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Medieval Manuscripts: A Finding Guide: Microfilm

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

What is Microfilm?

Ask for help with microfilm, microfiche, or microcards at a reference desk.

A sense of what it is and how you use it: Using Microfilm

At Cornell, our readers can scan images. Ask Library staff to show you how.

Borrowing Microfilm

Manuscripts (or other material) on microfilm is durable (which is the point). It can often be easily borrowed through Interlibrary Loan. But to make an ILL request you'll need to know a. the microfilm exists b. a series/collection title and/or lender.  Ask a librarian for help.

British MSS on microfilm

 British Manuscripts Project: A checklist of the microfilms prep. in England and Wales for the American Council of Learned Societies, 1941-1945. comp. Lester K. Born. Washington: Library of Congress, 1955. (in print at Olin Reference and Olin Rm 404 Z6620 G7U57) Lists the contents of 2,652 reels of microfilm containing reproductions and some rare printed materials in libraries in England and Wales made during World War II. Many classics and "cultural treasures" were included. The period covered is from medieval times to the 18th century. 

Cornell has some of this microfilm, but not all. In most cases, it's easily borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.

Microfilm at Cornell

Manuscripts on Microfilm at Cornell

Anglo-Saxon manuscripts in microfiche facsimile.  (Olin Library Microfiche 1349 Volumes : v.1-3; v.5-6; v.8-9 (1994-2001) Indexes: guide shelved in Olin Library Reference (Non-Circulating) Micro- fiche 1349 Guide Volumes : v.1-3; v.5-6; v.8-9 (1994-2001)

Medieval literary and historical manuscripts in the Cotton Collection, from the British Library, London. (Olin Library Film 8228) 123 microfilm reels. Guides pt.1-7 shelved in Olin Library Reference Film 8228. Volumes : pt.1-7 Online catalog: browse and search materials

Chronicles and documents of medieval England: c.1150-c.1500 from Cambridge University Library. (Olin Library Film 8242) Consists of 39 microfilm reels + 1 guide Includes chronicles, genealogies, letters, and various documents chiefly related to land, law, politics, and religion. Guide shelved in Olin Library Reference.

Medieval and early modern women. (Olin Library Film 8263) Consists of pt.1-2=reels 1-26 (2000-2002) and Supplements. Guide shelved in Olin Library Reference Film 8263 Guide pt.1 (2000) to date.

Medieval and renaissance manuscripts from the Society of Antiquaries, London. (Olin Library Film 6673) Reels 1-11 and 2 guides.

The Early and central Middle Ages, c. 650-c. 1200 AD: the manuscript record.  (Olin Library Film 6103). Consists of two parts (25 reels). Guide shelved in Olin Library Reference.

British literary manuscripts from Cambridge University Library.  (Olin Library Film 5902). Guide in Olin reference. Volumes : ser.1 (1984)

British literary manuscripts from the British Library, London. Series Three, Medieval manuscripts to c. 1500. (Olin Library Film 8241) Consists of two parts on 42 microfilm reels + 1 guide Guide shelved in Olin Library Reference Film 8241 Guide.

British literary manuscripts from the British Library, London. Series One, The English Renaissance. (Olin Library Film 5903). 53 microfilm reels + guide. Guide in Olin Library Reference.

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.

Incunabula, the printing revolution in Europe, 1455-1500 : a guide to the units of the microfiche collection.
(Olin Library Shelved in the Olin Microfiche Alcove on top of cabinets housing READEX U.S. Government Documents fiche) Volumes : v.1-50 Supplements: Guides: 1-16,19-25


More from Cornell's Medieval Studies Program...


Materials for the History of Medieval Scholarship

Madden, Frederic. The diaries of Sir Frederick Madden [microform].  (Olin Library Film 5452) Consists of 17 microfilm reels.

Bernard, Edward. Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliæ et Hiberniæ in unum collecti: cum indice alphabetico. Oxoniæ : E Theatro Sheldoniano ..., 1697. From Early English Books. 2 volumes. (Olin Library Film 1297 449:7 449:8)

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