Illumination, Text and Manuscripts

Handmade scrolls and texts are absolutely gorgeous to look at. Each page is completely unique because multiple people were copying the same text. We are very lucky to still be able to enjoy this art form. Below you will find links to period manuscripts, instructions for learning to do your own illumination and even some beautiful period artwork that you can buy if you are so inclined (Or just look at it for reference).


Book of Hours

Text Manuscripts

Russian Manuscripts

Alla madama la granduchessa madre Gallileo [sic] Galilei

Antiphonarium and breviarium – 15th Century

Asia extrema : entra nella a fé promulgas a ley de Deus pelos padres da Companhia de Jesus

Aurelij Augustini doctoris H[ip]ponensis ep[iscop]i de ciuitate dei ad marcellinu[m] contra paganos – 15th Century

De claustro animae – 1153

De conflictu viciorum – 15th Century

Fenestella : de Romanorum magistratibus – 15th Century

Greek Gospel lectionary – 1050 (?)

Horæ – 15th Century

Emaki: the illuminated manuscripts of medieval Japan Some great samples as well as links to museums for sources.

Keio University – Japanese Culture Through Rare Books  Includes video with the Professor explaining the scrolls.

L’uso dell’archimetro, del sig.or Ostilio Ricci da Fermo – pre 1603

Maḥazor le-Sukot – 14th Century

A Survey of Medieval Russian Manuscript Illumination By Marya Kargashina

Missale Romanum – 1475

Offitium beate ui[r]ginis marie : secundum consuetudinem fratrum ordinis p[rae]dicator[um] – after 1423

P. Rashi ʻal ha-Torah – 1040-1105

Pisḳe Bava metsiʻa leha-Rosh zatsal 1250-1327

Increasing the Visibility of Slavic Medieval Manuscripts

University of British Columbia – Medieval Manuscripts on the Web

Scene from “Channel Buoys” (Miotsukushi), chapter 14 of the Tale of Genji

A Long Tale for an Autumn Night (Aki no yo nagamonogatari)

Scene from The Illustrated Legends of Jin’ōji Temple (Jin’ōji engi emaki)

Illustrated Legends of the Kitano Tenjin Shrine (Kitano Tenjin engi emaki)

The Illustrated Sutra of Past and Present Karma (Kako genzai inga kyō emaki)

Chinese Calligraphy

Medieval Chronicles – Calligraphy

Calligraphy Skills – Alphabets Descriptions and tutorials

Medieval Writing

Theodor Jung – Medieval Calligraphy 1310-1500

Rules of Benedictine Nuns – 1550

Sefer Halakhot pesuḳot – 8th Century

Seymour de Ricci Bibliotheca Britannica Manuscripta Digitized Archive

DMMapp – Digitized medieval manuscripts app Links to more than 500 libraries worldwide that all contain medieval manuscripts you can browse for free

Sexy Codicology – A World of Illuminated Manuscripts and Medieval Books Follow them on Facebook too

Medieval Iconography

Gallica – Les Champion des Dames This book also contains the first image of a witch riding a broomstick

1440 Witch riding a broomstick

e-codices – Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland

Digital Bodelian

Digital Medieval Manuscripts at Houghton Library Harvard

University of Heidelberg – Digital Manuscripts

Digital Vatican Library

The Welcome Library – Digital Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection This one is huge. Everything from Alchemy – Works on Regimen. Including medical texts I have not seen elsewhere online.

Bavarian State Library Digital Collections

The Book of Ornamental Alphabets, Ancient and Medieval, from the Eighth Century

The ancient and valuable collection of the G. Castelnuovo Library 32 works dating from 1482-1687

Engineering, technique and architecture – Manuscripts dating from 1518-1817 24 works

Manuscript Reconstruction

Manuscripts Online  Written works from 1000-1500. Searchable resource

Monastic Manuscript Project Internet Resources for the Study of Early Medieval Monasticism

Boston Public Library  Collections of Distinction

University of Pennsylvania Schoenberg Collection Youtube channel introducing the manuscripts


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