This is a Web page detailing the context, range and availability of the "Acta of the Plantagenets, 1154-1204" dataset hosted by the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), based at the UK Data Archive University of Essex (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service - AHDS). The data is available to order from the HDS as a tab delimited texts and DBF databases. From this Web page you may download a PDF of images of the study documentation. To make use of this dataset you must first register with the HDS, and further information is supplied giving instructions. The main aim of this project was to collect, edit and publish the Acts of Eleanor of Aquitaine (1154-1203), Richard, Count of Poitou (1172-1189), Richard I (1189-1199) and John, Count of Mortain and Lord of Ireland (1185-1199). The resource consists of tabulated indexes to the Acta containing details such as beneficiary, date and place of issue, and source.
This is an online palaeography course created by Jean Claude Toureille (Association pour la Diffusion de l'Information Historique et Archéologique en France) for a class held from 1 November 1996 to 28 July 1997. It contains thirteen online lectures consisting of images of original French documents written in various hands from the 15th to the late 18th century, transcriptions and palaeographical notes providing guidance to the students. There are also three assessment exercises of manuscript transcriptions. This course is freely available and aimed at the introductory level.
The BBC website "BBC - History Trails - Local History" provides basic information on how to go about becoming a local historian. There are extremely interesting and helpful tips, in the form of essays, on how to extract information from the local resources that surround us. Essays address the use of census returns, local architecture, types of sources (printed, archival, oral and physical) and how to read older documents. The site is a useful tool to get those interested in their local history started. The site is organised in trail sections, which provide examples of: how to trace the history of a factory; how to read the history of a landscape; rural history; and urban history. There are also links to other BBC History sites. The site is useful for the general public but also for undergraduates embarking on primary source research. There is good advice about the realistic choices that have to be made when beginning a research project, such as the size of the topic, ancillary skills needed and time factors.
Breaking the Seal is the Open University website to accompany the television series of the same name, which investigates documents, what we can learn from them and the use and misuse of documents as evidence. The series was broadcast on BBC2, as part of the Open University's Open2 presentations. The website is divided into the subjects of the programmes: Domesday (the Domesday Book); Tax; History from Open2; Church records; Legal issues; and Land law. Written and presented by Bettany Hughes, there are expert contributors from archivists, curators, librarians and researchers from a wide range of institutions. From each subject page users can access a synopsis of that programme, the full script, a reading list, biographies of the experts involved and related web links including archives and local and family history. Each programme features one or more members of the public, who present a 'problem' linked to the programme's theme; this is then solved by using the document(s). This useful introduction to manuscript studies for school students, life-long-learners and undergraduates covers palaeography, archives administration, how to locate primary sources, how to use archival catalogues and indexes and how to interpret documentary evidence. There are links to Open University courses. Some links are broken.
The website of the Brut Chronicle is hosted by the University of Michigan and part of the Humanities Text Initiative. It contains comprehensive scanned images of the University's Middle English manuscript of the so-called 'Brut Chronicle': the earliest prose chronicle in English and the most popular history of England in the Middle Ages. The quality of the images is very good and a transcription of the manuscript is to be added to the site in the future. In addition, the site contains a brief bibliography and list of related resources, as well as access to further collections in the University of Michigan's online resources.
The website "The Centre for English Local History" introduces this research institute from the University of Leicester. study of English local history at the University of Leicester goes back to 1948, and it was the first University to offer an MA in that subject. Among other projects it houses the English Surnames Survey and the Nichols Archive project. The site contains a useful history of the department, information on its courses, and details of the module seminars for the MA degree. These seminars are linked to substantial web-based resources in various aspects of local history, including landscape history, medieval migration and manorial accounts. The pages give details of the Centre's seminars (given by visiting speakers), publications, and theses and dissertations. There is a link to course materials on medieval and early-modern palaeography. The Centre hosts web pages for four related organisations, the Whittlewood Project, the Friends of English Local History, the Vaughan Archaeological and Historical Society, and TASC (the Trans-national Database and Atlas of Saints' Cults).
