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Medieval Manuscript Collections

Digital manuscript resources and collections online for study and research.


Dr. H. Sonne de Torrens, Email:
Librarian, Visual Resource Library, Communications, Culture and Technology Building
University of Toronto Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road North
Mississauga, Ontario L5L 1C6, Canada.


This is an on-going, work in progress, research guide for the study of medieval manuscripts.

Definitions for types of manuscripts, such as, missals, brevaries, graduals, office lectionaries, mass lectionaries, antiphonarys and psalters can be found at this site.

Getty YouTube: HOW TO MAKE A MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPT (click on title)

Need Help?

Need Help? Email the Visual Resources Liaison Librarian at to schedule a virtual research consultation or send an enquiry via email.

Out of an abundance of caution, all research consultations will be conducted using Zoom starting March 19th, 2020.  Further information will be provided by your Liaison Librarian when you schedule a research consultation.

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FINDING Medieval Manuscripts - Facsimile copies

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 the Arabic and Persian manuscripts in the Oriental Public Library at Bankipore

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

Image Collections for Medieval Manuscripts

FADIS. University of Toronto. The Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. 6,000 Slide Collection of Medieval Manuscripts has been digitized and is available for viewing. Access via UTOR ID.

Index of Medieval Art. Princeton University. UTL subscribes to this collection of images. UTOR ID access required.

Esoteric MSS Sites

MEDIEVAL ROAD TRIP. Blog on medieval mss in North American collections. Unknown MSS introduced to readers.