The 'De Grey' Hours is an online digital facsimile of a book of hours held by the National Library of Wales (MS 15537C). The resource is one of a number of facsimiles included on the Library's 'Digital Mirror' Web pages, which provide access to a selection of highlights from the institution's collections. The manuscript itself is named after a family who once owned the work, and is richly decorated with over sixty miniatures and historiated intials. The codex can be viewed folio by folio or as a gallery of illuminations only. Images are provided initially as thumbnails, which can then be enlarged for easier viewing. A brief introduction to the concept of a book of hours, and to this particular manuscript are provided, together with a list of illustrations and a bibliography. This resource would be of interest to those studying art history, particularly iconography, as well as those interested in western manuscripts.
The Aberdeen Bestiary website gives access to a digitised version of the entire manuscript of the Aberdeen Bestiary (Aberdeen University Library MS 24), considered to be one of the best examples of its type. The manuscript, written and illuminated in England around 1200, ended up in the possession of Aberdeen University in the 19th century. It is of added interest since it contains notes, sketches and other evidence of the way it was designed and executed. The site's home page gives access to the Bestiary, its history and codicology, and an extensive bibliography. There is also information about bestiaries generally. The entire manuscript has been digitised using Photo-CD technology, thus creating a surrogate, while allowing greater access to the text itself. The digitised version, offering the display of full-page images and of detailed views of illustrations and other significant features, is complemented by a series of commentaries, which include art history material, and a transcription and translation of the original Latin. The Bestiary can also be searched by keyword. This project is funded under the Joint Funding Councils Libraries Review Group: Specialised Research Collections in the Humanities initiative. The project is a collaborative effort between Aberdeen University Library, the Department of History of Art and the Centre for Computer Based Learning in Land Use and Environmental Sciences (CLUES).
This is an online full-text scholarly article presented by Philippe Faure at a conference organised by the Association des Professeurs d'Histoire et de Géographie in Bourges, France. The article deals with the function, status and usage of images in the context of a medieval visual culture. The author also discusses the role of religious iconography in medieval civilisation. A bibliography accompanies the text of the article.
This is the website of ArCH Armarium Codicum Hibernensium - the Bookcase of Irish Manuscripts. Ireland enjoyed a long and impressive period of influence in the Middle Ages but few in modern Ireland are aware of the significance of her scholars and writers in shaping European high culture. For well over half a millennium, from about 600 to 1200, Ireland made a remarkable contribution to European learning and art-philosophy, theology, philology, grammar, literature, manuscript illumination, and creative literature in Latin and the vernacular. Europe's greatest Latin poet of the ninth century, Sedulius Scottus, and Europe's greatest philosopher of the early middle ages, Johannes Scottus Eriugena, were both Irish. Ireland was outstanding especially in manuscript illumination and the arts of the scribe. These manuscripts are of immense importance to Irish heritage. Unfortunately, most of the outstanding manuscripts of this period are largely unavailable and inaccessible to Irish people. This project proposes to make them available to the people of Ireland and all those interested in Irish literary heritage. The method used is to create high quality digital photographs, in order to make scholarly facsimiles of these Irish manuscripts, in both print and in digital form, in partnership with other leading academic institutions. The ArCH Project is directed by Dr Damian Bracken. Its scholarly undertakings are overseen by the distinguished Consultative Committee. ArCH is managed by Sinéad Deignan, Department of History, University College Cork, Ireland.
The Art and Books website consists of essays about the history of manuscript and book illustration, which were written by Sue Wood of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Charles Sturt University, along with other contributors, as companion pieces for an undergraduate course on 'Art and Books.' A wealth of detail is provided here with a view to exploring a larger theoretical question about the relationship between form and content. The introductory page states, "different types [of books are described here] in terms of the relationships between images and text; form and content; and method production and end product."
The site is divided into eight sections: the book form; manuscripts; Gutenberg and after; fine printing; children's books; comics; artist's books; and the future. Each section contains annotated links to other websites featuring relevant primary and secondary resources. Most sections also contain helpful essays written by the author of the site introducing key elements of book illustration. There are short essays on such subjects as: the development of the book; illuminated manuscripts (the various kinds and styles); block books; the development of print technology; the history of children's book illustration; and the history of Australian children's book illustration in particular. As befits a site about illustration, this is a well-presented resource that should provide a good starting point for those studying manuscript and book illustration.