This is the homepage of the Centre for Manuscript and Print Studies (CMPS), which was founded in 2001 at the Institute of English Studies, University of London on behalf of the British Library; the St Bride Printing Library; the University of London Research Library Services; the English Department at the University of Birmingham; the School of English at the University of Reading; and the Literature Department at the Open University. The Centre covers a diverse range of fields such as: palaeography; codicology; diplomatic writing and calligraphy; the history of printing; manuscript and print relations; the history of publishing and of the book trade; ephemera studies; the history of reading; the history of libraries; collecting and scholarship; analytical, descriptive and historical bibliography; textual criticism and textual theory; and the electronic book. The CMPS serves as a resource for the international community of scholars (including undergraduate and postgraduate students); the site provides news of events such as conferences, seminars, exhibitions, and summer schools such as the Centre's annual Palaeography Summer School and London Rare Book School. Information and progress reports are provided about CMPS research projects, most of which receive funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Several of the more developed projects have their own sites, including: the Complete Works of John Ford; the Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700 (CELM); and the Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts (DigCIM); Philo-Bibliographical Notes and Queries; Early Paper; John Masefield Virtual Research Environment; the William Sharp "Fiona Macleod" Archive; and the Yeats Annual Series. The Centre additionally hosts the AHRC National Research Training Scheme (NRTS) in English Language and Literature, Palaeography and the History of the Book. Links to related sites and partner institutions are included. The Web pages are uncomplicated and easy to follow.
This is the website of a small private research Institute for the Study of Illuminated Manuscripts in Danish Collections founded by Erik Drigsdahl in Copenhagen in 1991. The site is intended to facilitate and support specialist research in Danish medieval manuscripts, and aims to provide access to up-to-date codicological research tools and results. The site contains an extensive tutorial on books of hours, a selective collection of incipits from the Hours of the Virgin, calendars from illuminated manuscripts in Danish collections, a list of described books of hours, psalters and prayerbooks in Danish collections. There is also a gateway to late medieval and Renaissance manuscripts on the web, covering some of the more significant manuscript collections from Denmark and from around the world, and providing links to digital images of manuscript folios. A new section on Danish incunabula books is also being prepared. The information provided on this site is intended for a scholarly audience.
Comptes des chatellenies Savoyardes is a website which provides images taken from 13th and 14th-century account rolls, using them in a number of self-guided palaeography exercises. The site is entirely written in French, but for those without French-language skills the exercises (based on Latin texts) are extremely easy to use and would therefore constitute useful practice for anyone already studying medieval palaeography. Small sections of document, in a number of different types of hands, are shown in facsimile, under which users type their transcription word by word and line by line. Success in transcription is indicated by coloured highlights showing whether the answer is correct or contains errors. The correct transcription is hidden at the bottom of the page, as well as beneath the manuscript image, and users can click on lines at any time to check their progress. This site is related to a parent site which provides detailed images of account rolls of the House of Savoy.
"Corsair" is a searchable repository of pictures of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts by The Pierpont Morgan Library. This website also contains data about other materials which form part of the collection, including: ancient seals; cuneiform tablets; drawings; rare printed books; and musical scores. All data are accessible via simple search forms. The library has plans for the digitisation of its entire collection of rare materials and all pictures will be accessible via this website. Introductory pages on all sections of the collections are already available. Researchers in particular may find this website useful.
The Early Book Society (EBS) website provides information on the Society's aims, membership, publications and items of related interest. The Society grew out of sessions run at the International Congress on Medieval Studies (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo) in the 1980s, and exists to bring together all those involved in any aspect of the study of early printed books and manuscripts across the world. The Society currently has over 400 members worldwide. The current edition of the Society's newsletter is available (as a PDF file) on the website, as are: details of the Society's officers, membership information, details of the EBS mailing list, upcoming events and links to related websites.
