French, and English.
Supertextus notarum tironianarum
Part of a suite of ms. tools and resources, the "Tironian Notes" represents an important contribution to the verification and deceiphering of early medieval "shorthand." Compiled by Martin Hellmann. In German.
Uncataloged Manuscript Control Center
Index to uncataloged and unlocated manuscripts in public and private collections in North America. Formerly known as the Union Manuscript Computer Catalogue.
Digital version of the Carolingian period Utrecht Psalter, produced around 820-840 in the Benedictine abbey of Hautvillers near Epernay. Viewable only with Internet Explorer.
Virtual Library: History: Paleography
Subsection of the WWW Virtual Library for History devoted to paleography. Contains links to information about conferences and publications as well as analytical tools.
Virtual Library: History: Codicology
Subsection of the WWW Virtual Library for History devoted to codicology. Contains links to information about conferences and publications as well as analytical tools.
A searchable, multi-language illustrated dictionary of codicological concepts and terminology. Created and maintained by the Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes.
Watermarks in Incunabula Printed in the Low Countries
Searchable database of watermark descriptions and images. Created and maintained by the Royal Library, Netherlands.
Medieval and Early Modern
IntroductionSite begun and maintained by
Stephen R. Reimer
Professor of English
University of Alberta
Canada T6G 2E5
You are here: > Main Page
Medieval and Early Modern Manuscript Studies
This website offers a sketch of an on-line course in medieval paleography and codicology, especially for students of Middle English and early modern English literature. It was originally designed some 20 years ago in response to some discussions that were held with colleagues at several Western Canadian universities seeking a cooperative method to provide a course in paleography, codicology, or medieval and early modern book history. While our individual institutions rarely have such students in sufficient numbers to warrant mounting such a course or courses locally, we wished to explore the possibility of cooperatively offering such a course over the web, as an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional course in certain aspects of research methodology, and the website was developed as a set of resources towards such a course. The course itself never materialized, but with some regularity I receive correspondence suggesting that the website, despite its sketchy and rudimentary nature, has been and continues to be of some value.
After a long period of neglect, an effort is currently being made to revise the site, particularly in terms of incorporating into the bibliographies a decade's worth of accumulated notes and updates, including a variety of suggestions and corrections that I have received from those who have used the site. I am grateful to Professor Yin Liu of the University of Saskatchewan both for encouraging that this revision be done as well as for assigning one of her Research Assistants, Megan Wall, to help with the work.
This site currently has the following sections:
- The Manuscript Studies site Main Page, being this page which you are currently viewing, and the main jumping off point to th rest of the site;
- Course Notes (for lack of a better term): for the moment, and for illustrative purposes, this section includes some definitions of terms, a sample paleographical transcription, and other materials to show the scope of the course and to illustrate some of the potential of the web to deliver such a course;
- Bibliography: a 1000-item bibliography, covering many of the topics to be included in this course.
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[ Course Notes ] | [ Bibliography ] | [ Site Map ]
© 1998, 2015 Stephen R. Reimer
English; University of Alberta; Edmonton, Canada
All rights reserved.
Created: 28 Oct. 1998; Last revised: 30 May 2015