The Auchinleck Manuscript website features an online edition of the manuscript held by the National Library of Scotland. Produced in London during the 1330s, the manuscript contains verses and poems spanning a wide range of genres including: romance; hagiography; doctrinal instruction; a chronicle; satire; complaint; and humorous tales. According to popular myth, Chaucer himself may have read the manuscript, and his 'Tale of Sir Thopas' may have been influenced by the Auchinleck's stanzaic 'Guy of Warwick'. But it is for romances in particular that the manuscript is renowned. There are eighteen romances, including: 'Reinbroun'; 'Of Arthour & of Merlin'; 'Roland and Vernagu'; 'Sir Tristrem'; 'Kyng Alisaunder'; 'Sir Orfeo'; 'The King of Tars'; 'Amis and Amiloun'; and 'Horn Childe and Maiden Rimnild'. All of the poems are in English. As well as containing the transcribed texts (and page images) of the manuscript, the website includes a history of manuscript and a page about its physical make up. There is also a glossary and a lexicon, as well as bibliographies for each text and topic, and links to other relevant websites. This is an excellent example of a manuscript Internet resource, which should be of great value to scholars engaged in manuscript studies or researching Middle English literature. It is also possible to download the manuscript from the Oxford Text Archive site.
The Auchinleck MS website presents both a basic and a detailed description of the Auchinleck manuscript (national library of Scotland, advocates' MS 19.2.1) and the forty-four Middle English text items included in it. For each item the site provides information on: the text's physical state in the manuscript; the stanza-form; other manuscript attestations; and modern editions. In addition, each item is linked to information on: the scribes; relevant sections in the site's selective bibliography; and to electronic editions of the individiual texts (some of which are diplomatic transcriptions by the site's creator, others are based on the TEAMS Middle English Texts website). This site is easy to navigate, being hyperlinked within its several different sections. It has consistent referencing to the scholarly sources used. While the information provided is very thorough, it remains limited, with little or no discussion of the manuscript's overall physical appearance or of the dating; distribution; and dialect of either the manuscript or the individual texts. This site would be a useful introduction to the manuscript and the texts themselves for students and researchers in manuscript studies or medieval English literature.
The website "Bibbie Atlantiche" [Giant Bibles] represents an electronic updated version of the catalogue of an exhibition on Italian Giant Bibles organized by the University of Cassino in 2000-2001. The website outlines the history of the Giant Bibles - so-called due to their oversize dimensions - which reached their peak during the period of the Gregorian Reform. Bibles are described in great detail and a selection of electronic reproductions, available in different sizes, can be viewed online. A database allows users to access comprehensive bibliographic descriptions of some the Giant Bibles part of the exhibition, each accompanied by in-depth explanatory texts. Additionally available are both a bibliography - which can be searched or browsed - and various articles being the introduction essays published in the exhibition catalogues and other studies on the Bibbie Atlantiche. Articles are downloadable as PDF files. A section of the site is dedicated to the Tuscan Bibles. Initially manufactured in the Rome region, in the spirit of the Reform movement promoted by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085), the production centre of Giant Bibles subsequently shifted to the Tuscany region. A different section focuses on the earliest examples of Bibbie Atlantiche, including the so-called Bible of Henry the Fourth, datable to 1060-1070. A link page presents and briefly describes other related websites. Bibbie Atlantiche - available in Italian only - represents a valuable resource for the study of this specific type of manuscript and the early productions of the Bible.
Bibles moralisées. Electronic bibliography is an electronic bibliography for manuscripts of the Bible Moralisée maintained by Professor John Lowden (Courtauld Institute of Art). It is a straightforward listing of titles arranged chronologically, covering the period 1759-2004. The bibliography is a work-in-progress, although there is no evidence of recent updates. Nevertheless, it remains a valuable reference source.
This is an online inventory-catalogue of the Ambrosiana drawings developed by the Medieval Institute of the University of Notre Dame in cooperation with the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, Italy. The Ambrosiana collection has over 12,000 drawings by European artists who were active from the fourteenth through to the nineteenth century. The inventory database contains over 7,500 descriptive records and approximately 5,000 images of drawings from this collection. The catalogue is fully searchable using a series of indexes including title, artist, medium, subject, shelfmark and bibliography. Integrated thesaurus-type lists are provided to aid searching by artist names and subject keywords. A comprehensive online guide offering help with searching and advanced Boolean operators is also available. An alphabetically-arranged bibliography containing works cited in the catalogue records is availabe on the Website for browsing. There is also a bibliography on the history of the Ambrosiana collection, and one on the Ambrosiana exhibitions.
This is the website of the Biblioteca Riccardiana in Florence, which holds over 4,000 manuscript books, 5,000 loose papers and correspondence, drawings, and an extensive collection of printed books, including over 700 incunabula. The website provides a list of printed catalogues and other access tools relating to the collections. No electronic catalogue is available for searching the library holdings. There is also a list of projects in progress at the library, which includes a watermarks project, digital fascimiles of the library's illuminated manuscripts, and the published catalogue of dated manuscripts developed within the framework of the "Italian Dated Manuscripts" project. A short list of library publications and conference proceedings can also be browsed on the Riccardiana Library's website. There is an Italian and an English version of this website.
