Manuscripts Online: Some Views of the Book

I have been updating the list of digital resources for manuscript and book studies that I normally use in my teaching and thought that it might be useful to make it available more generally. This is a loosely classified list which is by no means complete and which in some areas is somewhat outdated, but it is designed to give some brief indication of the range of what is available. In particular, I find it a useful exercise to ask how each of these resources implicitly answers the question 'what is a book?'. The approaches to that question can be dramatically different from one resource to the next, including 'a sequence of images', 'images linked to text', 'an object with binding [but not pages]', 'a container for handwriting', and many other things as well. None of these is right or wrong, of course: as Willard McCarty has argued in his contribution to the Companion to Digital Literary Studies (and elsewhere), no model can or should ever be complete. This is not a problem, as he demonstrates: on the contrary it is a virtue and is 'dangerous to us only if we miss the lesson of modeling and mistake the artificial for the real'.

Some Larger-Scale Digitisation Projects

Some aggregation sites and lists of lists of digitised projects include:

Palaeographical and Typographical Projects

Linking Image and Text

Comparing Pages and Texts


The Book as Object (or not)



'Virtual Restoration'



Collections and Provenance


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