Thursday, 27 June 2013

I only look into them for the piccies.

I will admit it: I'm one of those who only look into books for the piccies. Well, old books, that is. While I can read Middle High German well enough to get most texts once they are transcribed and can read some very little Middle English (and thank you, Chaucer, for your tweets!), I have yet to read a manuscript in its original state.

Every time I run across a digitised manuscript library on the internet, I do a little happy dance (yay! More accessible manuscripts, and more manuscripts that will be there for posterity even if something dire happens - remember the archives at Cologne?) and then... I do a search.

I look for the search terms "spindle" and "wool" typically, both in English (if there is an English archive version) and in the archive's native language. Sometimes I'm lucky, other times I'm not.

I was not lucky in the St. Laurentius Digital Manuscript Library from Lund - but if you are looking for pics of nice medieval manuscripts, with pretty initials, you will really like this page. There's 64 digitised manuscripts from the 9th/10th century to the 16th century, and they are worth a look if only for the initials. (At least that's what I think.)

While I'm at links to libraries online: Umeå University has rare old books digitised as well, accessible via their "special collections" page. It was very slow for me, but if you are looking for an old print - you might get lucky there.

Oh, by the way: There is a lot of work still to be done on the Cologne archive material - the city has an info page about the damages and the work being done here (German only, but there's pics).

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