Single Manuscript Studies

Manuscripts of Lichfield Cathedral Full images as well as technical information and a study of scribal hands in two treasures, the St Chad Gospels and a Wycliffite New Testament.

The Aberdeen Bestiary This is a real blockbuster epic site from Aberdeen University which examines a single manuscript in enormous detail. There are scans of each page, printed text, commentary and close ups of the art work. This newer edition of the web site has a more streamlined interface.

The Burnet Psalter Also from Aberdeen University, this shows a complete 15th century psalter with full page images and commentary.

The St Albans Psalter Project Yet another full Monty from Aberdeen University. These guys are good!

Treasures of the State Library - The Antiphonal The State Library of South Australia presents images and descriptive commentary from a 13th century Italian antiphonal in their collections.

The Book of Kells is now on the Trinity College, Dublin site in full. No longer do we have to ferret around looking for unauthorised pirate copies. Much better to get it straight from the authoritative source.

The Lindisfarne Gospels This treasure is also now displayed in full on the British Library website, along with an ever increasing selection of other medieval wonders. And there is no silly Turning the Pages interface, but good quality scans of all pages.

The Murthley Hours From the National Library of Scotland, an electronic facsimile of a very early book of hours from 1280. There is no transcription and minimal commentary, so perhaps they are expecting you might buy the associated book or CD-ROM.

Brandeis University Libraries Special Collections Department - Book of Hours This displays images of full pages of a complete book of hours. The commentary is provided by the site Late Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts on the Web. You can get the whole thing by accessing either of the two sites.

Codex Vindobonensis 1856 This is a site showing illustrated leaves from a facsimile edition of Vienna Codex 1856, a 15th century Burgundian book of hours written on black vellum. Now no longer live, but here excavated from The Internet Archive.

Auckland City Libraries - Medieval Manuscripts Online At this point in time, one medieval manuscript, in fact. This site displays a series of images and notes from a book of hours in their collection.

The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the original exhibition on this work seems to have vanished, but there are some lovely illustrations of this and a few other medieval manuscript treasures that can be accessed from here.

Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry Images of full pages, including text. The images are not as high quality as those in the Louvre Webmuseum, but it is a much more comprehensive presentation. Unfortunately both of these websites are looking a little daggy as the graphics have not been updated in many a long year.

Maciejowski Bible This site displays miniatures from a famous picture Bible commissioned by Louis IX (1214-1270), with an exotic history. The page design is fairly horrible fantasy medievalia, but the authors have very strong views on open access to treasures which were first reproduced in published form many decades ago.

The Book of Deer This site, sponsored by British Telecom, aims to provide a full presentation of a 10th century illuminated manuscript from northeast Scotland, with some Gaelic segments. It is still under development, but nothing has happened for some time. In fact, nothing has happened at all. You can access scans of the book on the Cambridge Digital Library site. There is some commentary and description still here.

An Eleventh Century Anglo-Saxon Glossary A highly technical paleographical project on a glossary in a margin of an Anglo-Saxon manuscript in the Royal Library, Brussels. Shows just how intricate paleography can become. This is temporarily offline, but can be found for now in The Internet Archive.

Electronic Beowulf The web site is now basically a help file and advert for the CD-ROM project, but there are a few images and links to online articles. The Beowulf manuscript is now presented in full on the British Library Digitised Manuscripts website.

Documents Online : Domesday Book From the National Archives in London, it is now possible to search for pages in both volumes of Domesday Book by place name,personal name, folio or other criteria. For a modest fee one can download colour pages in PDF format, each with an accompanying translation. There is also background material available on Domesday Book. I hope they have a big server because everybody of English origin will be checking it out! Other sites of this topic include The Domesday Book Online which actually isn't, but which gives background information and history and extracts can be purchased. Then there is Open Domesday which is a free full online facsimile with search facilities for places and names. Prepare to meet thy Dome.

The Villard de Honnecourt site which was formerly listed here has vanished, but the Bibliothèque nationale de France, which owns the manuscript, has a full facsimile and some intersting discussion on Les Cathedrales et Villard de Honnecourt.

Le CHIENNET Manuscript images, transcriptions with various annotations and modern translations of a 14th century manuscript La Châtelaine de Vergi. The site has evidently disappeared from the live web, but I have dredged it up here from The Internet Archive.

The Cantigas de Santa Maria Facsimiles, illuminations and transcriptions of 13th century Spanish song manuscripts with mostly black and white illustrations but some colour miniatures.

Die Miniaturen der Manesseschen Liederhandschrift Miniatures from an early 14th century manuscript songbook in the University of Heidelberg, depicting famous songwriters in scenes from everyday life. The text is German but the images are universal.