"English handwriting 1500-1700" is part of the Cambridge English Renaissance Electronic Service (CERES). The website provides an online course for late medieval, renaissance and early modern palaeography (paleography) on the basis of an extensive archive of manuscript images, drawn from several Cambridge colleges. In fifteen course lessons, it offers samples of different hands and manuscripts, and invites the visitor to supply transcriptions in the workspace provided. A wide range of pedagogical materials is provided, such as exemplary transcriptions of each course manuscript, alphabets of letter forms, an historical introduction, and codicological as well as palaeographical analyses. Each lesson concludes with a short test, and follow-up sections are available.This site is aimed mainly at beginners, but is also convenient for continuing reference, and includes a concise bibliography and list of links. It has a very user-friendly navigation, and provides downloadable PDF versions of the transcriptions.
The site dedicated to the manuscripts and rarities in the University Library of the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in Budapest describes the holdings of the library and provides the digitised versions of 36 medieval codices. The digitisation project includes 8 Hungarian and 28 Latin manuscripts as well as a fourteenth century early illuminated manuscript of the Divina Commedia (Cod. Ital. 1), which is one of the main assets of the library. Each digitised manuscript has a library description of its author; date of creation; codicological data; and library catalogue number. Permanent URLs have been assigned to each digitised version. The quality of the images is very good although they cannot be enlarged. Among the manuscripts in the collections of this library the site mentions the handwritten catalogues of documents compiled by Jesuits scholars in the eighteenth century, particularly the ones written by György Pray. Volume no. 30 of his books is also digitised and available online. The rarities in the library include early books and incunabulae but these are merely described on the site.
The site "Fons (Forráskutatás és történeti Segédtudományok)" introduces online the Hungarian historical journal which focuses on primary source publication and auxiliary sciences. The review was founded in 1993 and the first issue published in 1994, with four issues being printed each year. The publisher is the Szentpétery Imre Foundation for Historical Sciences. The site presents the history of the review and the editorial team, as well as information about formatting the text and bibliographical references for prospective authors. The last issue (1999, no. 1-2) is publishe online in full version. Tables of contents of all printed issues (1994-1999) and two studies are also posted on the site.
This is a Web page detailing the context, range and availability of the "Foreign Diplomatic Representatives to the Stuart Court, 1603-1625" dataset hosted by the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), based at the UK Data Archive University of Essex (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service - AHDS). The data is available to order from the HDS as a tab delimited texts and DBF databases. From this Web page you may download a PDF of images of the study documentation. To make use of this dataset you must first register with the HDS, and further information is supplied giving instructions. This project arose from an appendix to the principal investigator's PhD, 'Foreign Diplomatic Representatives to the Court of James VI and I'. Over past years historians have provided numerous partial lists, some more comprehensive than others, which relate to specific countries and which demonstrate a certain fascination with the question of diplomacy in the early modern period. However, very little work has been undertaken on the ambassadorial group as whole who came to the Stuart court. This project, therefore, aims to provide information on the diplomatic representatives, who were sent by their sovereigns or governing aristocracies to the court of James VI and I in the seventeenth century.
The website "Gazette du livre médiéval" is the online edition of this quarterly bulletin published by the Association Paléographique Internationale: Culture, Écriture, Société (APICES). This journal has been in print since 1982 and represents the contribution of medievalists from various countries. The website provides access to an online journal subscription form, a browsable list of tables of contents for all the journal issues from the beginning to the most current, and links to the full-text of selected articles from various issues. There is a selection of articles, grouped under different categories. The site has a bibliography section, which offers access to a bibliography of manuscript collection catalogues, and a bibliography of manuscripts published in facsimile. The entire datafile can be downloaded in compressed text file.
