Additional Medieval Manuscript Web Pages

Solomon Schechter and the Ginezah fragments--the Cairo Ginezah was a special room that Hebrew scholars used for thousands of years to store manuscripts and manuscript fragments safely because they might contain the sacred name of God.  Studying the fragments produced a wealth of new information about the earliest versions of the books of the Christian Bible, as well as classical Greek, Latin, and Hebrew literary texts that were mingled with the theological and philosophical texts.

Visit this web site and explore at least three instances in which MS leaves were sold on eBay: CHD Center for Håndskriftstudier i Danmark, Dismembered Manuscripts,  This was an online project reclaiming digital images of Medieval manuscript leaves that have been sold on eBay and, in most cases, lost to scholarship forever.  Now the site, itself, is lost, probably due to its server being shut down.  It was active from 2002 to 2006, and the Wayback Machine can locate some of it as recently as February 2015: https://web.archive.org/web/20150221044926/http://www.chd.dk/dismembra/index.html   Can you locate any other similar sites that attempt to reunify dismembered MSS?  Please let me know. 

Click here for the home page of "Parker on the Web,"  Survey some of the MSS to get an idea of what they typically look like (i.e., functional, not beautiful), but concentrate on MS #61, perhaps the second most famous Chaucer manuscript that has survived.  Before you look at the images, be sure to consult both descriptions ("desbib") of the MS, and when you get to the images, you might want to take a look at the upper left margin of folio 101v.  They occur beside lines 575-81 in Book IV of the poem.  ["Parker on the Web" is a joint imaging project of Corpus Christi College (Cam.) and Stanford University that has digitized all of Matthew Parker's manuscript collection.  (Full subscriptions that would enable actual reading access start at $3500, so no, we don't have that--but you can analyze the mise-en-page of the MS!)

        If you are especially interested in early manuscript libraries, you should see Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, c. 1400-1580 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992),  274.2 D858s 1992 and this Columbia University online exhibit on Manuscript Fragments and Typical Surviving Manuscript Books.