Archives d'Etat de Genève are responsible for maintaining, preserving and providing access to the archives of the republic and canton of Geneva. Their website has a good deal of information related to the services offered to researchers, including a list of publications with links to the full-text available online. Most useful for browsing the site is the thematical index listing the fonds and collections, the exhibitions held at the Archives d'Etat including the published exhibition catalogues, as well as projects under development. Users will also find simple online exhibitions taken from the archive's collections on subjects including: cinema and censorship; Swiss resistance activity in the Second World War; childhood; the drawings of Pierre Reymond; and prized documents from the archive.
Archives de la Ville de Genève is an organisation which collects, describes and preserves administrative documents produced by the various services of the genevese municipal government and several city communes. The Archives also hold a series of private collections donated by individuals or institutions, among which the fund of Sécheron company with works in the field of electrical engineering and mechanics. The website provides a brief overview of the organisation and its services in all the major European languages, but most detailed information about the content of the archives is in French. Direct access to detailed and well structured descriptions of all the individual collections is facilitated via browsing an alphabetical list by collection title or using an online keyword searching mechanism. Very useful are also the user online guides to how the collections are organised and described, and the rules for reservation and consultation of documents, including an online form. This site is of interest to anyone interested in the history of Geneva, particularly those researching genealogy, business records, and local history.
Providing students and tutors with free and useful practical advice on visiting an archive for the first time, this website by historian Nick Barratt also details costs of the training sessions that he runs. An online tutorial takes the student through the stages of using an archive, from locating the right institution and planning the visit, to how to handle documents, research techniques and the use of online material. Four short but comprehensive introductions to major archives explain how to get started at The National Archives, the British Library, the National Archive of Scotland and the National Library of Wales. Clearly laid out, if slightly dated in appearance and content, this user-friendly site provides a few links to archival resources and to relevant books.
BibMan is an online catalogue providing access to secondary literature about manuscripts written in the Latin alphabet and preserved in libraries and repositories in Italy. The project involves over 40 Italian institutions and is coordinated by the Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico delle Biblioteche Italiane (ICCU) in Rome. The period covered by the catalogue stretches from the 5th century with a manuscript by Virgilio Mediceo (FI 100 Plut.39.1) from the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana to the present with a corpus of letters of the poet Vincenzo Cardarelli (PV 293 Fondo Cardarelli) acquired in 1998 by the Centro di ricerca sulla tradizione manoscritta di autori moderni e contemporanei. The database currently lists in excess of 43,000 manuscript records, over 60,000 records of manuscript citations, and more than 4,800 author names. It can be searched by: author, manuscript title, shelfmark, or keyword. A list of institutions taking part into the project is accessible. At the time of this review the website appears to be available in Italian only but an English version is envisaged.
The Bodleian Library's western manuscripts to c. 1500 Web page is a guide to one of the most extensive and renowned collections of medieval manuscripts anywhere in the world. This page describes the Library's holdings for this period, and the shelfmarks relating to them. To add to the more general information, there are links to the Bodleian's high quality online images of manuscripts, and to other related library pages. A search engine is promised as a future addition to this page, which will further help students and researchers to find manuscripts relating to their field of study. In the meantime, users can find help through the website index.
The Electronic Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts project makes available an online catalogue describing the western medieval and renaissance manuscript holdings of the Bodleian Library, Oxford University. The project is partly funded by the J. Paul Getty Trust and is managed within the Bodleian's Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts. The online catalogue will include page images from the 'Summary' catalogue (Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series. Oxford, 1895-1953) and the 'Quarto' series of catalogues. The website contains: a description of the project and its progress; a sample of cataloguing terms; and links to descriptions of manuscript collections. Each collection is catalogued (with shelfmarks, description and bibiliography), and some entries contain selected digitised images. As a whole, the resource represents the ongoing results of a tremendous amount of work, and would be of value to anyone with a professional or academic interest in manuscripts and in archives and their development.
The website 'Institut für Altegeschichte und Altertumskunde, Papyrologie und Epigraphik' is the homepage of the Department of Ancient History and Civilisations, Papyrology and Epigraphy at the University of Vienna. It is one of five departments and one institute which offer courses and special studies in history at this university. Founded in 1876, but with roots running back to 1850, the department lists affiliated faculty and researchers, along with their publications. Past, current and upcoming courses are posted, as well as online discussion forums and special talks and seminars. Some syllabi are available as downloads. The department lists the grants and funding bodies that support its students. There is a link to the department's special library collection, which features an online catalogue with a search function that will interest researchers. Catalogues for papyri and epigraphy can be downloaded directly. There is a good links list with bibliographical information.
