Illuminated manuscripts were products of encounter, exchange, and exploration in the Middle Ages.

Interested in the Global Middle Ages? This weekend, April 16 and 17, come by our free interdisciplinary symposium that examines artists, patrons, and audiences as agents who desired real, imagined, or exotic representations and narratives about the world and its peoples. 

These artworks are currently on view in Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts at the Getty Center through June 26. 

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British Library, Oriental 5024, f. 19r 

Author: Isaiah of Trani the Younger
Title: Decisions of Isaiah of Trani the Younger (Pisqei Rabbi Yeshayah Aharon)
Origin: Italy, Central (Bologna or Rimini)
Date: 1374

Decorated initial-word panel accompanied with a partial foliate border in the outer margin inhabited by a deer. In the upper margin, illustration of a man lighting the Hanukkah lamp, at the beginning of the section on Hanukkah. 



Beginner and veteran transcribers, this app is available for free, on both Android and iOS devices. Manuscript database, basic info on each of them, typography galore… 

The origins of this app lie in online exercises in palaeography developed for postgraduate students in the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire, U.K. The aim is to provide practice in the transcription of a wide range of medieval hands, from the twelfth to the late fifteenth century. 


Truth be told, some of the pages might be in higher resolution, but still, it’s one of the best edu apps I’ve seen lately. 

Hey, pulltheotheroneithasbellson! I found another tower! 😀

From the Beinecke Rare book and Manuscript Library’s record:

La Sfera
Creator: Dati, Gregorio, 1362-1436
Language: Italian
Date: [between 1450 and 1500]Subjects:
Astronomy, Medieval
Italian poetry–15th century
Illumination of books and manuscripts, Medieval
Manuscripts, Medieval–Connecticut–New Haven
Early maps
Navigation–Early works to 1800
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in Beinecke Library
Dati, Gregorio,–1362-1436

This is folio 17r.

Scribal Documentation Template.docx – Google Drive

Scribal Documentation Template.docx – Google Drive

Erik Kwakkel

Erik Kwakkel


Inside the Codex Rotundus lays a 266 page book of hours in Latin and French.

The manuscript is unique in form and size: the pages are cut approximately circular in shape and measure a little over 9cm in diameter. The book binding feat here is enormous: since the layers are bound together on a mere 3cm book spine, the body of the book must be held together by 3 clasps.

The original clasps were re-used when the book was rebound in the 17th century; each clasp an artful monogram shaped in the form of different gothic alphabetic letters.

Reblogging because it is awesome.


This Book of Hours has the most peculiar shape: its pages resemble lily leaves (the yellow background is a paper sheet used for contrast).

It was made for king Henry II of France, who used it for private devotion – the Book of Hours contained prayers and other short texts, which were read at set times during the day. 

You can view other pages in more detail here

Medieval shaped books are really nifty!
Check out this heart-shaped one. 🙂

Chansonnier Cordiforme (1470s), also known as Chasonnier de Jean de Montchenu. “Cordiform” just means “heart-shaped.” This music manuscript was commissioned by canon Jean de Montchenu, later Bishop of Agen (1477) and Bishop of Vivier (1478-1497), in Savoy between 1460 and 1477.
Link to the whole thing (PDF): [Link]Bibliotheque nationale de France catalog record: [Link]You can listen to the music, recorded by Anthony Rooley and the Consort of Musicke in two parts: [Part 1], [Part 2]

Lindisfarne Gospels and Luttrell Psalter

The British Library has a lot of digitized manuscripts online, which is awesome for SCA Scribes. Two of their best known treasures haven’t yet made the move from their old site, “Digitized Manuscripts”, to the new one, “Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts” – the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Luttrell Psalter. That’s because the Lindisfarne is a Cotton manuscript and the Luttrell is an Additional, and both of these collections haven’t yet made the transition yet.

The old site (DM) is actually really cool – when you click “View Bindings,” you get a viewer that allows you to page through the digitized manuscript and zoom in on elements. The new site (CIM) only gives you one high-res image and one slightly smaller one (in additional to thumbnails). They do have some detail scans, but it’s not the same (as you can imagine).

Lindisfarne Gospels (Cotton MS Nero D.IV)

[Link]c. 700-3rd quarter 10th Century
Lindisfarne, Northumberland
Eadfirth, Bishop of Lindisfarne (690-721)

Luttrell Psalter (Add MS 42130)

for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, Irnham, Lincolnshire

You can see the BL’s Access/Reuse/Copyright notes concerning images here: [Link]

Images used in this post are from Wikipedia.