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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday May 30, 2018

Updated on Tuesday October 2, 2018

portrait of Nicole McNeilly

Nicole McNeilly

Impact Advisor , Europeana Foundation

portrait of Sara Di Giorgio

Sara Di Giorgio

Technical responsible of CulturaItalia , Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries

portrait of Elisa Brunoni

Elisa Brunoni

Archivist , State Archive of Prato

Discover manuscripts from late antiquity to the arrival of the printing press with new Europeana Manuscripts collection

A treasure trove of manuscripts in Europeana Collections has lain unloved for too long. Through Europeana Manuscripts, we’ll start bringing out the best of this content and celebrating the work of the experts and institutions who are working to preserve and digitise the textual heritage that reflects our history.  

Illuminated initial from BL Royal 2 A XVIII, f. 177v
Illuminated initial from BL Royal 2 A XVIII, f. 177v
The British Library
United Kingdom

Europeana Manuscripts makes it possible for culture lovers, educators and researchers to explore the roots of European written culture through over 120,000 images (at the time of writing). The present collection will continue to grow thanks to ongoing work to digitise thousands more manuscript and textual records. This has all been made possible by the Rise of Literacy, a project led by a partnership of 13 libraries and institutes across Europe.

High-quality content and experience

To be included in any of our thematic collections, material has to meet our quality guidelines (that means at least Tier 2 of our Publishing Framework). For Europeana Manuscripts, this high-quality material gives you the opportunity to explore the beauty of illuminated manuscripts from late antiquity to the introduction of the printing process. You can also browse the collection to find manuscripts in languages from Latin to Lithuanian, from Italian to Scottish Gaelic, and from Portuguese to Serbian.

Expert curation and insight

As new content is digitised and made available on Europeana Collections over the course of 2018 and 2019, we’ll publish expertly curated editorial features like blogs, exhibitions and galleries, to guide you through Europe's rich and diverse cultural heritage.

Exhibitions are planned that will bring together content from the project partners as well as that from existing providers to Europeana. Exhibition topics include an exploration of the transition from handwritten to printed texts and another that will show how the rise of literacy took place in Europe through formal and informal education. Blogs will tell stories about authors, texts and places of major prominence and introduce some of the curiosities and lesser-known items in the collection. Galleries will display beautiful images from the manuscript collections of the most ancient and active libraries of Europe.

Christ | Master of the Modena Book of Hours

Christ | Master of the Modena Book of Hours. National Library of the Netherlands. Public Domain.

A valuable resource for research, education and curiosity

Europeana Manuscripts opens up precious primary sources to research communities of historians, philologists, paleographers and art historians as well as to educators and students. And it represents a valuable resource for all culture lovers wanting to uncover the written treasures of Europe’s past.

Everyone can explore these manuscripts in extraordinary detail,  then use them or share them with the world.

If you are interested in having your institution’s collections included in Europeana Manuscripts or if you think your existing material might need some improvements, contact Adina Ciocoiu.