This website offers information about the Abbreviationes software created at the KUN Center for Medieval and Renaissance Natural Philosophy in The Netherlands as a powerful reference tool for reading medieval Latin manuscripts. It is an electronic dictionary of medieval Latin abbreviations designed for use in learning and teaching of medieval Latin paleography. The software consists of a database of over 70,000 entries. Abbreviationes is available in a personal edition, a workgroup edition for 10 users, and a server edition for an unlimited number of users. There is also an Abbreviationes Online version by subscription.Order and purchasing details are also available on the website. The resource is frequently updated, and upgraded with new versions of the database for use on a wide variety of browsers. It is possible to receive a free trial of the database through the website, and users will find a great deal of textual information (including screen-grabs) about the database's operation.
Adfontes is a website dedicated to an eLearning application developed and maintained by the History Department of the University of Zurich. It is in German, and aims to help students develop the skills necessary for archival work. The site consists of online tutorials for transcribing and dating Latin and German documents, using digitally reproduced samples of documents from the archives of the Abbey of Einsiedeln in Switzerland. Adfontes may be used free of charge, after registering and installing Shock Wave freeware. It is organized in four interlinked sections devoted to practical tasks, lessons and reference material. The 'Tutorium' section provides concise information on: transcription; chronology; dating; weights; and measures. In 'Training', students can transcribe online everything from pre-Carolingian manuscripts to 19th-century letters. A magnifying tool, helpful hints and the option to check results are supplied. The 'Archiv' section simulates a visit to the archives of Einsiedeln Abbey; 'Ressourcen' has tables, links and other reference material. Adfontes, besides winning a number of prizes, has been tested successfully as a teaching aid.
Produced by The National Archives, this interactive tutorial provides twelve step-by-step lessons in Advanced Latin vocabulary and grammar. An easy to use and free resource, it follows on from The National Archives' Beginner's Latin course and therefore assumes that the user has basic familiarity with the language. As the ability to read Latin at this level is essential for anyone wishing to use documents produced in England between 1066 and 1733, this tutorial is suitable not just for academics and students, but also for those interested in family or local history. Each lesson focuses on one or more aspect of Latin grammar, which is clearly and concisely explained. Users requiring more help can open extra windows for full explanations of terms or to access a word list or grammar table. At the end of each lesson, the user can try an interactive test and also attempt to translate some practice sentences. These sentences are taken from documents at The National Archives and provide not only attractive images for the website but also allow the user to develop confidence in translating historical manuscripts.
This is a website maintained by the History Department at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It is written in Gallegan. The website has not been updated since 1996, but contains some useful information for scholars interested in Galician palaeography, diplomatic and codicology. There is a directory of all the ecclesiastical, regional and municipal archives in Galicia providing good descriptions of each historical archive, content and mode of access. The pages on the history of writing in Galicia provide an overview of the main historical scripts in use in the Middle Ages. Each script is illustrated with one or more digital examples of documents. There is also a brief online bibliography and a gateway of links to related resources on the web.
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.
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.
Digital Medievalist is the website of an online community of practice for medievalists working with digital media, particularly the digital representation of historical source material. The project runs: an email discussion list to enable the sharing of experience and knowledge amongst scholars working with medieval sources in a digital environment; a refereed online journal; and a news server for calls for papers and announcements. The Project also arranges conference sessions at relevant congresses. Full texts of journal issues are available on the website, as are guidelines for contributors. The Executive Board of the project has an international membership, reflecting the scope of this area of research. The site would be of interest to researchers already in the field, and anyone considering starting a digital project using medieval sources.
"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.
Historia da Escritura en Galicia is a website which offers a succinct presentation of the evolution of writing in this autonomous region of Spain. It has been written by Romaní Martínez and Vázquez Bertomeu, lecturers in the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. It provides a general introduction to five main scripts: Visigothic; Caroline; Gothic; legal script (cortesàs-procesais); and Humanistic. Each presentation is accompanied by one or more examples of manuscripts in digital form. The image quality is modest but legible. Only a brief manuscript description is given, and transcriptions or commentaries are not available for each image. The webpage will be of interest to anyone looking for a quick overview of the history of manuscripts and palaeography in Galicia. Users should note that the site can be viewed in Galician only.
"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.
A Manuscript Miscellany is a website hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library and is the result of a 2005 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer humanities institute entitled 'The Handwritten Worlds of Early Modern England'. The institute focused on the history of manuscripts from 1400 to 1700, examining among others: literary; domestic; devotional; dramatic; and business documents and texts from the Folger Library, in order to write a "more nuanced history of the period". The resulting essays (14 of them) written by the college-teacher participants of the institute are available on the website, with topics including: '"The Emperor of China His Letter to Queen Elizabeth" (1600)'; 'The Marginalized Voices of Chaucer's Early Readers'; 'A Seventeenth-Century Prophecy of Merlin'; and 'Gendering Hands, Gendering Business: A Letter from Elizabeth Bagot'. The site also provides a useful Glossary of Manuscript Terms, as well as a useful set of links to related electronic resources. The resources here would be of interest to students and researchers in the fields of manuscript studies, history and English, especially those studying the dissemination of texts and literacy in the early modern period.
The Manuscript Studies Portal at Senate House Library provides online access to resources useful for the study of Western manuscripts. These resources are divided into three categories: Senate House's own Manuscript Studies research collection; databases and CD-Roms available in the Senate House library itself; and online resources freely available on the Web. Types of resources covered include: books; catalogues; medieval manuscripts; papers of palaeographers; facsmilies on CD-Rom and online; vocabulaires and glossaries; related courses of study; dictionaries of abbreviations/contractions; image databases; and related projects. Some of the links are annotated, others have a separate link to relevant websites or catalogues that describe the resources themselves in detail. The Portal has developed out of the work of the 'Palaeography - Developing the National Resource' Project, funded by the Research Support Libraries Programme, which ran from 1999 to 2002.
