This image collection is the fruit of collaboration between the Bodleian
Library, Oxford, and ARTstor, New York, involving the digitization of images
from 35mm filmstrip negatives and positive slides. It is a ‘Beta’ site to which
images will be added in batches during 2008: when complete, the collection will
consist of some 25,000 images. The site uses Insight® software provided by Luna
Imaging, Inc. (see www.lunaimaging.com).
The images are also available on the subscription-only ARTstor site (www.artstor.org)
where they can be studied in conjunction with a wide array of images of
manuscripts and works of art from other libraries and museums.
Though some images on this site are of text pages, the accent is on illuminated
manuscripts: out of a total of just under 10,000 western medieval and
renaissance manuscripts in the Library’s collection, approximately 2,650 are
represented here. Some more modern material is included, such as bindings,
examples of the revival of calligraphy and illumination in the 19th and 20th
centuries, and antiquarian drawings of medieval monuments. A small number of
images are derived from material in the Oxford University Archives, but
manuscripts belonging to Oxford colleges are not represented, even if those
manuscripts are kept on deposit in the Bodleian.
The filmstrips, illustrating a particular manuscript or a particular theme, were
compiled and published by the Library from the 1960s onwards, and were
accompanied by handlists on which the descriptive information (metadata) in the
digital collection is based. The metadata categories are as follows: shelfmark;
work type; material; page size; author; text title; country or nationality of
origin; place of origin; date; folio/page number; whole page/detail; image
description. Information is not yet available in all these categories for every
image. The Library would be glad to be advised of any errors in the information
provided: corrections and queries should be addressed to
Users are welcome to duplicate these images on their own public websites and to
copy them for any other non-commercial purpose without requesting further
permission, provided the source is given as ‘Bodleian Library, University of
Oxford’ and the shelfmarks and folio/page numbers cited. For information on
obtaining higher-quality reproductions and requesting permission to use them,
please see the Library’s Imaging Services site at
The Bodleian Library would like to express its gratitude to David
Rumsey for his generous support in enabling the use of the Luna
Insight software for this resource.
If you experience technical difficulties while using this resource, please make
sure that you have disabled any pop-up blocking software. PC users may hold down
the control key while launching collections to disable pop-up blocking. If you
continue to experience difficulties, please report your problem by sending an
Other Related Digital Resources
A number of manuscripts in the Bodleian and in Oxford college collections have
been scanned in their entirety directly from the originals: these can be viewed
at the Early Manuscripts at Oxford University site (image.ox.ac.uk).
Further information on the manuscripts in the collection is to be found in the
online catalogue (also in course of construction) at
www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/medieval. Information on
the Bodleian’s Department of Special Collections, including guidance for those
wishing to visit the Library, is available at
www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss. A complete iconographical card index
to all the Bodleian’s illuminated manuscripts, whether reproduced on this site
or not, is available to readers in the Library: to make an appointment please
To view the collection with the InsightTM Browser click
Note: This browser uses a standard web browser and requires no plug-ins
or downloads, but does require pop-ups to be enabled.
To view the
collection with the InsightTM Java Client click
here to download.
Note: The Java Client provides additional functionality and advanced
features but must be downloaded. Current download for Windows only,
Mac OSX version coming soon.