Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Medieval Manuscripts On The Internet

I stumbled across this website a few weeks ago.  As a Medievalist, I think it's the coolest thing.  It's a website that lists all the Medieval manuscripts / collections / exhibits that have been digitized in North America and Europe! Basically, it's links to manuscript collections from around the world.  I've had the opportunities to visit several manuscript collections (though not actually sit down and 'read' any - my Latin sucks, so I'd just be looking at the illustrations anyway) and they're simply amazing.

For example, want to see what's in a Medieval Bestiary?  Here's one site that is an amalgamation of different manuscripts, with the pertinent information, in this site's case, translated into English.  You can see a gallery of images, which manuscripts mention which animals, etc.  So, you can read up on creatures you've probably never heard of, like Amphisbaena and Parandrus or supposedly common creatures, like pelicans and salamanders.
Pelican - Museum Meermanno, MMW, 10 B 25, Folio 32r
Other sites, like this one show images for an exhibit on Apocalyptic Literature by the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City.  I visited this exhibit the last time I was in NYC, and it's incredible.

Or this site, also from the Morgon Library, that allows you to scroll through one manuscript, the Black Hours (Belgium, Bruges, c. 1470 (MS M.493), a Book of Hours written and illuminated in silver and gold on parchment that was stained or painted black.
"Black Hours," for Rome use. Belgium, Bruges, c. 1470 (MS M.493).

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