The website "Mediaevum.de" is a portal created and maintained by four medieval German scholars as a private enterprise dedicated to students, academic researchers and the general public interested in medieval German and Latin culture. The website compiles and provides access to extensive and authoritative information, sources and tools on the web for the study of these literatures in the high middle ages and the later middle ages and humanistic periods. All the links have descriptions with details of content and quality. The language of the site is German with an English introduction to the top-level pages. No full English version of the portal is currently being planned.
Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections is an online database of descriptions of all the western medieval manuscripts (produced up to circa 1550) held in public and partially public collections in the Netherlands. The descriptions are detailed and include information on: the texts within each manuscript; the type of script used; language; date; production materials; and provenance of the manuscripts. The database can be searched by any of the aforementioned categories, and more in-depth queries can be made regarding: the texts; production materials; and manuscript origins. For some of the manuscripts an image of a single folio of the codex is also provided, which can be enlarged for closer viewing. The website itself also showcases various manuscripts from collections included in the database (giving a short essay and an image from each), as well as providing a palaeography section containing an overview of types of medieval script. This site would be of interest to scholars and researchers in the fields of medieval studies and manuscript studies, although the palaeographical information provided is relatively basic and would be of more use as an introduction to the period. The site is generally easy to use, but citation of database entries is made difficult by the lack of unique URLs for each entry.
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.
Nota Quadrata is the website of a research project devoted to the study of late medieval musical notation. The title of the project relates to the use of square notation, a 14th-century innovation which changed the way music was read and disseminated. The project site provides various short articles of interest to manuscript and musical historians, divided into sections including: Writing Medieval Music; Medieval Context; Terms and Treatises; Note Shapes; Manuscripts; and Scribes and Scriptoria. To add to this the site also provides project news and information on related events. The project is a collaboration between the Faculty of Music and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.
The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive website is the home page of a collaborative project that aims to create electronic and printed resources to facilitate comparison between the 54 extant manuscripts of the three versions of Langland's poem. As of 2007, 5 CDs of material have been published. Some of the MSS already completed include: Huntington Library MS 128; British Library MS Lansdowne 398; Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson Poetry 39; British Library MS Additional 35287; Bodleian MS Laud. misc. 581; and Oriel College MS 79. The project has made use of some original MSS, as well as microfilm and facsimilies. The website provides little free material, but does give information on the background and processes of the project. The electronic archive will facilitate the work of students, teachers and editors of Piers Plowman manuscripts.
The Planctus for William Longsword website is devoted to a Norman poem of the 10th century, and serves two purposes. Firstly, it collects all the primary and secondary materials for the study of this poem in one place. Secondly, it illustrates the textual and paleographical difficulties common in dealing with all medieval sources. The site will be of use to scholars who need access to this poem, as well as to students of medieval history and paleography. Elegantly designed and edited by Robert Helmerichs, the site includes excellent historical and cultural backgound material and a substantial bibliography.
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.
This is the 22nd online edition of a selection of digitised manuscripts from the Schoyen Collection. The Schoyen Collection is a large private manuscript collection formed in the 20th century and held at the National Library of Norway, comprising over 13,000 manuscripts from all over the world and spanning over 5,000 years, from 3300 BC to 1500 AD. The checklist is well structured and has a good contents page with hyperlinks to the main collections organised by subject. Sections of particular interest to manuscript scholars include: Bibles; history; literature; bindings; pre-1450 printing; and palaeography. The manuscript descriptions are very full and include good quality images in both thumbnail and large screen formats. There is also a comprehensive introductory section giving an overview of the entire Schoyen Collection, including the chronological distribution of manuscripts, the distribution by countries and languages, and a list of manuscript scriptoria and provenances. Users will also find a bibliography related to the Schoyen Collection.
The website "Schøyen Collection" is a private collection of manuscript items comprising most types of material and content from around the world, spanning over 5,000 years, owned by Martin Schøyen. Containing 13,010 items, it is the largest private manuscript collection formed in the 20th century. This website comprises a detailed checklist of manuscripts arranged by subject, chronology, country, and provenance. About 600 manuscripts are explained in detail with images of sample pages. These manuscripts include examples of patristic literature, writings on world religions, mathematical tables, and some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Smaller collections that may be previewed over the Internet deal with subjects such as Roman military diplomas, slavery, wine and beer, and literary letters.
"St. Mary of Egypt in BL ms Cotton Otho B. x" is a full-text online version of an MA thesis of the same title, submitted to the University of Kentucky by Linda Cantara in 2001 and supervised by Kevin Kiernan. The subject of the thesis is the anonymous Old English prose Life of St. Mary of Egypt, in particular the fragmentary text contained within the severely damaged Otho B. x. manuscript of the British Library's Cotton collection. Using high-resolution digital facsimiles (which in turn were created in conjunction with ultraviolet fluorescence) the author contends that Otho B. x. contains textual evidence not present in other versions of the work (e.g. BL MS Cotton Julius E. vii). The thesis examines the textual history and current scholarship of the text and, in part three, presents new textual evidence illustrated with excerpts from the digital images of the manuscript folios. A list of figures and works cited are also included. This is a fascinating piece of work, which should be of intererst to those studying Old-English literature and medieval manuscripts.
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.
This website outlines a three year AHRC-funded project to create a digital copy of the important Vernon Manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The “biggest and most important surviving late medieval English manuscript”, access to the extensive and lavishly illuminated Vernon Manuscript is currently very limited for reasons of conservation and the “sheer scale of the volume”. This project will publish a DVD-format digital copy, with full colour images and searchable descriptions and transcriptions of every page. The website gives details of the project team and partners.