Research Institutes, Projects and Databases

The National Archives This entity has been formed by the merger of the Public Record Office, London and the Historical Manuscripts Commission. All their combined services, including databases, online exhibitions, catalogues and ordering services are now available from here.

Research Centre for Illuminated Manuscripts From the Courtauld Institute in London. Mainly seems to be a list of seminars and colloqiums past.

Palaeographia A French language site with news and conference papers as well as a bibliography of material on dated and datable manuscripts. Serious scholarly stuff.

Institut de Recherche et d'Histoire des Textes French language site for an institute for the study of medieval manuscripts. There are databases of manuscripts in various libraries and links to digital facsimiles. A major portal for the study of French manuscripts.

Medieval Literacy Platform Provides information about a forum for research on the history of non-verbal,oral and written communication in the Middle Ages. This replaces the former site Communication in the Earlier Middle Ages as the project has exapnded in scope.

AMARC The acronym stands for The Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections, which is open to all with an interest in manuscript studies. It publishes a newsletter and includes links to institutional members, mainly libraries.

NEUMES The title is an acronym for Neumes and Ekphonetic Universal Manuscript Encoding Standard, and contains very technical stuff for encoding neumes in XML. There are links to various music sites, and one image of a medieval music manuscript.

Database of Alchemical Manuscripts A listing in database format of around 4000 manuscripts on alchemical subjects in various libraries, with links to some manuscript images. The site also now includes some alchemical texts.

Index of Medieval Manuscripts A database of references to certain medieval manuscripts in published literature. It seems a bit clunky.

Thesaurus Indogermanischer Text und Sprachmaterialen Ogam-Inschriften A very thorough and detailed illustrated database of ogham inscriptions, for those who like to live on the Celtic fringe. The site is bilingual German/English.

Chant behind the Dikes: The Medieval Liturgy of the Low Countries Hypertext style listing of manuscripts of liturgy, indexed by various criteria including monastic orders, churches, place names. Some data such as calendars of feasts are included for some manuscripts. OK, so this is a rather esoteric finding aid for serious researchers, but I liked the title.

Deeds Project - University of Toronto This is a "geeks meet medievalists" project to create a database of medieval property deeds in Essex (Documents of Essex England Data Set - DEEDS - get it?) with a view to developing analytical techniques for dating undated documents. Best of luck to them, but there are several good, comprehensive articles on dating documents freely available in either html or pdf format.

History in Deed: Medieval Society and the Law in England, 1100-1600 This site accompanies an exhibition of a collection of charters that was literally discovered in dusty boxes in Harvard Law School in 1988. There is an excellent introduction on charters and their function, as well as detailed descriptions and explanations of the exhibits, but no photographs.

English Monastic Archives This site "seeks to reconstruct the archive of every English monastery, and thereby to elucidate the origins of record-keeping in England". It is intended to publish the results in printed form as well as online, linked to ARCHON, based at the National Archives. Great progress seems to have been made onthis ambitious project.

Manuscripts and Early Printed Books of Magic This is a bibliographic resource, consisting of a set of simple spreadsheets with catalogue information derived from existing manuscripts, medieval catalogues or printed works.

Repertorium Chronicarum. A Bibliography of the Manuscripts of Medieval Latin Chronicles As a finding aid for locating original manuscripts of medieval chronicles, this is more practical than elegant. The information provided is minimal, and is really designed for the researcher who knows what they want, but not where to get it.

Jordanus: An International Catalogue of Medieval Scientific Manuscripts This is a database compiled from major library catalogues of all manuscripts from before 1500 on all fields of mathematics, with occasional inclusions of other scientific disciplines. It contains very short entries with simple finding information and incipits. A specialist aid for researchers.

European Manuscript Server Initiative A test site for a program of access to digital facsimiles of medieval manuscripts in European collections, still in very, very experimental mode.

Ranulf Higden Society This society comprises a group which transcribes and translates medieval Latin documents associated with Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. They have several projects on the go. It originated in a group of Continuing Education students at Liverpool University who wanted to continue researching what they had learned. Rock on independent scholars!

Turning Over a New Leaf: Manuscript Innovation in the Twelfth Century Renaissance From Leiden University, description and background material for a project on how changes to book layout, script and production relate to modes of literacy and culture: an ongoing research project. This site is linked to several other medieval manuscript projects, including .....

Digipal: Digital Resource and Database of Palaeography, Manuscripts and Diplomatic A project on the digital study and presentation of 11th century Anglo-Saxon script from major collections around the world. This is a work in progress, reported through their blog.

Repertorium of Manuscripts Illuminated by Women in Religious Communities of the Middle Ages A database of what it says, for feminist art historians.

A Linguistic Atlas of Late Medieval English A very dense database of source material with maps, source listings and county lists. An in depth data analysis, not a pretty browse site.


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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 22/11/2014.