The Henry III Fine Rolls project website provides free access to the output of and extensive information about this project to publish the fine rolls from 1216 until 1248. As the fine rolls record the money offered to the king for favours each year, they provide a unique insight into political, social and economic life under Henry III. However, as they were written in Latin and only a tiny selection have appeared in print, they were largely inaccessible until this project which provides an abbreviated translation in English, called a calendar, alongside digitised images of the original rolls. A discussion of an interesting fine, set in the context of contemporary politics, government and record keeping, is added each month, often by a prestigious historian. Through a Fine of the Month competition, users can submit their own research relating to the fines for publication and the chance to win a prize. This is an essential resource for historians of the thirteenth century and the late medieval period and for anyone interested in local history, manuscript studies or medieval Latin. This three-year project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and directed by the respected historians David Carpenter, of King's College, London and David Crook, of The National Archives, with Harold Short, Director of the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, also at King's. Access to this resource is free; it is easy to use and well laid out. The sometimes complex information is presented in an accessible manner. As this is a work in progress, facilities for searching and viewing the documents will be improved.
Historische Hilfs Wissenschaften is a website in German and Italian, created by Prof Dr Horst Enzensberger of the University of Bamberg. It provides an overview and bibliographic listings for the disciplines belonging to the 'auxiliary (ancillary) sciences of history' category. These include: palaeography; codicology; diplomatics; genealogy; chronography; epigraphy; heraldry; numismatics; sigillography; and Latin. The website is structured in three main parts: general introduction of each of the historical subsidiary sciences; individual overviews of each discipline, including listings of reference works; and various illustrative images (mostly of poor quality) of manuscripts, artefacts, medals, etc. There are also links to related courses and events at Bamberg University, and a glossary of the most used terms, each with a bibliography.
This is the website of L'Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes; a think-tank of the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique [CNRS], based in Paris. The institute conducts fundamental research on the medieval manuscript and the transmission of medieval texts written in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Old French. The site provides information regarding: the Institute's activities and publications; a calendar of seminars, conferences and colloquia; access to online searching of its library catalogue; a listing of available electronic resources; and information on courses of interest.This website is of particular interest to researchers of the medieval manuscript book.
The website of the "Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies" reflects the scope and activities of this institution, which was founded in 1961 in Canterbury to provide a school for the study of the history and structure of the family. It has developed to encompass all aspects of genealogical and heraldic research, art and practice. The site is an introduction to the institute with details of its activities including: courses; library facilities; heraldic research; palaeography; handwriting analysis; and genetic research. A search facility of the library is provided for a basic fee. Details are given of the Sussex collection, a microfiche collection of the parish records of Sussex. Links are given to other genealogical websites and the institute's own journal.
This website, from the Claremont Colleges Digital Library, provides invaluable online access to a number of primary source correspondences from the Italian Renaissance. While the website itself is available in English, the letters are in Italian and no further information is supplied. Users without a knowledge of Italian, or early modern palaeography, may find the resources somewhat difficult to use as a result. Nonetheless, the website can be searched by keyword; or it can be browsed by author (including a number of the Medici family), by location, by subject (i.e. the information contained in the individual letters) and by general time period. The letters are arranged together (into recto and verso) and the website is very easy to navigate and use. The images themselves are of a very high quality.
"L'aventure des écritures" is a French-language site that provides a detailed, multi-layered and richly illustrated introduction to the history of writing. There are three section: one dealing with the origin and diffusion of some 25 world writing systems from ca. 3300 B.C. to ca. 1200 A.D (Naissances); one introducing the various supports for writing (Matters and forms - Matière et formes); and the third introducing "the page" (La page) namely presenting the history of the printed paper and the book. The website reflects an exhibition at the BNF in 1999. Using a hypertext medium, the reader is guided through the history, mythology and cultural context of the world major writing systems: Cuneiform, Egyptian, Chinese, African and Pre-Columbian and related scripts. These are complemented by sections outlining theoretical and cultural aspects of writing systems such as signs and cryptography, the relationship between writing and speech, and the symbolic and religious associations of letters and scripts. In addition to the wide-ranging bibliography and glossary of terms, there is extensive citation of academic and literary reflections on writing. The related, and equally splendidly presented 'dossiers pédagogiques' deal with the physical aspects of writing, book making and printing from inscribed clay tablets to illuminated manuscripts to the CD-rom. The excellent education section provides a very useful resource for teachers at all levels of education though it will be particularly useful for schools. This website has a wide potential audience from the general public to students, teachers and researchers of archaeology, classics and ancient languages or else to those interested in e-publication and education.
