Content at ND?
When the required manuscripts have been identified, check to see if the content is readily available at Notre Dame:
Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts
Site designed to enable users to find fully digitized manuscripts currently available on the web. As for all databases, do not assume that it is complete: some 3,000 manuscripts in summer 2009 (far more are available by other means, see below)
Microfilms of Medieval Manuscripts at Notre Dame
Identifies and locates medieval manuscript microfilms available at Notre Dame. Searches are possible by city, library, and shelf mark. There has been no attempt to standardize the form of the shelf marks, so it is best to search in several ways before giving up. Also, results usually appear in the order in which items were entered into the database, so that the entire list of results should be consulted. A Keyword search on library and city seems to work best.
Notes: Our Ambrosiana microfilms are not included in this database, but you can ask for those from the librarians associated with the Medieval Institute.
This is an ongoing project, so check with the Librarian in case other items are available but have not yet been recorded in the database.
Database of Medieval Facsimiles at Notre Dame
The Rare Book Room and the Medieval Institute Library hold a large number of facsimiles of late-antique and medieval manuscripts and texts, and of an occasional early printed book. Some related facsimiles are also shelved in the Hesburgh General Collection. This is true, for instance, if a facsimile occurs within a series which is otherwise dedicated to editions. This database is intended to assist scholars and students in identifying and locating facsimiles relevant to their research or to their course subject matter.
Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts (at Notre Dame)
Information on the pre-1600 manuscript materials in the Department of Rare Books & Special Collections in the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame
For additional possibilities for accessing digital images of entire manuscripts, go to the web sites of individual libraries or projects.
E.g., for the University of Oxford: http://image.ox.ac.uk/
For church-related libraries in the area of Köln (i.e., Cologne): http://www.ceec.uni-koeln.de/
A very convenient list (with the necessary urls) of libraries worldwide providing images of at least 10 complete manuscripts can be found at:
Many libraries, such as the Bodleian http://www.odl.ox.ac.uk/digitalimagelibrary/medieval_home.html provide only the “pretty pictures” in their manuscripts, but even that can be useful. See also:
Images in manuscripts in US libraries (including Notre Dame). Tends to concentrate on images of interest to art historians, but the project also provides cataloging. The images may give you a good idea of whether or not you want to see the manuscript. The SEARCH option allows for browsing and word searches.
Check the major collections of microfilms in the US, and order a microfilm copy when possible or try to go there:
The Ambrosiana Microfilm Collection at Notre Dame. Ask the librarians associated with the Medieval Institute for assistance. Microfilm copies can be provided. (Grants are available for on-site consultation by visitors.)
HMML - Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (Univ. St John’s, Minnesota)
Mostly microfilms of manuscripts in monastic houses throughout Europe. After consulting their catalog of microfilms, you can order copies if the original library allows it. (Grants are available for on-site consultation.)
Vatican Film Library (St. Louis, Missouri)
Vatican microfilms must be consulted on site, but there are others. A catalog of their microfilms is available on the website. (Grants are available for on-site consultation.)
The website of the relevant library or of HMML (see above) will clarify the correct procedure for ordering. If your manuscript information comes from older resources, you may need to consult Kristeller-Krämer (Latin manuscript books before 1600 : a list of the printed catalogues and unpublished inventories of extant collections / by Paul Oskar Kristeller, 4th rev. and enl. ed. by Sigrid Krämer, 1993, with Ergänzungsband in 2006) to find the recent name of the library.
It is a good idea to provide additional information in the order request, such as the page in the catalog, the number of folios in the manuscript, or the content, anything that will avoid confusion.
Note: This stage can take a while, so don’t delay. Average cost: ca. $ 80.
Once you have the content, the following resources may be useful in decoding the text:
The Index of Scripts which can be found in the section What is palaeography? of the website Medieval Writing created by two Australian medievalists can be very useful:
A Google search on palaeography might yield useful results for whatever you are doing, perhaps even access to the relevant pages of some standard text (e.g. Bischoff, transl. Ganz and O’Croinin).
Abbreviationes (ND users only)
An electronic dictionary of medieval Latin abbreviations.
Database of Latin Dictionaries (ND users only)
This database integrates different types of Latin dictionaries, whether modern, medieval or early-modern and links between these different tools.
Vetus Latina Database online (ND users only)
Comprehensive patristic records from the Vetus Latina Institut in Beuron.
Vetus Latina - Resources for the Study of the Old Latin Bible
This useful site gives easy access to a number of digitized biblical manuscripts.
Europa Sacra online (ND users only)
Information on all 1300 medieval bishoprics, archdioceses and patriarchates of the early, patristic and medieval Church obedient to Rome. Prosopographical information on 18,507 bishops, archbishops and patriarchs for the period 1198-1503; and all those cited by Gams for the period to 1198.
Orbis Latinus (for place names)