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Illuminated Manuscripts: Resources and Facsimiles: Home

A guide to researching illuminated manuscripts and how to locate manuscript facsimiles in the Sloane Art Library.

Leaf from a Beatus Manuscript

The Fifth Angel blows a trumpet, a star falls from the sky; the bottomless pit is opened with a key; emerging from the smoke, locusts sting their victims with scorpion-like tails.

Leaf from a Beatus Manuscript, Spanish, ca. 1180, tempera, gold, and ink on parchment, Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What is in this guide?

This guide is intended to help scholars researching illuminated manuscripts by providing them with a way to locate facsimiles of their manuscript and materials related to their work.  It also provides links to some resources and information outside of our collections.

This guide currently contains the most recent list of the Sloane Art Library's manuscript facsimiles.

In this guide (and in the tabs above), you'll find:

  • Finding Facsimiles - Hints and tips on finding facsimiles in our collection, and a working definition of a manuscript facsimile
  • Digital Facsimiles - A guide to some of the digital manuscript facsimiles available online
  • Background Information - Books and websites that may be useful in studying illuminated manuscripts
  • Art Library Facsimiles - Links to facsimiles in the art library collection, arranged by manuscript type

Facsimile definition

For the purpose of this guide, a manuscript facsimile is defined as having the following qualities:

  • The facsimile should contain all extant pages of the manuscript, not just the miniatures or images.
  • The facsimile should be in color.
  • The facsimile should, overall, come as close as possible to mimicking the experience of handling the original manuscript.

Not all of the facsimiles on the list of Art Library Facsimiles (see last tab) will meet all of these requirements, but all provide the reader with an experience of the material that is reasonably close to having the manuscript on hand.


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Alice Whiteside
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Sloane Art Library
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