The Book of Deer is a digital reproduction of the original manuscript (MS. Ii.6.32) held by Cambridge University Library. The manuscript is an illustrated 10th century gospel book, generally thought to be the earliest surviving manuscript from Scotland. Later additions, including a communion service for the sick, were made to the manuscript in Gaelic in the 11th and 12th centuries. It is thought that the manuscript was at the Abbey of Deer, in Aberdeenshire when the additions were made. The manuscript consists of 86 folios. There are two images for each folio, front and verso, and each folio is accompanied by a brief description. There is also a more general description of the entire manuscript, and a short bibliography. The resource as a whole is part of Cambridge University Library's impressive Digital Images Collection, which contains digitised versions of wight important manuscripts, including: a collection documenting Sir Issaac Newton's life and ideas; the Gutenberg Bible (the first book in Europe printed using moveable metal type); and digital images from Pascal's Thesis on the Arithmetic Triangle.
The website 'The British Library Online Gallery: Illuminated Manuscripts' is an online exhibition of the BL, containing over 3000 images taken from the library's collection of illuminated manuscripts. The site is introduced by the curator, and contains images chosen from manuscripts dating from the 8th to the 15th centuries, including: annals; medical treatises; hagiographies; psalters; bestiaries; chronicles; and religious works. Celebrated manuscripts such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Sherborne Missal are represented, as would be expected, but perhaps more interesting are the images from the less showy manuscripts that constitute the greater part of the library's collection. The images chosen include: marginalia; heraldic art; illuminated and historiated initials and miniatures. This resource would be of use to all those interested in the cultural and intellectual history of the medieval period, as well as scholars and students of art history and manuscript studies. Users can browse the illuminated manuscripts collection by title and date or use the link to the catalogue. Once selected, the images are presented with a short description and can be viewed either as a large image or as smaller image in which users can zoom and pan (requires Flash).
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.
Codex Gigas is a website hosting a digitisation of a 13th-century Bible, known as the 'Devil's Bible'. The Bible was made in medieval Bohemia, and is said to be the largest extant medieval Bible. The Bible is now owned by the Kungliga biblioteket (National Library in Stockholm), which created this resource. High quality images of all folios of the codex are available, each of which can be magnified in order to see detail or read the text. The images can be browsed by folio number, or highlights can be viewed by type of content (for example: names; Old Testament; New Testament; or Calendar). In addition to the images, the site provides: a history of the manuscript; a description of the codex; and a discussion of the content size and purpose of this Bible. Also helpful are the: bibliography; biographies; and glossary of manuscript terms. The site is well designed and easy to use, and would be of interest to anyone studying medieval manuscripts, or medieval theology. The site is also provided in Swedish and Czech.
The Codices Electronici Sangallenses (CESG) website gives access to high resolution digital images of medieval codices in the Abbey Library of St Gallen in Switzerland (now a UNESCO World Heritage Centre). The aim is to bring these codices to a wider audience, and to partially replace the use of the fragile originals in the library. The codices available are shown in their entirety (including images of their binding), in high enough resolution to facilitate close study of their makeup as well as their content. Manuscripts represented range from: bibles; calendars; and antiphonals to: saints' lives; histories of the crusades; and a book of German pre-reformation songs. The site is available in French, German, English and Italian and includes a description of the CESG project and a brief history of the Abbey Library. The images are available for educational and research use, providing that the source is correctly cited, and are accompanied by detailed descriptions. This site would be of great interest to anyone studying medieval manuscripts and codices, and also to students of medieval palaeography, theology and philosophy.
The Getty Center have provided this online overview of their exhibiton on ‘The Decorated Letter’ which ran from 13 November 2007 to 27 January 2008. This guide includes sample decorative letters dating from the 11th to 15th centuries, each with the facility to zoom in and see the decoration in detail. There is an audio file attached to the section on the intial H from the beginning of the ‘Decretals’ where curator Elizabeth Morrison describes how this image represents the struggle of man against himself. There is another audio file by Elizabeth Morrison on the dramatic scenes in the 13th century letter B, which can be found under the section on events. Another section proivdes information on relevant publications.
Depicting Devotion is an online exhibition hosted by Washington University Libraries, in collaboration with: the Saint Louis Art Museum; Saint Louis University; and the Saint Louis Public Library. The exhibition describes the various parts of a medieval book of hours, with images from Washington Universities Special Collections holdings to illustrate each section. The exhibition also provides an introduction and a short essay on the history of the manuscript in France, as well as a bibliography. The images can be enlarged for better viewing, but are often still not large enough to show detail. The site would be a good introduction to the subject for students of medieval iconography, as well as those studying western manuscripts.
The Digital Library of Illuminated Manuscripts is a repository of digitised images of illuminated manuscripts run by Lehigh University, Pennsylvania. The site aims to host scans of manuscripts belonging to institutions and currently there are works belonging to Franklin and Marshall College, Lehigh University, Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University. Works range from the thirteenth to the early sixteenth centuries. Visitors to the site are given the option of browsing the collection or searching by institution, manuscript type, country of origin or century as well as by document features (miniatures and decorations). Images are of a high quality and it is possible to zoom into a page.