This is the website of the Medieval Institute Library at the University of Notre Dame, a uniquely rich resource for medieval studies in that it gathers in one place some 90,000 volumes; various collections of handbooks, series, pamphlets, reprints and photographic materials; microfilm and microfiche copies of some 3,000 medieval manuscripts and facsimile reprints from European libraries; a large collection of manuscript catalogues and materials on palaeography, diplomatics, and early printed books; and a collection of more than 200 medieval seals in facsimile. The library holdings on the history of medieval universities and medieval education reflect the Medieval Institute's scholarly interest in intellectual history, including that of the Byzantine Empire.
The website 'Medieval Palaeography' is an online introductory tutorial for a module on the M.A. course in English Local History at the University of Leicester. It is intended for use in the classroom, but it can be used by anyone interested in learning palaeography via the web. The tutorial focuses on teaching the basic ability to read and understand the hands and types of medieval documents usually encountered during research into medieval economic and social history. The site was created by Dr. Dave Postles (University of Leicester), and is a collaborative project between West Sussex Record Office and the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester. Digital images of several 13th-century charters are used in this tutorial, with transcriptions and notes provided in pop-up windows. Also available on the site are: notes on various aspects of the charters; descriptions of different types of documents; bibliographies; a list of palaeographical terms; and self assessment exercises. The Medieval Palaeography website would be of interest to anyone wishing to consult original medieval documents, whether they are university students, local historians or amateur family historians.
Developed from the Manchester University Press Medieval Sources series, Medieval Sources online is a Web-based based learning resource containing hundreds of original medieval history documents compiled for the teaching and study of history. With a yearly subscription to the site, students and teachers can have open and unrestricted access, through their own computers, to high quality history resource material. Medieval Sources online is "designed to be fully integrated with undergraduate courses, and is intended as a one-stop answer for many medieval history students, academics and researchers". Medieval Sources online is organised according to subject matter. The site's excellent and intuitive search engine makes it simple to browse for the texts or beautifully rendered images that are available. The site also provides a portal (freely available to non-subscribers) to other online resources relating to the study of the Middle Ages. Subjects covered by this free portal include: women in medieval times; the black death; the Crusades; Monasticism; the Norman Conquests; and Medieval warfare. The resource would be of value to anyone with an interest in the teaching of Medieval history, and further education or undergraduate level.
The website of the Porphyrogenitus Project is a project under development at the Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway College, University of London. The aim of the project is to compile a lexicon of abbreviations and ligatures in Greek Minuscule Hands (ca. 8th century to ca. 1600) in order to facilitate access to the content of manuscripts by Classical scholars and medievalists. The material the project coordinators use comes from manuscripts housed in major European and American libraries, and covers a variety of subjects from literature, music, law and notarial documents to mathematics, physics & alchemy, astronomy & astrology, weights & measures, and medicine, as well as tachygraphy, cryptography, monocondyliae and abbreviations and ligatures in early printed books. There are plans to publish the lexicon as a printed handbook and in CD-ROM format. This project was funded between 2001-2004 by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) within the research grants scheme.
The Quadrivium Project is an online resource for training doctoral students in Medieval English textual studies. The site is hosted by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Glasgow and is run in partnership with the Universities of: York; Birmingham; Queen Mary's London; and Queen's University in Belfast. The site provides a portal to training materials on: language (mainly Middle English); palaeography and codicology; and textual criticism and editorial practices. Another section on 'socio-historical context' is also under construction at the time of writing. The types of materials available on the site range from links to catalogues of medieval manuscripts and digitised manuscripts, to brief discussions on textual editing processes. The project also provides links to the partner projects and institutions, and to other related websites. This resource would be of interest to postgraduates working in: Medieval English; history; or manuscript studies.
