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This is a bibliography of resources for manuscript study created and maintained by Laura Estill.  

Many of these sites focus on British manuscripts from the early modern period because of my research interests.


NOTE: Some of these sites require subscription access, so you will have to log in through your home institution.



St. John's College, Cambridge, MS S.32, f. 6v.

This image courtesy of St John's College, Cambridge, and Scriptorium: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Online.


Online Manuscripts

British Literary Manuscripts Online

Some Bodleian and Oxford MS facsimiles online

More Bodleian MSS (Luna)

Folger links to online manuscripts

Brotherton Collection  

Digital Scriptorium (Manuscripts) (Columbia)

Cambridge Digital Scriptorium

Wellcome library: incl. 17th C receipt books, many by women

Harvard views of Readers, Readership, and Reading History


Bodleian ArtStor images from MSS

(see also BL online illuminated MSs and images online)

Digital Donne MSS

Perdita Project

Irish MSS

Welsh MSS (National Library of Wales)

Digital Wordsworth

Emily Dickinson

Medieval MSS on the web (meta-resource)

Digitized Medieval Manuscripts - UCLA

Jane Austen, Blake, Lewis Caroll and others

Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts

Keats at Harvard

Byron at Nottingham

Pound at Yale

Rossetti Archive

Defining Gender 1450-1910: Five Centuries of Advice Literature Online (mostly print, some manuscript)

Shelley-Godwin Archive

William Godwin Diary


Some ongoing projects use http://beta.fromthepage.com to transcribe their information.  Have a look to see what's up-and-coming...


Online Manuscript Catalogues 

Leeds (Brotherton)

British Library's Manuscript Catalogue

BL Catalogue of Illuminated MSs

Bodleian Library Info (see also http://ox.libguides.com/content.php?pid=125525&sid=1305126)

Bodleian Library Online Catalogue (incomplete)

Bodleian Forthcoming Electronic Catalogue

Beinecke at Yale

National Library of Scotland Manuscripts

Hamnet (Folger)

Folger Microfilm Catalogue

Huntington Library MS Catalogue

University of Aberdeen Catalogue

University of Michigan British Manuscripts Project (ACLS microfilms)

National Church Database of Manuscripts (Lambeth Palace, etc.)

Christ Church, Oxford, Online Music MSCatalogue

Cambridge MSS (Janus catalogue) - Fitzwilliam museum, etc

Harvard Houghton (at bottom of page)

De Ricci's Census (Uvic access; Hathi trust)



Background resources


First Line Indices

Nelson's Union Index (Folger)

17th C First Line Index (Mark McDayter, Western)

Seng's Houghton Harvard Index

Donne Variorum First Line Indexes

Adam Smyth's Print Miscellany Index

English Clandestine Satire (Harold Love, Meredith Sherlock, Felicity Henderson)

Textbase of Early Tudor English 1485-1550 (UOtago)

Index of Middle English Verse



For Researching Manuscripts

A Manuscript Miscellany (Steven May's 2005 Folger course)

Norbrook's Online Bibliography (also has provenance)

British Library info on Manuscript Resources

Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts (Stephen R. Reimer, U of Alberta) (includes massive bibliography)

University of London Manuscript Portal


Provenance/History Info

For England: links and sources

Access to Archives

National Archives

State Papers Online (Part 1: 1509-1603)


Victoria County History (British History Online)

Clergy of the Church of England Database

Private Libraries in Renaissance England Search (PLRE; Folger)

Private Libraries in Renaissance England homepage

Inner Temple Admissions Database



National Archives Paleography

English Handwriting 1500-1700: An Online Course (Cambridge U; different from below)

English Handwriting: An Online Course (Cambridge U Scriptorium)

Early Modern Paleography

French Paleography Course

Scottish Paleography (v. good; 16-18th C)

Paleography Terminology (Stanford)

Literary Manuscript Analysis (Heaton at Warwick)

Leeds Brotherton Paleography

Secretary Hand Alphabet (basic; Genlinks)

Secretary Hand Alphabet Page (about)

The Secretarie Alphabete

Early Hands (up to 16th C Secretary); Meg Twycross (incl. how to describe link)



The Thomas L. Gravell Watermark Archive

Watermarks in Jonson's 1616 Works

Some Watermarks (not many)

Print Watermark Sources:  Briquet, Churchill, Heawood


Other Resources

Early Stuart Libels

LiteratureOnline (LiOn) Q5ghjD33

LEME: Lexicons of Early Modern English (Lancashire)

English Manuscript Studies Tables of Contents

Oxford Text Archive

Late Medieval English Scribes (incl. descr. of many Harley catalogues)

Reading Experiences Database (1450-1945)


Link Pages

Textual Studies 1500-1800 (Kevin Curran; AWESOME links)

Warwick History List of Links to know before you go to archives

Folger links

A Manuscript Miscellany (Steven May's 2005 Folger course)

Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Theatre History Links

Paleography, Codicology, Bibliography links (Robert D. Peckham)

Texts, Manuscripts, Palaeography (Jay Treat)

Justin's Theatre Links (Elizabethan, Jacobean, Caroline history links)

REED's All The World's a Stage

U of Reading Early Modern Studies Links

Restoration Theatre links

Textual Scholarship

Medieval MSS (and some Emod) MS facsimile & microfilm links (Charles Wright)


Medieval Genealogy Links (incl. early modern)


Print-related info


English Short Title Catalogue

Database of Early English Playbooks (UPenn: Alan B. Farmer and Zachary Lesser)

Shakespearean Promptbooks of the Seventeenth Century (G. Blakemore Evans)

British Book Trade Index


Jonson's first folio (digitized, searchable) Holloway

Renaissance and Restoration Printing (U South Carolina)

Index of Books and Pamphlets Censored in the British Isles and British North American between 1641 and 1700

English Renaissance in Context (ERIC; UPenn) incl. tutorials on book history and Shakespeare's plays

Digital Miscellanies Index (18th C: Leverhulme, Oxford, Bodleian)

OpenEmblem (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne; being revised) Emblem Books

John Foxe's Acts and Monuments online edition

More's Utopia online edition

Warburg Institute digitized books



Questions?  email me (Laura) at 

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