Illuminated Manuscripts: Digitization and Study Projects

Avestan Digital Archive. The Avestan Digital Archive (ADA) seeks to be a digital archive containing all Avestan manuscripts spread all over the world.

ARMA (the Art of Reading in the Middle Ages). The project aims to show how medieval reading culture evolved and became a fundamental aspect of European culture. The project will deliver 20,000 items created between the years c. 500 and c. 1550 to Europeana, among which medieval manuscripts, early printed books and other objects.

Biblissima, online digital library which provides access to manuscripts and early printed books from the 8th to 18th centuries (digitisations of early documents, documentary databases, editions, as well as tools to understand these documents and to produce new data).

DIAMM (the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music) is a leading resource for the study of medieval manuscripts. They present images and metadata for thousands of manuscripts on this website and also provide a home for scholarly resources and editions, undertake digital restoration of damaged manuscripts and documents, publish high-quality facsimiles, and offer their expertise as consultants.

DIGITAL MAPPA, an open-source digital humanities platform for open-access workspaces, projects and publications.

Digital Scriptorium is a growing consortium of American libraries and museums committed to free online access to their collections of pre-modern manuscripts.

Electronic Beowulf Project of the University of Kentucky with collaboration of the British Library.

Evellum Medieval Manuscripts in the modern world. Evellum is an established leading producer of digital facsimiles, editions and pedagogical tools. University of Melbourne.

FAMA compiles information on the number of surviving witnesses of the most widely read medieval texts in Latin. These data are arranged according to genre, date of composition, and number of copies of each work, as well as by country of origin, date of copy, and former provenances of manuscripts. FAMA provides a point of reference for current studies allowing a global approach to cultural phenomena.

HIMANIS Artificial Intelligence has unlocked the access to the text of medieval manuscripts! The partners of the European research project HIMANIS (Historical MANuscript Indexing for user-controlled Search) implemented, for the first time, the indexing and plain text querying of medieval manuscripts (199 registers and formularies, 80'000+ pages, written in the French royal chancery during the 14th and 15th centuries). The large scale of the corpus and the possibility to search in plain text for handwritten sources are unheard of in medieval studies. The challenge of multilingualism, script variation and abbreviations, which are crucial for HTR on medieval sources, has been successfully met, as well as writer identification.

France-England: Medieval Manuscripts from 700 to 1200 Thanks to the patronage of The Polonsky Foundation, the BnF and the British Library forge a partnership for the very first time in the field of manuscripts.

Malory's Morte Darthur Project One of the most important literary works written in Middle English prose. It exists in two considerably different primary versions, the Winchester manuscript (British Library, Add. MS 59678), and two extant copies of William Caxton's printed edition (1485): a complete copy in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, and a copy lacking eleven leaves, in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester. This project will for the first time provide users with high quality colour images of Winchester. The images were captured by a team of experts in digitization from the HUMI Project. The project also aims at creating an expandable associative environment, with facsimiles and texts of Malory's Morte Darthur interlinked, enabling the user to view them alongside one another.

Manuscripts from German-Speaking Lands is a three-year collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford and the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. Funded by The Polonsky Foundation, the project seeks to open up the medieval German manuscript collections of two world-class libraries for research and reuse. The two libraries will digitize nearly 600 medieval manuscripts of Germanic origin between 2019 and 2021.

Mmmonk Project. Mmmonk stands for Medieval Monastic Manuscripts – Open Network Knowledge. It is a collaborative project of the Bruges Public Library, the Ghent University Library, the Ten Duinen Major Seminary in Bruges and the Diocese of Ghent. The project is subsidized by the Flemish Government (Department of Culture, Youth and Media). The project aims to provide digital access to the approximately 820 still preserved medieval manuscripts of the abbeys of Ten Duinen, Ter Doest, Sint-Pieters and Sint-Baafs. The images and metadata of the manuscripts are brought together using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). The platform unlocks the manuscripts according to the IIIF standards, provides educational content, stimulates innovative research on the monastic manuscripts, and contributes to the further development and implementation of IIIF for special library collections. is a virtual archive, a community and a research platform on medieval and early modern charters. About 60 archival institutions from 10 European countries and research projects from all around the world make more than 450.000 documents available online (number continously growing). The platform offers not only passive access by browsing and faceted search but also serves as a platform for community encagement and collaborative editing with advanced editing tools (code free XML editing and text image linking).

Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project. A collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.

