Manuscript Scavenger Hunt? Second in a series.


In the previous post I discussed the Digital Scriptorum and DMMap. This post will cover additional resources.

British Library.

The British Library is a world class resource for a large variety of resources. For our purposes we are focusing on their pre-1600 manuscript and book collections. Like many manuscript search sites they have a basic and an advanced search function.

The British Library manuscript Basic Search is very bare bones. You can search by Key Work, Start Year and End Year.

The advanced search function allows much more information to be input. You can get much more nuanced results.

The British Library has a “place of origin” entry. This is not the same as “country” of origin. You can use it that way if you wish, but it also works for city and region as well. If you want to find a manuscript by scribe such as the Venerable Bede or by Alcuin of York, or by the artist you can search that way as well. This can really help you find a known work by a known person much faster. Or even a body of work by a known person and then look through that for your purposes.

The limit of the British Library search is that it really is only for what is in the British Library. And while that is a vast collection, it does not search anyone else’s collection.

The French National Library. Or as they say, Bibliothèque nationale de France.

The website is in French. That said, You can choose from one of three languages. French, English and Spanish. It is in the top strip of the web page.

Green added

The advanced search in english is large and perhaps overwhelming on the screen.

Initial Screen for Advanced Search

When you look over the entries they are fairly straight forward. What is unusual is what is at the bottom of the page.

There are a lot of choices for where to look. So make sure you select appropriately.

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