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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Where to find medieval manuscripts

La Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits médiévaux

It turns out that there are hundreds of websites, mostly in Europe, with digital collections of Medieval Manuscripts. There are also quite a few websites with lists with links or directories with links to these hundreds of digital image websites. Here are a few of the websites with links.

Here are a few more:

“A Beginner’s Guide to Medieval Manuscripts.” Accessed March 24, 2020.
“A Mammoth List of Digitised Manuscripts Hyperlinks - Medieval Manuscripts Blog.” Accessed March 24, 2020.
Burchsted, Fred. “Research Guides: Library Research Guide for Finding Manuscripts and Archival Collections: Medieval.” Accessed March 24, 2020.
“Documentary_history3.Pdf.” Accessed March 21, 2020.
“Fancy a Giant List of Digitised Manuscript Hyperlinks? - Medieval Manuscripts Blog.” Accessed March 24, 2020.
Free Library of Philadelphia. “Medieval Manuscripts.” Accessed March 24, 2020.
Taubenberger, Jeffery K., and David M. Morens. “1918 Influenza: The Mother of All Pandemics - Volume 12, Number 1—January 2006 - Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal - CDC.” Accessed March 4, 2020.

I could probably go on with this list for a whole day of clicking. The trick here is that few of these are transcribed, searchable. and/or indexed. The term "medieval manuscripts" refers to any hand-made book from the Middle Ages (usually from 1100 to 1453 but can be from the 400s to about 1500). There is no real way to determine how many of these medieval manuscripts exist because many are in private collections and unavailable to the public. One example; the Vatican Library has an ongoing digitization project and this collection includes almost 20,000 manuscripts. See

There are also a huge number of incunabulum or printed books before 1501. There are about 26,550 known incunabula titles all over the world.  See Wikipedia: Incunable

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