The Digital Scriptorium website is the home of a union catalogue of manuscripts held in a variey of institutions within the United States. Each manuscript catalogue record includes links to sample images (occasionally folio images of the entire codex). The database can be searched by terms relating to manuscripts, parts and texts. A typical catalogue record includes: location; shelfmark; binding; and provenance; together with part information about: geographic origin; script; scribes; layout; and date. Records also include information about the text within the part including: number of folios; author; title; explicit; language; and available images.The database currently holds around 23,000 images drawn from holdings at: the Berkeley and Columbia-affiliated libraries; Union Theological Seminary (New York); and the De Bellis Collection (California). Other partners include: the Huntington Library in southern California; the Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin; and the New York Public Library.The Digital Scriptorium project also makes available information about: the creation of the database; the digitization of manuscripts; XML/SGML tools for transcription; and details of partners and contributors. The Project has received funding from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and is hosted by Columbia University Libraries. This site would be of use to: medieval scholars; art historians and palaeographers among others.
The Edward IV Roll Web pages (part of the Free Library of Philadelphia website) provide an online facsimile of the Edward IV Roll (Free Library of Philadelphia, Rare Books Department, MS Lewis E201). This roll, an illustrated history of the world with a genealogy of Edward IV, was produced circa 1461. This site provides a comprehensive introduction to the roll, aimed at the general public, which serves to contextualise the manuscript. The information is split into eleven sections, which include: a short general introduction; an historical overview, setting the scene of the Wars of the Roses; a short life of Edward IV; discussions of heraldry; and information on banners and badges. Each section provides the interested reader with a short bibliography. The facsimile of the roll is split into six sections, each of which can be viewed as JPEG files in three different sizes. It is also possible to view the whole roll as one complete image. The images are reasonably clear but the resolution is too low to be able to read much of the smaller script from the original. Nonetheless, this is an excellent resource which will appeal to the generalist and the specialist.
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.
Part of the J. Paul Getty Museum website, this online resource was produced to complement their exhibition, which ran from 12 August to 26 October 2008, entitled 'Faces of Power and Piety: Medieval Portraiture', and which featured portraits from illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages (circa 500-1500). Medieval portraiture does not present us with a precise likeness of the subject, but instead depicts clothing, heraldry or other objects relating to them. As the website states "the goal of medieval portraiture was to present a subject not at a particular moment in time, but as the person wished to be remembered through the ages". This online selection from the exhibition features portraits of Saints Blaise, Veronica, Hedwig, Luke, and Bellinus, as well as authors and patrons. Each image may be enlarged, and audio samples provide additional information for three of the paintings. An illustrated checklist of 22 paintings from the exhibition can be found in a PDF file via a hyperlink.
'Geschichte und Geschichten : Das Mittelalter erzählt' (History and stories : The Middle Ages recount) is the web page of an exhibition by the 'Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel' in 2001/2002. The exhibition displays both manuscripts and printed books dealing with history and saints lives in particular, but also storytelling from the high and late middle ages. It focuses on material containing remarkable illustrations. The exhibition is directed towards the general public and aims to arouse interest in the time and subject it covers. The webpage contains a sample page of 15 selected, richly illustrated exhibits and features introductory notes to each document. The chosen manuscript pages are in a generous size and good quality images but they cannot be enlarged.
The Gradual from Maundy Thursday to the Vigil of Pentecost (Denison Library, Perkins 4. Gradual. s. XVI, Scripps College) Web pages provide a digitised version of this entire 16th-century manuscript (including the binding). The gradual (a choir book) contains the Latin text and plainsong music sung during masses over the period between Easter and Pentecost. The text is illuminated, often with large historiated initials and intricate borders, and is annotated with liturgical information and descriptions of the illuminations. The images are of a high quality and enable the user to zoom in significantly on individual details. The site gives a good general description of the whole manuscript, its binding and probable use, as well as descriptions of each folio to accompany the individual images. The manuscript is searchable by: title; description; day of the Church Year; illuminations; and transcriptions among other fields, with some hyperlinking between fields from within individual descriptions. This site would be of interest to students and researchers in the fields of: manuscript studies; religious studies; and history, and, as the publishers hope in future to include musical transcriptions and sound files of the music being played, music historians.
