Anglo-Saxon MSS Online I: The Latin collection from the BnF

Many libraries now are digitising their manuscripts and making these available online. Practices vary substantially in terms of image quality, presentation, permissions and so on, but it cannot be denied that having even basic images of every page and binding of a manuscript is a very useful resource. One of the biggest challenges with these is keeping track of them, since new sites are appearing seemingly every day, but at the same time old ones are disappearing, or 'deep' links to a specific manuscript or manuscript page in a collection become invalid as sites are reorganised. There have been many attempts to compile lists of digitised manuscripts, but they require very substantial amounts of continued labour, and all the ones I have seen have fallen victim to this 'link rot'. The best in my opinion is the UCLA Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts, but even they have not managed entirely to keep up with the extraordinary pace of change in this field.

With all that in mind, I have recently been trawling some of the online repositories to find images of manuscripts relevant to DigiPal. Of course there are obvious highlights, such as Parker on the Web which contains every manuscript in the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College. Rather more complicated are repositories which have digitised some but not all of their collections: in these cases, it takes some effort to work through the list, finding which ones of interest are or are not included. I have just done this for Gallica, the online portal for digitised books at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Rather than keeping the list to myself, I realised that it may be of interest more generally, and so I publish it here.

The list contains all manuscripts in Helmut Gnuess's Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts which are also included (at the time of writing) in the Catalogue sommaire des manuscrits latins en ligne / Summary catalogue of digitised latin manuscripts by Dominique Gatté and Christian Meyer. I have included very brief notes, links to the manuscripts, and links to the particular pages containing English Vernacular minuscule if any is present. I hope to produce similar blog posts for other libraries in the future, but don't hold me to that. I also make no promises to keep the list up to date, and I make no guarantees at all regarding how long these links will remain valid.

A brief note on the headings from this table:

  • 'Gneuss' is the number from Gneuss's Handlist.
  • 'Shelfmark' is the BnF shelfmark; 'latin' is implied in all cases.
  • 'Scope' is the part of the manuscript which was in Anglo-Saxon England, in the case of composite books.
  • 'Description' is my very brief summary description.
  • 'English Vernacular minuscule?' lists the folio(s) containing English Vernacular script of the eleventh century, if any.
  • 'Links' gives the direct links to the digitised book on Gallica, and directly to the pages containing Vernacular minuscule (if any).

I hope this is some use to you, and if I have missed any from the latin collection at the BnF then do please let me know.

GneussShelfmarkScopeDescriptionEnglish Vernacular minuscule?Links
878 281+298 Gospels, s. viii No
MS 281
MS 298
879 943 Sherborne Pontifical, s. x3/4 fols 156–70 (5 hands)
Whole MS
886 6401 Boethius, s. x/xi No Whole MS
887 6401A Boethius, s. x/xi No Whole MS
889.5 8085 fols 2–82 Prudentius, s. ix2/3 or ix med. (English prov.) No Whole MS
890 8092 Sedulius, s. xi2/4 46 OE gll. Whole MS
891 8824 Paris Psalter, s. xi med. All Whole MS
892 9377 fol. 3 Paul ad Cor II, s. viii No
Whole MS
893 9389 Echternach Gospels, s. vii/viii No Whole MS
893.5 9488 fols 3–4 Sacramentary, s. viii No
Whole MS
896 10575 Ecgbert Pontifical, s. x2 163r, 178v
Whole MS
895 10062 fols 162–3 Calendar, s. xi in. No (but has Latin of s. xi in.)
Whole MS
897 10837 fols 34–41 & 44 Calendar, s. viii in. No
Whole MS
898.5 13089 fols 49–76 Regula Pastoralis, s. viii2 No Whole MS


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