This web page describes a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research project (1 December 2003 - 30 November 2006) which aimed to produce a printed catalogue of over 3,000 Western medieval illuminated manuscripts from the collections of the Fitzwilliam Museum and at the University of Cambridge's Colleges. Manuscripts documented by the project range from 'pen-flourished initials to full-page miniatures' and entries additionally record codicological information, provenance and recent bibliography.
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.
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 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.
Illuminating the Renaissance is a joint collaboration between the British Library, the Royal Academy and the J. Paul Getty Museum. The site highlights the exhibition, of the same name, that was held at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, from 17 June to 7 September 2003, and at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, from 29 November 2003 to 22 February 2004. Between 1400-1550 European manuscript painting enjoyed a period of revival, particularly in Flanders (modern Belgium and northern France). A selection of images from Flemish manuscripts have been taken from the British Library for public viewing. The British Library site provides a detailed timeline of the period documenting key events in European history. The site also links to the British Library's 'Turning Pages' online edition of Simon Bening's 'Golf Book'. The site links to the J. Paul Getty Museum which features some of the exhibits. A bookshop at the British Library allows users to order the exhibition catalogue online.
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.
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 for the Shahnama Project describes the aims of and the team involved in the project. The Shahnama (Book of Kings) by the poet Firdawi (Abu'l-Qasim Hasan Firdausi) of Tus is often described as the Persian national epic. At approximately 60, 000 lines it is one of the longest poems composed and describes the history of Iran from the first King, Kayumars, until the Muslim Arab conquests of the 7th century. The Shahnama contains over fifty thousand verses that narrates, for instance, the story of the formation of human society, the domestication of animals, the struggle with the forces of evil and the formation of Iran. It is particularly famed for its beautiful illustrations, the text has had numerous illustrated manuscript copies commissioned over a vast seven hundred year period and constitute one of the chief ways in which the poem is understood. The illustrated editions are held in archives all around the world and for the first time the Shahnama Project provides centralised access to the digital reproductions of all the known manuscripts. The earliest manuscripts date to the middle of the Mongol period from circa 1300 to the late 19th century when lithographic printing slowly replaced the creation of manuscripts. The digital reproductions are available in .jpg format. The project aims to look at the work in the contexts of literary history and book painting. It is envisaged that one result of the project will be a database divided into two main tables. One will hold information on extant manuscripts, the second information on the illustrations pertaining to each publication. The project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) within the Research Grants scheme.