The Voynich Manuscript A project to decipher a mysterious manuscript in the Beinecke Rare Book LIbrary at Yale, which may date from the 13th to the 16th century or may even be a fake, in an unknown language and script. This seems to be a favourite of cryptopaleographers, and if you type Voynich into Google you will find some startling things. There are links to full pages of the manuscript. No, I don't know who wrote it, in what language, or whether it makes sense and I don't think those academics who have untangled a few botanical names do either.

The Auchinleck Manuscript Text with search facility, manuscript page facsimiles with zoom facility, notes and bibliographies on a fascinating 14th century manuscript containing poems, romances and various miscellanea, in the National Library of Scotland.

The Augsburg Web Edition of Llull's Electoral Writings Facsimiles, transcriptions and translations of the writings of Ramon Llull (1232-1316) on electoral systems. Paleography meets ecclesiastical politics meets maths! You will need a high-res screen to display the multiple frames.

Cantilene de St Eulalie A little interactive site showing an early French poem, from a manuscript in the Valenciennes Bibliothèque. They keep changing the URL so Heaven knows how long you will be able to find it here.

The Romaunt of the Rose An English translation of the famous French poem possibly by Geoffrey Chaucer, is available as a pilot manuscript digitisation project from Glasgow University Library.

Rose and Chess The University of Chicago Library has managed to reunite two 13th century manuscripts which were once bound together, one of Le Roman de la Rose and one of Le Jeu des Échecs Moralisé, both moralising texts, one based on the game of chess. There are complete digital facsimiles of both, as well as introductory commentary.

Brut This site contains some scanned images from a 15th century English language version of the Brut Chronicle held in the University of Michigan.

Edward IV Roll An exhibition from the Free Library of Philadelphia on on one of their treasures.

Alfonso X's Book of Games This site aims to show a full set of images of a facsimile edition of a book illustrating games of the past, commissioned between 1251 and 1282 by Alfonso X, King of Leon and Castile. This site was never apparently finished but a collection of images has been gathered together here.

Reichenau Primer A set of illustrations of pages from a manuscript in insular script from the Benedictine abbey of St Paul in Laventtal. The only further information is one bibliographical reference in German.

The Wanderer This is an edition of an Anglo-Saxon poem from the Exeter Book with page facsimiles, a running transcription in a separate frame, glossary and translation. Very tricky stuff and indispensable for anyone into Old English paleography (not to mention poetry!). This one is free.

Raimundus Lullus Ikonographie A German language site displaying 12 miniatures from a 14th century philosophical manuscript, with commentary.

Lydgate MS: Fall of Princes A site on the restoration of an extremely damaged manuscript of Lydgate's Fall of Princes in the Canadian University of Victoria's library Special Collections Department. There are full page images of 44 folios. A full suite of images is available on CD-ROM. This library also hosts a digital edition of Bartholomeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum.

Aldgate Cartulary From Glasgow University Library, a description and extensive large photographs of pages from an elaborately decorated 15th century cartulary of the Priory of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, London.

Beaumont de Lomagne: Le Cartulaire A presentation of a 13th century cartulary of a French town, including a complete digital facsimile, transcript and background material about the document and the town.

The Canterbury "Codex Aureus" Inscription This only has one image, but it is a large and beautiful page with gold headings from an Anglo-Saxon gospel, with transcription and translation of the dedicatory inscription on the page. Gorgeous.

Medieval Manuscript with Glosses This is a single image from a late 13th century medical text with glosses, part of a project called The Media History Project: Timeline.

The Ellesmere Chaucer is now available as a full digital facsimile from the Huntingdon Library. This is the manuscript from which all our mental images of The Canterbury Tales come.

Digitale Edition einer komputistichen Sammelhandschrift von 798/805: MS 83 II de Dom- und Diözesanbibliothek Köln The beginnings of a digital edition of a collection of computistical works of mixed authorship with images and transcripts, but only one section is complete. This has been sitting apparently unfinished for decades.

Ludovicus Corbo: De divi Mathiae regis laudibus rebusque gestis dialogus A facsimile edition of the Corvinian codex (c.1473-75) about the glorious deeds of King Matthias of Hungary. It is a Renaissance manuscript with an Italian author. The site is presented in four languages, including English, and has full page reproductions with transcript and translation into Hungarian.

Freising Manuscripts A digital edition, with images, transcription and translation of the earliest manuscript of the Slovenian culture, a few pages of religious text bound in with some Latin material, from c.1000 AD, now in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. There is an introductory page in English and links to other English language material.

Codex Gigas From the National Library of Sweden, a full high quality digital edition with useful notes and commentary of an extraordinary manuscript in their collection. The Codex Gigas or Devil's Bible is the largest surviving Latin medieval manuscript. Dating from the early 13th century from Bohenia, it contains a complete Bible and numerous other texts.