The website of The Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA) provides information about the activities of the organisation as well as descriptions of online catalogues and collections of Islamic manuscripts. The organisation, founded in 2006, describes itself as 'an international effort to protect Islamic manuscripts', and runs projects related to issues of cataloguing, conservation, digitisation, and research and publishing. The website provides a number of resources on these themes that will be of interest to scholars and archivists working with Islamic manuscripts as well as to those working in manuscript studies more generally. It will also be of direct relevance to scholars of Islamic Studies looking for primary sources, as it includes links to: outside projects related to Islamic manuscripts; the UNESCO memory of the world register, which includes nine collections related to Islamic studies; eight online catalogues of Islamic manuscripts; 11 digital manuscript collections; and more general resources for research. This is a good first source for information on Islamic manuscript collections, with links that will lead researchers to further valuable resources.
Heidelberg University Library has made available online page images and catalogue entries for 27 late Medieval illustrated manuscripts which originate from the Bibliotheca Palatina (Palatine Library). The manuscripts were produced by three 15th century German workshops ("Elsässische Werkstatt von 1418", "workshop of Diebold Lauber" at Hagenau, "workshop of Ludwig Henfflin") and include legal, religious, literary and historical titles. Holdings are in German, often in the dialect of the scribe or the patron commissioning the manuscript. The script or book hand belongs to the 'bastarda' family of scripts. The project received funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and is a collaboration with Heidelberg University Institute for Art History. The site is in German with the exception of an English introduction.
The database of images includes metadata about iconographic features, classified according to the Iconclass system. Searches of the database may be restricted by manuscript, title, workshop, artist, Iconclass notation and terms, and ornamentation. The results page displays thumbnails of the page images matching the search criteria. Manuscripts may be browsed by shelfmark or by the title or author of works contained within (e.g. Bible, book of nature, chronicle, Wolfram von Eschenbach). Images are easily navigated and a version is available for printing (PDF). A detailed glossary is also provided together with introductions to book production in the Middle Ages and to each of the workshops. The project has also digitized excerpts or the full-text (in HTML or PDF) of a number of reference works and catalogues relating to the outputs from the workshops and the holdings of the Palatine Library. High-resolution images from the manuscripts may be ordered from the project and delivered on CD-Rom.
The website "Manuscrits médiévaux des monastères et chapitres vosgiens. Catalogues and inventoires" is an online version of the second volume of Marie-José Gasse-Grandjean's doctoral thesis entitled "Livres manuscrits et librairies dans les abbayes et les chapitres vosgiens des origines au XVIe siècle", presented in 1989 at Universite Nancy 2 (2 vol., 752 p. + pl.). This volume brings together various research sources, including: a catalogue of the surviving Vosgian manuscripts, a presentation of ancient book catalogues from Vosgian monasteries, and a list of books found in various archives.The complete text of the volume is available online, as well as an extensive bibliography and a few digital images of manuscripts. The catalogue of surviving manuscripts is presented in a searchable database form, and includes comprehensive indexes for each search field. This resource is particularly useful to the specialist manuscript researcher. The site is now archived.
The document "More precious than gold: treasures of the Polish national library" is a PDF file and serves both as a useful research tool for those in Polish Studies, and as an exhibition of beautiful books and manuscripts. Exhibits range from an eighth century New Testament to a sheet of music autographed by Lutosławski. Each page, whether a frontispiece or illustration, is accompanied by basic bibliographical detail, as well as information about the exhibit. This is a wonderful resource that does indeed reflect the best items in the holdings of the National Library. Exhibits include: Gottfried Leibniz's correspondence; the Tyniec Sacramentary; Adam Mickiewicz's Sonnets; Le Roman de la Rose; Cyprian Kamil Norwid's Vade-Mecum; Jan Zamoyski's prayer-book; a page from Frederik Chopin's "Préludes".
This website describes the archives and heritage collections held at the University of Durham, two of which are designated as outstanding by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Collections include substantial archives of family, manorial, ecclesiastical, legal, scientific and historical papers as well as literary manuscripts, maps and plans, and early and rare books. Of particular note are Bishop Cosin's Library, and Bamburgh Castle Library, the former a library founded in 1669, and still housed in its original building, the latter, originally collected by the Sharpe family at Bamburgh Castle. Each contain rare books and manuscripts (and are the two MLA designated collections) incunabula, medieval and post-medieval manuscripts as well as 16th century theological works, and works relating to law, travel and literature. These two collections are supplemented by a range of other former libraries, drawn from the North East and containing a rich array of rare books, pamphlets and manuscripts. As well as these extensive paper holdings the collections include audio of poets reading their own work, archives relating to poet Basil Bunting, archives relating to the Sudan, and its British colonial heritage, Medieval coins minted by the Bishops of Durham, photography collections (particularly of churches and Durham and the North East) tithe and inclosure maps, as well as substantial local studies collections. The website provides a number of finding aids to locate items within the collections as well as details on accessing them.