Lecturer in Classics, University of Galway (Ireland)

A guide to finding manuscript images online

Research on early medieval Latin manuscripts has been utterly transformed in the past 15 years or so by the ever-increasing availability of high-quality digital images online.

Nonetheless, these collections are spread across many different online locations, and some are not easy to find. Here is some general guidance and a collection of useful links.

General resources

  • IIIF is a wonderful set of technologies that facilitate image sharing over the web. This is increasingly becoming the standard method for cultural institutions to display and share images of artefacts, including manuscripts. Biblissima is an excellent project that allows you to search for IIIF-compliant manuscripts and books before 1800 across many different institutions.
  • E. A. Lowe’s Codices Latini Antiquiores catalogued Latin manuscripts from before AD 800. This foundational work is the basis of the wonderful Earlier Latin Manuscripts database, which very often includes links to digital images.

Regional collections

Individual libraries

For Swiss libraries see e-codices, above.

Other resources

Cover image: Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, MS 237, f. 56v.