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Medieval Manuscript Collections

Digital manuscript resources and collections online for study and research.

FACSIMILE MSS in University of Toronto Libraries System

The University of Toronto Library System (UTLS) has a large corpus of facsimile manuscripts (reproductions) of the major medieval and renaissance manuscripts. Below are a few of the examples in the collections at the Thomas Fisher Rare Books, Trinity College and other college libraries in the UTLS. To search for facsimile manuscripts, see introduction to this research guide.

Beato de El Burgo de Osma. Beatus, Saint, Presbyter of Liebana, d. 798. 2 volumes (1 facsimile + 1 commentary) Valencia : Scriptorium, 2016.Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, University of Toronto Library System, University of Toronto.

Beato de Liébana : códice del Monasterio de San Pedro de Cardeña. Barcelona : M. Moleiro, 2001. 2 vols.

Bedford Hours, 2 vols. MS Add. 18850, the British Library, London.

Codex Conciliorum Albeldensis seu Vigilanus Canon Law MS. 976. Preserved in the Biblioteca del Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de el Escorial (d. 1.2). With facsimile reproduction of ms. Annotaciones de Ambrosio de Morales (leaves viii-xxi ; 34 cm.) laid in at front.

Codice di medicina e farmacia di Federico II : facsimile of Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana Ms Pluteo 73,16.13th Century. It is illustrated with over 500 miniatures of plants, animals, healing treatments and medical men.
Saint Ildefonsus (ca. 610-667), De Virginitate Sanctae Mariae. Visigothic Manuscript.
El Libro de los juegos del ajedrez, dados y tablas. c. 1221-1284. 2 vols. Valencia : Scriptorium, 2010. Made in court of King Alfonso X of Spain.

Golden Gospels of Henry III. Evangelistar Kaiser Heinrich III : Faksimile-Ausgabe des Codex Ms. b.21 der Universitätsbibliothek Bremen. 2 volumes. Wiesbaden : Dr. L. Reichert, 1981-1993. Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, University of Toronto Library System, University of Toronto.

Great Domesday ... : including all folios subsequently added to the manuscript. c. 1086. Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, University of Toronto Library System, University of Toronto.

Herbal of al-Ghafiqi.  13th-century illustrated copy of the treatise on materia medica by a physician and scholar from al-Andalus (Muslim Iberia), Abū Ja’far al-Ghāfiqī (d. ca. 1165 CE).

Lindesfarne Gospels. Trinity College, Rare Books Collection. University of Toronto.

Lorsch Gospels. c. 810. Introd. by Wolfgang Braunfels.New York, G. Braziller [1967]. Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, University of Toronto Library System, University of Toronto.

Pamplona Picture Bible. Produced in the royal chancery at Pamplona under the direction of the chancellor Petrus Ferrandus, around the year 1200. It is now preserved in the Prince Öttingen-Wallenstein collection, in the library of the University of Augsburg.

Rabbula Gospels : facsimile edition of the miniatures of the Syriac manuscript.  Plut. 1, 56 in the Medicaean-Laurentian library. Eds. Carlo Cecchelli, Giuseppe Furlani and Mario Salmi. Olten : Urs Graf-Verlag, 1959. Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library, University of Toronto Library System, University of Toronto.

Searching for Facsimile MSS in the UTL Catalogue

Searching the UTL Catalogue for FACSIMILE copies (if you are not looking for a specific MS):

1. Go to ADVANCED search. Search the SUBJECT FIELD using these two terms "manuscript" OR "facsimile"

2. Filter the results using "Latin" or "French" or another language or type of manuscript as KEYWORDS or in the SUBJECT FIELD.

3. OR do a specific subject field search using Manuscripts, French--Facsimiles or Manuscripts, Latin--Facsimiles or Manuscripts, Greek--Facsimiles or Bible.--Psalms--Manuscripts.

Searching the UTL Catalogue for a specific MS:

1. Go to ADVANCED search. Type select terms from the title into the TITLE FIELD.

2. Filter the results by using these two terms "manuscript" OR "facsimile" in the SUBJECT FIELD. Use facsimile if you are searching for a facsimile copy.


Searching for a specific medieval manuscript can be time consuming. If you do not know the shelf number (the equivalent of a call number) and the name of the repository or the location where the manuscript is preserved, then you need to complete the following steps:

1. Check secondary sources for references to manuscript title, shelf number and location. Otherwise, searching large collections like the British Library and Museum or the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris can be overwhelming.

2. If you are searching for specific images or illustrations in manuscripts, there are two ways to locate images. Images are not always catalogued with metadata in MSS collections.

  • Consult secondary sources / publications for MS information, then look for the MS as discussed above.
  • Consult an image collection, which will provide the MS information. Then look for the MS as discussed above. Image collections are listed below on this page.

3. Consult printed catalogues for specific types of manuscripts or types of manuscripts. To do this you need to search the UTL catalog. Start with an advanced search. In the subject field type "catalogs" (use American spelling) and "manuscripts" (without the quotation marks). This will result in a large collection. Filter the results with additional search terms. Select a language or library or add a keyword using a language, type of manuscript (e.g. bible, psalter, gradual, etc.), city, e.g. Paris, Stockholm or country. Printed catalogues such as the following the samples below can aid your search and save time. The UTL catalogue record will indicate whether the printed catalogues are available on the Internet Archive.

Catalogue of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the Houghton Library, Harvard University

Latin liturgical psalters in the Bodleian Library

Les manuscrits arabes de la collection Schefer à la Bibliothèque nationale

Medieval manuscripts : Ghent University Library