"The Hunterian Collection" website provides a brief overview and guide to the vast library of rare books collected by Dr William Hunter (1718-1783), doctor to Queen Charlotte and eminent anatomist. The collection, housed at the University of Glasgow, is one of the most significant in the UK, and contains over 10,000 printed books and 650 manuscripts. The manuscript collection includes substantial medieval and Renaissance materials, and over 100 Persian, Arabic and Sinilogical documents. The printed books include 534 incunabula (ten Caxtons) and a vast quantity of sixteenth century volumes. Unsurprisingly, a large proportion of the materials are of a medical nature (including editions of Hippocrates, Galen and Harvey), however literature is also well-represented, as is travel. There are materials on the East Indies and the South Seas. The Hunterian Collection also contains Hunter's own materials as well as those of his mentor James Douglas. The site lists finding aids and descriptions, with links to the online exhibitions or to the library catalogue for some of its holdings. Also, the items from the collection featured in the "book of the month" articles on the main page of the University of Glasgow website are listed separately with their respective links.
The Getty Museum of Art website has created this resource to compliment their exhibition ‘Illuminating the Renaissance’ which ran from 17 June to 7 September, 2003 at the Getty Center, and from 29 November, 2003 to 22 February, 2004 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The exhibition focused on some of the finest illuminated books produced in Flanders (parts of present day Belgium and France) between 1470 and 1560, which was a period when illuminators were experimenting with light, texture and space. The overview section of this website provides a short audio introduction to the exhibition by the curator Thomas Kren. A sample of more than 130 pictures in the show are displayed as thumbnail images in the ‘Zoom and Explore’ section. Clicking on the thumbnails provides access to the image in the manuscript page. Controls enable the user to zoom in, and the page menu also provides links to particular details, as well as additional information, and for some images audio files. This selection provides an overview of the owners, the stories and the purpose of these books, as well illustrating the fashion of the times, and the artists who produced these illuminations.
The German-only website 'Illuminierte Handschriften aus Österreich (ca. 780 - ca. 1250)' (Illuminated manuscripts from Austria) was set up by the Institute for the History of Art, University of Vienna. It is a database put together by Friedrich Simader as part of a project entitled 'Illumination in Austria in the Early and High Middle Ages' in 1994-1997 and managed by Martina Pippal. The special feature of this database is that it does not only contain general information such as the present holding library, name and shelfmark of the manuscript, date and provenance, but also lists all the illuminations of each manuscript. It is possible to search for all of the above, including for details of particular illustrations. There is however some difficulty with searching and retrieving data from the database mainly due to the lack of any field indexes or other help facilities for constructing useful searches. A comprehensive list of reference literature and an alphabetical list of the libraries with links to manuscript information are also available. The authors haven't updated the content since 2003 but the resource still stands as a good research tool.
An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts provides the general reader with an excellent introduction to the manuscripts and manuscript culture of Anglo-Saxon England. Written by Michelle Brown, Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library, it is divided into five sessions: Anglo-Saxon England and the Book; Reading and Writing the Manuscripts; Spiritual and Secular Worlds; Materials and Techniques; and Illustration and Ornament. The site is generously illustrated with a selection of images from British Library manuscripts. Some of these can be enlarged and the quality is good. Interested readers might also like Brown's seminar on the Lindisfarne Gospels (MS Cotton Nero D.iv), which is also part of the Fathom site. This resource would be of use to those beginning to study western manuscripts, and those interested in medieval studies.
Leaves of Gold is the website belonging to a project whose aim is to promote illuminated manuscripts owned by special collections libraries in Philadelphia. The project exhibited many of its treasured manuscripts in 2001-02, and the website's online gallery is an extension of those exhibitions. The website was created by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries [PACSCL], in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and other exhibition partners. 'Leaves of Gold' offers an online tour of images from each manuscript exhibited, highlighting the major types of works: Bibles; Psalters; books of hours; liturgical manuscripts; and literary texts. Only two fairly small images for each manuscript are made available,. Each image is accompanied by a brief description and explanation of the illuminations. The online 'Learning Centre' provides a slide show of manuscript pages, as well as information on the main aspects of medieval book production, and is aimed at a younger audience, or the interested reader.
This is a website dedicated entirely to the presentation of digital images of almost two hundred pages of the illuminated manuscript "Les Trčs Riches Heures du Duc de Berry", held at the Musée Condé, Chantilly, and regarded by many as the finest example of manuscript illumination. It is a classic example of a medieval book of hours: a collection of the text for each liturgical hour of the day which often included other, supplementary, texts. It was painted some time between 1412 and 1416 by the Limbourg brothers. The manuscript images are arranged by folio number. Images of the pages can be seen in large or small scale and selected details can be enlarged. Each page is analysed in depth. The project has been realised by Christus Rex, Inc., a private, non-profit organisation dedicated to the dissemination of information on works of art preserved in churches, cathedrals and monasteries all over the world. It is a well structured and easy to navigate site, and the image quality is fair.
