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Rare Books & Archival Collections Reference Guide

Medieval Western Manuscripts Online

McGill Library:           

McGill Rare Books and Special Collections holds more than 235 medieval -era manuscripts, spanning from the 9th to the 15th century. Finding aids are available. upon request. 

 HORÆ: Collection of Books of Hours (McGill Rare Books and Special Collections): features 37 Books of Hours in both manuscript and printed form, from the 14th to 16th  centuries.. Bilingual French and English

     Descriptions  available in print and online here:

 Catalogue Raisonné Des Livres D'heures Conservés Au Québec. Québec  Presses de l'Université du Québec, 2018.   


BVMM: Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits médiévaux  (CNRS, France): a virtual library of medieval manuscripts in French Libraries by the Institut de recherche et d’histoire des texts in Paris.

MANUSCRIPTA (Bibliothèque nationale de France): Manuscrits sans confinement - nouvelle rubrique en forme de blog.

GALLICA (Bibliothèque nationale de France):  Collections par thèmes


Great Britain:

Online subject guide to Manuscripts and Archives (British Library): subject guides.

Illuminated Manuscripts (British Library): Selections of illuminated manuscripts.


Explorez 800 manuscrits numérisés : France-Angleterre, 700-1200


DigiVatLab (Vatican Library): Access to the Vatican Library’s digitized collections: manuscripts, incunabula, archival materials and inventories as well as graphic materials, coins and medals, and printed materials. 


Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection (Harry Ransom Center): The Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection contains 215 medieval or Renaissance manuscripts that date between the 11th and 17th centuries. 

About Medieval Manuscripts

Medieval Manuscript Manual. This site offers basic information about Medieval Manuscripts, including their production, structure and function. There is also a glossary. The site was created by the Department of Medieval Studies at Central European University, Budapest.

Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms Illustrated glossary by Michelle Brown

Medieval Manuscript Production

How Parchment is Made (BBC video, 4 min): Wim Visscher shows Dr Stephen Baxter how to make parchment from animal skins

Making Manuscripts (Getty Center, 6 min video).

Making Manuscripts in Medieval England and France, 700–1200 (British Library).



Palaeography: Reading Old Handwriting 1500 - 1800. An on-line reference and tutorial in palaeography created by the National Archives of the United Kingdom.

McGill Medieval Manuscripts


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