PPEA. Piers Plowman Electronic Archive is a collaborative open-access project, presents the rich textual tradition of Piers Plowman, a fourteenth-century allegorical dream vision attributed to William Langland. Three distinct versions of the poem (A, B, and C) survive in more than 50 unique manuscripts, none in Langland's own hand. The Archive enables instructors, students, and researchers to explore late medieval literary and manuscript culture through the many variations of Piers Plowman. The long-term goal of the project is the creation of a complete archive of the medieval and early modern textual tradition of Langland's poem.

PRISMS is a flexible Open Scholarship platform, with the potential to aggregate all digitised primary source material, and the associated scholarship, in a semantic network. It is being launched with corpora from the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO-TCP), EVANS Early American Imprint Collection (EVANS-TCP), the Deutsches Textarchiv (DTA) extended core corpus, and the Taylor Editions scholarly editions platform. In PRISMS you are able to contribute your own digitised texts (see digitisation training) and also add external texts and contextual resources to the network. For example, if a facsimile corresponding to an EEBO-TCP transcription has been digitised, then the link to the digital facsimile can be added to the network and the page images viewed, alongside the digital text, within PRISMS.

Scriptorium: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Online started life as a three-year (2006-2009) AHRC-funded Resource Enhancement Project, based in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge. The project team created a digital archive of manuscript miscellanies and commonplace books from the period c. 1450-1720. These were drawn from the collections of ten partner institutions: college libraries in Cambridge (Emmanuel, King's, Queens, St John's, Trinity), the Cambridge University Library, the Brotherton Library in Leeds, and the archives of Holkham Hall, Belton House, and Lambeth Palace.

The Online Froissart brings a holistic, dynamic approach to the manuscripts of Jean Froissart’s Chroniques. It establishes a robust and sustainable platform for the delivery of electronic transcriptions of the Chroniques, of annotation and other secondary materials pertaining to those transcriptions, and of digital reproductions of several of the original manuscripts in high-resolution format. Users of the Online Froissart can query textual data interactively, collate text across several witnesses, or use a special viewing mode allowing them to look up the definition of a word used by the chronicler in the online Dictionnaire du Moyen Français. These and other features offer users of the Online Froissart a range of non-textual (palaeographical, codicological, art-historical and lexicographical) information.

Thesaurus Exemplorum Medii Aevi (ThEMA) A thesaurus of 12189 exemplary anecdotes from the Middle Ages: a multimedia, multilingual database of exemplary stories giving special insight into the imagination of men and women in the Medieval West and beyond, from Russia and the Middle East to China and Japan.

tranScriptorium is a STREP of the Seventh Framework Programme in the ICT for Learning and Access to Cultural Resources challenge. tranScriptorium is planned to last from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2015. tranScriptorium aims to develop innovative, efficient and cost-effective solutions for the indexing, search and full transcription of historical handwritten document images, using modern, holistic Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology. In this project:

  • Transkribus is a comprehensive platform for the digitisation, AI-powered text recognition, transcription and searching of historical documents from any place, any time, and in any language.
  • Transkriptorium Text Image Probabilistic Indexing applied to transcription of manuscripts.

Biblical Studies

Biblia Glossata, a corpus of several tens of thousands of sentences or short explanations, arranged in the margins and under the lines of the text of the Bible.

BiblIndex. Index of Biblical Quotations in Early Christian Literature. BiblIndex is an index of biblical references found in early Christian literature, both Western and Eastern texts, so far covering the first three centuries, along with part of the following centuries. The eventual goal is to cover the whole of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages to help renew the study of the interpretation and the history of biblical texts.

International Medieval Sermon Studies Society (IMSSS) promotes and fosters the study of medieval sermons and preaching in Latin and the vernacular languages within their social, literary, religious, intellectual, theological, catechetical, political and historical contexts. The Society also promotes and fosters the study of various artes praedicandi, and theories of preaching derived from them, as well as material used by sermon writers (e.g., Florilegia, commentaries, etc.).

MARK16 MARK16 is a SNSF PRIMA project on five years (2018-2023) that develops a new research model in digitized biblical sciences, based on a test case found in the New Testament: the last chapter of the Gospel according to Mark, well known as enigma in textual criticism and exegesis of Mark 16.

Multilingual Bible

SHEBANQ. This project is centered around the richly annotated linguistic database of the Hebrew Bible created by the Eep Talstra Centre for Bible and Computer. In the SHEBANQ project a webinterface was developed that enables running and saving queries and add them as annotations to the text. The richly annotated database can now be accessed by anyone who wants to consult the Hebrew text with its linguistic annotations, to see queries that researches have run and that have also been added as annotations, or run queries by him/herself, save the results or create a diagram of the statistics. Édition électronique d'un corpus de sermons latins médiévaux.