The Life of King Edward the Confessor website gives access to a digitised version of the only copy of an illustrated Anglo-Norman verse life of St Edward the Confessor, probably originally written in the later 1230s or early 1240s. The manuscript is held by Cambridge University Library (Cambridge University Library MS.Ee.3.59), and consists of thirty-seven folios, with a total of sixty-four pictures. The images are of good quality, allowing the user to zoom in to areas closely, and each folio is accompanied by a brief description. Folios can be browsed from start to finish, or via a summary page showing thumbnails of the images, with their descriptions. The website provides a brief introduction to the manuscript, and suggestions for additional reading. This site would be of interest to scholars studying: art history; manuscript history; religious texts or medieval history.
The Lindisfarne Gospels site provides a general introduction to the contents of the Lindisfarne Gospels manuscript (British Library, MS Cotton Nero D.iv) and its cultural and historical context. Written by Michelle Brown, Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library, it is divided in four sections, or "seminars", on the following topics: The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Early Christian World; Eadfrith and the Making of the Lindisfarne Gospels; The Lindisfarne Gospels in Use; and A Display Opening of the Lindisfarne Gospels. Designed for the non-specialist and assuming no prior knowledge, the site gives a lively introduction to Anglo-Saxon England and early Christian Europe to place the codex in its religious and cultural setting. It is illustrated with a selection of images from the manuscript which, although not as clear as they might be, provide the reader with a valuable accompaniment.
The Lindisfarne Gospels website is the work of the British Library, and gives a brief introduction to the Gospels manuscript. The manuscript was created between 715 and 720 on the island monastery of Lindisfarne, and is written in Latin but also includes the oldest surviving translation of the Gospels into Old English. The site gives a brief overview of the Gospels and their history, and some contextual historical information. There is also a link to the British Library's 'Turning the Pages' Web pages, where users can access high quality images of some pages from the Gospels. This last involves the use of Shockwave, and knowledge of connection speed in order to work effectively. This resource would be of interest to beginners studying medieval manuscripts, or the more general reader.
The Llanbeblig Book of Hours is an online digital facsimile of manuscript NLW MS 17520A at the National Library of Wales. The resource forms part of the National Library of Wales' Digital Mirror Web pages, which provide access to some of the most important items in the Library's collections. A short history of the manuscript is provided, with an overview of its contents and some suggested further reading. The manuscript itself can be viewed folio by folio, or as a gallery of some of the main illuminated pages. Images can be enlarged to allow for better viewing of the Latin text. The images are clear and detailed, and would be of interest to those studying medieval manuscript production or medieval art and iconography.
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 "Manuscriptorium: European Digital Library of Written Cultural Heritage" is a project for collecting and providing online access to historical resources European wide. It is basically a collective virtual library, gathering the holdings of numerous national and university libraries from Europe. Originally a project financed by the National Library of the Czech Republic, thanks to the ENRICH project it has now expanded to include 5 million digitised images. Historical book resources in this database include: manuscripts; incunabula; early printed books; maps; charters; and any other type of written document. A list of the contributing libraries can be consulted. Users are encouraged to make use of the free registration, which gives them access to the full range of research and editing tools from this website: creating virtual documents with images from the database with personal notes; or the translation tool for document descriptions. A PDF file with a guide to using Manuscriptorium is provided. The search can be easy or advanced, using document identification or document origin. The welcome screen also gives information for partner or new institutions. The site provides specific software tools and engines needed for uploading new documents, therefore creating a rather overwhelming main page. The website is available in several European languages, although the search interface is exclusively in English. Manuscriptorium is a crucial resource for anyone interested in history, cultural history and cultural heritage.
The Medieval Bestiary website is an attempt by an independent scholar (David Badke) to assemble a database of information about: medieval bestiaries; their antecedents; and the medieval view of animals in general. Useful aspects of the site include: a list of manuscripts by institution and shelf-mark (for each there is a brief description and bibliography); an alphabetical listing of animal names together with a brief description of their attributes and a representative image; and a small encyclopaedia of short articles on topics relating to bestiaries and their authors. The site also offers a small "digital text library" of full-text articles (PDF) and digital copies of: 'The Bestiary of Philippe de Thaon' (Cotton Nero A V, ff 41r-82v. edited by Thomas Wright, 1841); 'Physiologus: A Metrical Bestiary Of Twelve Chapters' by Bishop Theobald (1928 facsimile of that published in Cologne, 1492); and 'Symbolism of Animals and Birds Represented in English Church Architecture' by Arthur H. Collins (New York 1913). A lengthy bibliography (with notes) can be viewed by subject and the site includes a search engine. This site is an excellent resource for medieval scholars.
The Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts website provides access to a database of scholarly information about the illuminated medieval manuscripts of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum (Netherlands). The site contains over 10,000 digital images of miniatures, historiated initials and border decorations from these manuscripts, which may be browsed by subject matter (in English, French or German). The browsing structure makes use of the ICONCLASS classification system - a sophisticated but intuitive tool that makes getting around this vast database simple and quick. The database may also be searched by a wide variety of fields, including: author/title; language; shelfmark; description; keyword; scribe; and script. Results are returned with helpful thumbnail images and short text entries; larger images pop up when thumbnails are selected (this may cause problems in some Web browsers) and may be moved around the user's screen, and further enlarged. The site provides a good general introduction to the database and its uses, along with more detailed information on the scope of the collection and the history of manuscript cataloguing at the participating institutions. The highlights and browse function are recommended for those users with a general interest in medieval illumination, whilst the 'expert search' will be of more use to manuscript and art historians.
'Medieval manuscript leaves' is hosted by the Melbert B. Cary, Jr. Graphic Arts Collection, part of the Wallace Library which, among other things, concentrates on the history of bookmaking and printing. The site displays a collection of images of leaves from Western European medieval religious texts, including books of hours, Bibles, and Psalters. Fifty-one manuscript pages are featured, dating from the 12th to the 16th century. Each of the images, which are of outstanding quality and can be enlarged, is accompanied by a brief outline of date, provenance and major features of the manuscript. Changes in illumination and style of writing are illustrated, and tools, materials, and their use and preparation are described. This resource is by no means exhaustive, but it gives the viewer the chance to study a number of manuscript leaves from particular periods and regions in greater detail.
The Medieval Manuscript Manual website has been developed at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. It focuses on the history of the book, and medieval manuscript production and illumination. It should be noted that this is not an online textual resource for literary students but is exclusively concerned with the material culture of books and manuscripts of the period. The site provides an introduction to all aspects of manuscript production, including information on the kinds of paper and papyrus used, gilding, ink and pigmentation and bookbinding. There is a detailed description of the techniques involved in manuscript illumination. The site includes information about the production of Bibles and liturgical books as well as secular works, including school texts, chronicles and manuals. Where technical terms are mentioned, they appear in the form of hypertext links to an online glossary. Explanations and definitions appear in a text box, which allows the reader to view each definition in context. The glossary can also be accessed separately. The site is attractively illustrated and easy to navigate, with clear instructions. The Manual is available in English, Russian, Italian and Hungarian.
The Murthly Hours is a medieval book of hours probably produced in Paris in the thirteenth century for an English woman, and now held by the National Library of Scotland. As part of its digitisation programme, the National Library has made available online images of the 216 folios contained within the manuscript together with an introduction to the Murthly Hours. The work has two distinct sections: a set of full page illuminated miniatures; and the devotional text of the book of hours. The text also has a number of additions by early owners including a prayer in French and what are probably the second-oldest texts written in Gaelic (the manuscript was brought to Scotland by the fifteenth century). The website enables access to the digital images of the folios, which are divided into four groups. Where appropriate folios have been given titles reflecting their content. These include: the miniatures; the calendar of the book of hours (by month); the hours of the virgin (by office); the hours of the Holy Spirit; the penitential Psalms; the litany of the saints; collects; gradual psalms; and the office of the dead. Each folio is displayed on a single web page with brief notes and a link to a larger image. The electronic facsimile of the Murthly Hours is also available on CD-ROM.
The website PECIA is a portal created by a French publisher, Jean-Luc Deuffic, whose aim is to provide direct access to sources, mainly manuscripts, for the study of medieval history by making new and reprinted editions available to medievalists. The website provides information about PECIA's current editorial programmes: Archives Testamentaires du Moyen Age; Le Livre Médiéval; and Sources Manuscrites d'Histoire Médiévale. The books can be ordered online. There are also links to bibliographies on manuscripts, university masters, copyists, and booksellers in medieval Britanny, as well as more general bibliographies about the medieval book. PECIA also publishes a periodical entitled PECIA ressources en médiévistique; the site provides the link to the publication's web page. There is also a link to the PECIA blog maintained by the same author. This is a valuable online resource for medievalists, with an emphasis on French medieval manuscripts.
Selected British Library events have been made available from 2006 onwards as downloadable MP3 audio files, and this 'Podcasts' website archives them by year. 2006 included 'Manuscripts matter', a panel of creative writers discussing the author's perspective on the archiving of their own papers. Speakers included A. S. Byatt, Peter Nichols, Owen Sheers and Peter Porter. 2007 included Michelle Brown, former British Library curator and leading expert on illuminated manuscripts, introducing a new facsimile of the illustrated 14th-century Holkham Bible, "a unique and humorous record in pictures of everyday life in London of Chaucer's time"; extracts from a new British Library CD about Graham Greene; and Nicholas Pickwoad talking about working at the library of Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, original home of the 'world's oldest Bible', the Codex Sinaiticus, which also has the world's most extraordinary collection of early Christian texts. 2008's podcasts include: Harold Pinter sharing his memories of postwar British theatre with actor and director Harry Burton; a discussion about the war poet and artist, Isaac Rosenburg; a talk given by Andrew King and Will Prentice on the subject of wax cylinders from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS); and extracts from a CD by the British Library of Evelyn Waugh reading from his own work 'Half in love with easeful death'.