Codex Argenteus From the University Library of Uppsala, where this very ancient Bible in the Gothic language resides, this is actually a digital version from a facsimile edition published in 1927. Most of the illustrations are black and white, but a couple of pages are reproduced in colour to show the silver writing on purple vellum.

Beatrijs Hi-res scans, transcription and introductory notes on a manuscript in the Dutch Royal Library of the legend of Beatrijs, who ran away from a nunnery and had seven years of most un-nunlike adventures before being persuaded to return by the Virgin Mary. The site is Dutch language.

The Bout Psalter-Hours A digitised edition of a manuscript acquired by the Dutch Royal library in 2007. A selection of leaves is shown.

The Morgan Picture Bible An online exhibit of a 13th century picture Bible with Latin, Persian and Judeo-Persian inscriptions. There are large zoomable images and a commentary.

Christine de Pizan: The Making of the Queen's Manuscript A Project on the British Library's manuscript Harley MS 4431, the largest surviving collected manuscript on the works of Christine de Pizan. It includes full images and transcription (in progress). The associated research project includes a linguistic analysis of the text.

The Macclesfield Psalter Background information and a selection of images of a beautiful psalter purchased by the Fitzwilliam Museum in 2005, having come to light from a private library. Amazing things may be still to be found! A full digitised copy is available on CD-ROM.

St Gall Monastery Plan This is a project on the famous monastic plan created in the monastery of Reichenau c. 819-26 AD and preserved in the monastic library of St Gall. It has been regarded as a plan for the realisation of the Benedictine ideal. It is possible to examine the plan in great detail and there is much contextual information. This is also the portal to a larger delicious collection of manuscripts of Carolingian Culture of Reichenau & St Gall.

La Lettre volée: le manuscrit 193 de Vendôme A digital edition of a 12th century manuscript containing a letter from Geoffrey de Vendôme to Robert d'Arbrissel, founder of the abbey of Fontevraud, as well as treatises, sermons and prayers. The images are fairly small, but there is much contextual material.

The Calendar and the Cloister - Oxford, St John's College MS17 A scholarly resource devoted to a 12th century computistical text from Thorney Abbey, Cambridgeshire, with full digital facsimile, detailed commentary, some transcription and background essays.

Princeton University Library Digital Collections has put up a complete facsimile of The Blickling Homilies, a composite manuscript which includes 18 homilies in Anglo-Saxon as well as later material. There are zoomable images and a catalogue entry. Also on this site are a digital facsimile of a 14th century copy of Le Roman de la Rose and and and 11th century Benedictional You will also find an interesting exhibition on Scheide Library: Fifteenth Century Printing.

The Faddan More Psalter An article on the conservation of an 8th century psalter found in an Irish bog in 2006. An attached PDF file discusses the conservation procedure and has a few photographs. The psalter is now evidently adequately conserved to be put on display. Focus on the Faddan More Psalter gives us a look at how it has come out and shows some of the text.

Linguistic Geographics: The Gough Map of Great Britain An interactive, searchable edition of this medieval map, now in the Bodleian Library, along with contextual material, a blog and other material. Paleography has played a part in decoding the history of the map.

Mappa Mundi Exploration An interactive exploration of the Hereford cathedral mappa mundi. Medieval maps are coming into their own.

The Utrecht Psalter Online A famous Carolingian manuscript with fascinatingly complex illustrations, and precursor to the Harley Psalter which is in the British Library digital collections.

Archimedes: The Palimpsest Project From the Walters Art Museum, a project on a 13th century Greek prayer book which is written over erased text, two of the effaced works being treatises by Archimedes which can be found nowhere else. Some whizzbang digital technology has been used to reveal the erased text of the pelimpsests. OK, so it's Greek and not within the scope of this website, but think of the possibilities for some of those Latin palimpsests.

Gutenberg Digital The Gutenberg Bible from Göttingen on the web. No, not manuscript, but it represents the end of our story. The site also has very high quality images of a manuscript painter's model book and a 15th century German language notarial document.

The Gutenberg Bible at the Ramson Centre Another site with a full set of images and information about a Gutenberg Bible, this time at the University of Texas, with information about the late medieval manuscript Bible tradition.

Galileo Galilei's Notes on Motion A full facsimile of the part of MS Gal. 72 in the Biblioteca Nationale Centrale in Florence which contains drafts written in the hands of Galileo and two of his disciples. OK, so it's not medieval, but fascinating.

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This site is created and maintained by Dr Dianne Tillotson, freelance researcher and compulsive multimedia and web author. Comments are welcome. Material on this web site is copyright, but some parts more so than others. Please check here for copyright status and usage before you start making free with it. This page last modified 31/5/2014.