Trismegistos is an online 'platform' or service which enables the cross-searching of a variety of projects dealing with metadata of published documents relating to the study of late period Egypt (roughly 800 BCE - 800 CE). The aim of this developing service is to overcome any barriers of language and discipline in the study of documents written not only in Greek, Latin, and Egyptian in its various scripts, but also in Aramaic, Carian, and other languages. In total it contains nearly 100,000 records. The basis of the online resource is a searchable database, of collections of papyrological and epigraphic texts by the Leuven Homepage of Papyrus Collections and the project Multilingualism and Multiculturalism in Graeco-Roman Egypt. The 'Leuven home page of papyrus collections' is a comprehensive and invaluable database of information on collections of papyrus and ostraca from the ancient Mediterranean world (circa 2000 B.C.- circa 500 A.D.) scattered in almost 30 countries and 350 institutions. It includes contact details and URLs of many of the scholars and institutions active in papyrological research. The database appears to be an on-going project and the level of detail and number of links listed for individual collections vary considerably. There is a straightforward keyword search but the collection can also be browsed by country of origin, by institution and, where known, by archive provenance. References to literary papyri are cross-linked with the Leuven Database of Ancient Books (LDAB), though this is not immediately apparent. Several useful sections describe and contextualise public and private archives in antiquity and describe how they have survived and come down to us in the modern world. Many of the entries on individual institutions also provide brief accounts of their collection history in addition to summaries of past and present research projects. This is a valuable resource, particularly as a gateway site, for researchers in archaeology and Egyptology, ancient history, classics and biblical studies who are interested in papyri and related materials.
The website "Vindolanda Tablets Online" is an excellent site which provides an online database of the Vindolanda Tablets found at the Vindolanda fortress near Hadrian's Wall dating from the first century of the common era. The site is extremely easy to navigate and features a help section. The database is intended to be used as a learning tool for teaching Latin and Classics at all levels; primary school (there is a link to the Latin course for primary schools, Minimus), A and AS levels, undergraduate, postgraduate and for research purposes. The website is based on the publication of three volumes of materials on the tablets, but obviously offers many more facilities than the printed form. There is a section on the background history to the fort of Vindolanda, where the tablets were found. The tablets provide information on the social, cultural, and military history of the fortress. There is an online exhibition of the tablets, which features sections on people, places, documents, reading the tablets, and forts and military life. An excellent reference section provides information about Roman systems of dates, measures, currencies, military units and ranks, and Roman nomenclature. The tablets themselves can be viewed individually, and through an image zooming viewer. The tablets are arranged as a fully searchable set of digital materials with information included that is related to the tablets. The texts of the tablets can be searched by document type, people, places, military terms, archaeology, and other terms. A comprehensive links page provides information on over 70 websites and a bibliography of printed material. The project is based within the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, Oxford University and is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The initial capture of the digital images was supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Board grant.
This is the online full-text of M.R. James's articles entitled "The wanderings and homes of manuscripts" (London, 1919), dealing with the survival and transmission of ancient literature. Questions such as where manuscripts were made, how and in what centres they have been collected, and ways of tracing out their history are addressed in this text. The article was scanned as part of the Tertullian project, which is a collection of ancient and modern texts about the ancient Christian Latin writer Tertullian and his writings. The website is very well maintained and is added to regularly.
The 'What Every Medievalist Should Know' (WEMSK) website consists of an extensive annotated bibliography covering all aspects of medieval studies. It is intended for graduate students rather than specialists, although undergraduates may find it useful as well. Everything from 'Mechanics in the Middle Ages' to 'Old Church Slavic Literature' is covered, with topics being posted on a weekly basis. The site is divided into the weeks on which the topics were added, and then according to specific topic area. Topics can also be browsed alphabetically. Each topic is introduced with recommended starting reading and helpful remarks as to where to take one's studies from there, with sub-lists for specific fields within the overall topic. Each topic page concludes with links to other electronic resources. This is a site with clear aims, which it addresses admirably. The new graduate student beginning research in any aspect of medieval life or literature will find direction and useful starting points here.