The Islamic manuscripts section of the Princeton University Library's Department of Rare Books and Special Collections website provides researchers with digital versions of both published and unpublished catalogues of the manuscripts in the library's collections. The library holds the largest collection of Islamic manuscripts in North America, with 11,000 volumes of Arabic, Persian and Ottoman Turkish manuscripts. The collection focuses on Islamic learning, but also contains examples of illuminated manuscripts and other arts of the book. The website gives access to scanned versions of three of the four published catalogues of the manuscript collections (1938 to 1987), and an unpublished 'Preliminary Checklist of Uncatalogued Islamic Manuscripts' (2004). The site also provides links to descriptions of specific collections of Arabic calligraphy, Arabic papyri, and illustrated Shahnamah manuscripts. This site will be a valuable resource for advanced researchers in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies looking for information on Islamic manuscript collections.
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 "Schřyen 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 Schřyen. 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.
Slovo: Towards a Digital Library of South Slavic Manuscripts is the website of an international project which aims to: increase cooperation between academic institutions studying medieval Slavic monastic culture; develop a website on Balkan literary heritage; create internationally agreed standards for the electronic publishing, description and encoding of medieval Slavic manuscripts. Pages on individual monasteries offer all or some of the following: an overview of monastery history; a description of manuscript collections and art treasures; a description of digitization efforts; links to manuscript descriptions; related links; bibliography; links to online articles or PDF files. Within the guidelines section is: an article on storing, publishing and researching Slavic manuscripts with computer technology, based on the work of the Repertorium Intitiative and the Slovo project; a ‘how to’ encode Slavic manuscripts within Text Encoding Initiative guidelines; and further documents on character set standardization, XML and advanced encoding resources which will be of interest specifically for those involved in the electronic publishing of medieval manuscripts. The links to current manuscript projects under ‘initiatives’ are of particular interest. This site will be of great use for researchers in the field of palaeoslavistics, and of significant interest to those researching medieval Slavic monastic culture.
The St Albans Psalter website makes available text and images from the medieval St Albans Psalter, with additional English translation, commentary and contextual information. The St Albans Psalter is an illuminated manuscript created in the 12th Century for Christina of Markyate, an anchoress at St Albans. The miniatures, painted by the so-called Alexis Master, are among the finest examples of English Romanesque painting. Essays on the site cover topics such as: Christina of Markyate and the Abbot Geoffrey de Gorham; iconography; codicology; the Alexis Master and the other artists; the scribes; miniatures; and the calendar. The book itself can be browsed by page, and viewed with commentary, or with translation. The reproduction quality of the pages is very high. A less extensive version of the site is also available in German. The site is a collaboration between the History of Art and Historic Collections departments of the University of Aberdeen, and has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (now the AHRC) and the Faculty of Arts and Divinity at University of Aberdeen. Anyone studying or researching medieval iconography; manuscripts; or history would find this impressive site of interest.
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.
This website describes the Wollaton collection at the University of Nottingham, and the Heritage Lottery Fund and AHRC funded work to conserve, catalogue and provide access to and raise awareness of this important manuscript collection. The collection comprises "a rare and significant corpus of medieval textual and material artefacts", which once formed part of the Willoughby family's collections at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham. The collections significant is found in ten medieval manuscripts "which include a number of important vernacular literary texts from the 13th to 15th centuries. Works in English, French and Anglo Norman, and two texts in Latin, range in subject from romance and poetry to moral literature for the laity and lives of saints". With a long association with the Willoughby family, these manuscripts, although fragile, have little modern conservation and maintain evidence of their medieval creation. There are a further 42 rare printed books. The website includes descriptions of key items in the collection as well as information about the complimentary Heritage Lottery Fund (focussing on conservation, cataloguing a digitisation) and AHRC (examining the significance of the medieval manuscripts and the importance of the library as a whole) research projects.
This website describes an AHRC-funded research project which is re-uniting the eight surviving part books of the Wode Psalter, one of the finest Reformation Psalters in existence. The Psalter, a set of richly decorated and annotated musical manuscripts offers a unique insight into post-Reformation Scottish life and worship, and this project will undertake interdisciplinary research around the manuscripts, curate an exhibition and produce a complete recording of the music and create a digital copy of the complete series of part books.
This Web page reports on an AHRC-funded project centred around research into the British Library's collection of 1,950 manuscripts donated by King George II in 1757. Maintained as a collection (labelled 'ROYAL') since this time, they represent the largest surviving collection of medieval illumination and painting owned by English monarchs. The grant will enable the first ever major research project into the collection, resulting in an exhibition in 2011, as well as being added to the Library's online Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts. There will also be an online tour of the collection. The project is a collaboration between the British Library and the Courtauld Institute of Art.