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Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Medieval Manuscripts

A Guide to Research in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Finding Medieval Mss.

Medieval manuscripts can be found in several ways:

  1. There are a few online collections of digitized medieval manuscripts, which are listed at right.
  2. You may have a citation provided by another scholar, which will take the form of the repository and the manuscript's shelfmark - e.g. the so-called Codex Vaticanus, one of the oldest manuscripts of the Greek Bible, is in the Vatican Library's Greek manuscript collection and would be cited as: Vat. gr. 1209.
  3. Most large repositories have produced published manuscript catalogues, which list their holdings and give brief descriptions. A few of these catalogues have been put online and are listed at right. The finest collection of printed manuscript catalogues in the U.S. is uptown in Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
  4. The essential guide to catalogues of Latin manuscripts is: Paul Oskar Kristeller, Latin manuscript books before 1600: a list of the printed catalogues and unpublished inventories of extant collections - fourth revised and enlarged edition by Sigrid Krämer (Munich, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 1993). A supplement edited by Krämer and Birgit Christine Arensmann appeared in 2007. They are in the Bobst collection at Z6605.L3 K75 1993 and Z6601.A1 K68 2007 respectively. An online edition is available from the MGH.
  5. Also essential for scholars of Renaissance manuscripts is Kristeller's Iter Italicum;a finding list of uncatalogued or incompletely catalogued humanistic manuscripts of the Renaissance in Italian and other libraries, 6 vols. (London : Warburg Institute, 1963-1997 ). It is available in the 1st-floor Reference Center of Bobst Libary at: Z6611.H8 K7. An online edition is available as part of Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Online Manuscript Sites

Manuscript Repositories

Subject Librarian