Skip to main content

Medieval Manuscripts: A Finding Guide: Digital

This guide describes resources and strategies for finding manuscripts (focusing on medieval manuscripts)

Online Collections

Online Collections

British Literary Manuscripts Online, Medieval & Renaissance Facsimile images of literary manuscripts dating from roughly 1120 to 1660. Images of the complete manuscript can be viewed, manipulated and navigated on screen. Collection was created by digitizing the microfilm, not digitizing the original manuscripts. The text of the manuscripts themselves is not searchable. Searching is based on titles, tags, and descriptive text associated with each manuscript.

Early English books online  Used to be available on microfim. From the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War, 1475 - 1700.

Manuscriptorium  Manuscript collection of the Czech Reformation and to university theses collection, that are listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World.



Manuscripts Worldwide

Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts (UCLA) promises a simple and straightforward means to discover medieval manuscripts available on the web.


Selected digital and searchable manuscripts (not all online)

Beowulf (Cotton Vitellius A XV ff 132r–201v) at the British Library
The Electronic Beowulf
(CD-ROM) (Available in Olin Library Electronic Text Center Olin Reference Disk PR1585. K54 2011) Guide online.

A facsimile edition of the Vernon Manuscript (CD-ROM) (Available in Olin Reference Electronic Text Center) Contains over 350 Middle English texts, among them Piers Plowman, the Ancrene Riwle, the South English Legendary, the Prick of Conscience, and the Miracles of the Virgin, including a full facsimile with images of each page of the manuscript, visible at high magnification, and a complete ’live’ transcription of the text with hyperlinks. Runs from the DVD. Double click Start_Vernon.html. Runs on ETC4.

The general prologue on CD-ROM. (Chaucer) (CD-ROM). "Contains transcripts, descriptions, and images of all 53 fifteenth-century manuscripts and early printed editions of The General Prologue. The texts of witnesses may be compared through full word-by-word collations in both original spelling and regularized form. Spelling databases permit the spelling of every grammatical form of each word to be examined in any manuscript, or across all mauscripts, for some 300,000 words in total. (Olin Library Reference Disk PR1868.P9 S65 2000)

Domesday explorer.(CD-ROM) Includes the modern translation of Great Domesday Book, ed. by John Morris; high resolution images of the Latin manuscript; interactive mapping of all searches; searchable indexes; powerful search, navigation and management software; extensive help for software and on Domesday terminology and concepts. (Olin Library Reference Disk DA190 .D695x 2000)

ADMYTE: Archivo digital de manuscritos y textos españoles (CD ROM) (Olin Reference Disk Z6605.S7 A36 1992 Available in Electronic Text Center). Contains images and text of medieval Spanish manuscripts and early imprints; intended ultimately to include all texts written in Castilian prior to 1615. Allows the user to search for and save text and images.

The Lindisfarne Gospels The complete manuscript from The British Library digitized on a CD-Rom.   (Available in Olin Electronic Text Center).