Until I have time to properly update this page, you might want to look at my list of very briefly annotated URLs for digital manuscript editions. You can see the page here, or subscribe to an RSS feed. I'm only listing complete editions, and I'm emphasizing Celtic and English mss., and Books of Hours, since those are my primary interests. That said, I'm more than willing to add other manuscripts. I simply am not likely to know about those outside my field.
| Medieval Manuscripts in General
The History of Books and Printing
- Bruce Jones' site is a good introduction to the early history of the book, beginning with manuscripts, adn continuing through the early printed book in the age of cold type.
- Courtauld Research Centre for Iluminated Manuscripts
- The purpose of the Centre is to provide focus and resources for research into all aspects of illuminated manuscripts. The Centre is directed by a small group comprising members of the academic and curatorial staff of institutions in London: John Lowden and Susie Nash at the Courtauld Institute, Michelle Brown and Scot McKendrick at the British Library, and Rowan Watson at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
- Medieval Manuscripts: General Introduction
- Heather Rigg wrote this introduction to medieval mansucript prouction for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.
- Medieval Latin paleograph Abbreviationes Database
- This is a commercial database product with thousands of Latin ms. abbreviations.
- Introduction to Paleography
- "An Introduction to Palaeography for Scribes" (by Nicolaa de Bracton of Leicester). Created by a SCA member, the page offers a useful text only overview of various lettering styles. The site uses frames, so look for "Scribal Arts" on the left.
- Medieval European Calligraphy
- This is a lovely overview, with sample images, of the various hands in Latin and European calligraphy, in historical context. From Wayne M. Miller, a calligrapher.
- Cours de Paleographie
- "Arisitum : Cours de Paleographie, sur une idée de Stephane Pouyllau avec Michel de Montaigne, webmaster du serveur ARISITUM." The sit is urrently maintained by Eric Voirin. Yes, this course on medieval paleography is in French, but it's pretty easy to follow. Check it out.
- This site is by Michel Lopez, on "L'amour des chartes et des manuscrits anciens." This is a rich and fascinating site on Paleography, emphasizing French manuscripts of the middle ages, but also discussing other scripts. Lots of resources, and images, here.
- English Handwriting 1500-1700: An Online Course
- With the support of and HEFCE grant and the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge, Cabridge English Renaissance Electronic Service (CERES), Andrew Zurcher, Gavin Alexander, and Raphael Lyne, have created a collection of images and supporting materials useful to both beginners and experienced palaeographers, though the ostensible audience users are graduate students.
- Bibliothèque Nationale
- The BNF has several sites featuring images of medieval manuscripts. In addition to theire main web site, there's a special exhibit at the Library of Congress and one on the Age of King Charles V as shown by medieval manuscripts. There's also a special exhibit on Persian and Arabic manuscripts and one on medieval food.
- Early Manuscripts at Oxford University
- This site has evolved a bit, from a specifically Celtic site to a more general one. It contains some wonderful high quality digitized images of a number of folios from several Celtic manuscripts in the libraries of Oxford University. The images are large; some are several megabytes in size, and the site does use frames. Most of the manuscripts are interesting for their text; many of these are not the elaborately decorated art pieces many of us think of as Celtic manuscripts. This is a super opportunity to practice paleography using images of manuscripts we probably wouldn't have ordinary access to. I've linked directly to a few of the manuscripts on the medieval Celtic manuscripts page.
- Books of Hours
- This site by Glenn Gunhouse is a wonderful introduction to the medieval Books of Housr. One of my very favorite kinds of manuscripts, "Books of Hours" are carefully organized, and beautifully producded, collections of images and readings (typically the psalms, prayers, and extracts from the Bible, usually in Latin) tied to the Christian calendar of feasts and holy days. Though they were overtly religious the books of hours, like their ancestor the Psalter, often include secular images, typically those associated with seasonal pastimes and labors. Perhaps the most famous of all books of hours is the Tres Riches Heures de Jean Duc de Berry. You can see images from the calendar section of the Tres Riches Heures here .
- LES TRÈS RICHES HEURES DU MOYEN ÂGE
- This site is a database and "Virtual Archive of Medieval Books of Hours., presented by the Rare Book and Special Collections Library, and the World Heritage Museum, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, by Shannon Crary and Don Siler of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. You can find the project documentation, including their digitizing setup, here.
- The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens
- The Huntington has posted an image from the c. 1400-1405 Ellesmere Chaucer, a page from the Prologue to the Wife of Bath's Tale.
- The J. Paul Getty
- Rome Reborn
- Be sure to look at this exhibit from the Vatican Library (initially hosted by the Library of Congress).
- The Koninklijke
- The Dutch National Library, has a special exhibit featuring 100 highlights from their collections, many of them manuscripts and some still in their ornate medieval bindings. There's also an introduction to the collection of medieval manuscripts here, with highlights here.
- The Bodleian Library
- The Bodleian Library has digitized leaves from several manuscripts.
Library Treasures Digitization Project
- The British Museum has put several sample digitized images from the manuscript collections, including the Magna Carta, the Sforza Hours, the Sherborne Missal, the Tyndale Bible, and the Book of Lindisfarne, one of the most famous medival manuscripts.
- Digital Scirptorium
- A joint project between the University of California at Berkeley, and Columbia University.
- John of Berry's Petites Heures,
- Another gorgeous Book of Hours.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales
Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS. 198. London(?), early 15th cent.; decoration unfinished, retaining the scribe’s instructions.
- Piers Plowman, 'B' text,
- Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS. 201. late 14th cent.
Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum
- Oxford, Corpus Christi College MS. 279B. Old English translation, early 11th cent., leaves lost at beginning and end; formerly MS. 279 Part 2, until bound separately in 1992.
- Cornish Ordinalia
- Bodleian Library, MS. Bodl. 791. The Ordinalia consists of plays on the Creation, Passion of Christ and Resurrection, in Cornish verse, with Latin stage directions and diagrams. This is the only surviving medieval manuscript, 1st half of the 15th century