The UCLA-based Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts now to nearly 1,000 manuscripts by 193 authors in 20 languages from 59 libraries around the world, allowing users to flit from England to France to Switzerland to the United States — to name the locations of just a few of the featured repositories — with the click of a mouse.
Highlights of the virtual holdings include:
• The largest surviving collection of the works of Christine de Pizan, one of the first women in Europe to earn a living as a writer. The manuscript was commissioned by Queen Isabeau of France in 1414 and is now held by the British Library.
• An Irish copy of the Gospel of John, bound in ivory and presented to Charlemagne sometime around 800, now in the library of the monastery of St. Gall in Switzerland.
• The Junius manuscript, one of only four major manuscripts preserving poetry in Old English. Dated to around 1000, the book is now among the holdings of Oxford’s Bodleian Library.
“Because these manuscripts are so old and fragile, libraries are digitizing them, but you can’t find them,” Fisher said. “We’re completing the step of making them accessible to the world.”
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