Medieval manuscripts blog

24 November 2011

Digitised Manuscripts 500 landmark

The British Library's Digitised Manuscripts was launched on 27 September 2010. Just over a year on, we have now published online and in its entirety our 500th item.

The most recent upload comprises another 75 Greek manuscripts (approximately 26,000 images), ranging in date from the 9th century to the 18th century. Items in Greek currently constitute by far the greatest part of Digitised Manuscripts, and we hope that, by digitising these manuscripts in full, and by providing enhanced descriptions, we have revolutionised access to this hugely important resource. We are extremely grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for its generosity and foresight in funding this project.

Aretaeus, De curatione diuturnorum morborum, Book II, 16th century: London, British Library, MS Harley 6326, f. 2r

Digitised Manuscripts at present contains images of 508 items from the British Library's wide-ranging collections, including the Lindisfarne Gospels, a Bach autograph, Civil War papers, India Office records, and Thai astrological drawings. Apart from our Greek manuscripts, more medieval content, comprising scientific books in Latin and various western European vernacular languages, will be published to the site in the coming months.

A full list of the recent Greek upload is given below. Among the highlights are a 9th century copy of Basil of Caesarea’s In Hexaemeron, a 16th century volume of Psalms and Proverbs in English, Latin, Hebrew and Greek, works of St John Chrysostom and St Basil of Ancyra dating from the 11th century, and a copy of Homer’s Odyssey dating from 1479.

Aristophanes, Plutus and Nubes, 15th century: London, British Library, MS Arundel 530, inside front cover

Add 5422

Appian of Alexandria, Historia Romana, 16th century

Arundel 211

Greek-Latin dictionary, 17th century

Arundel 518

Georgios Boustronios, Chronicle of Cyprus, 16th century

Arundel 522

Works of Hesiod and Euripides, 1489

Arundel 523

Constantine Manasses, Chronicle, 1312–1313

Arundel 524

Four Gospels, 11th century

Arundel 525

Letters of Phalaris, 1470

Arundel 526

Manuel Chrysoloras, Erotemata, 15th century

Arundel 528

Compilation for Makarios, Bishop of Helicz, 15th century

Arundel 530

Aristophanes, Plutus and Nubes, 15th century

Arundel 532

Basil of Caesarea, In Hexaemeron, 9th century

Arundel 533

Works of Theodoros Balsamon, 14th century

Arundel 534

Theophylact of Bulgaria, Commentary on the Letters of Paul, 14th century

Arundel 535

Ascetic works of Isaac the Syrian, 14th century

Arundel 537

Medical tracts, 15th century

Arundel 538

Hippocratic works, 15th/16th century

Arundel 540

Euripides, Hecuba, Orestes and Phoenissae, 15th century

Arundel 541

Grammatical works of Hermogenes, 15th century

Arundel 544

St John Chrysostom, In Ioannem, 14th century

Arundel 545

Thucydides, Peloponnesian War, 15th century

Arundel 546

Works of Theodoret of Cyrrhus and Palladius of Helenopolis, 16th century

Arundel 548

Elements of Euclid, 16th century

Arundel 549

Sermons of St Gregory of Nazianzus, 11th century

Harley 825

Letters of Ephraim Pagitt, 1635

Harley 931

Extracts from the Psalms and St Paul, 1623

Harley 1686

Cassianus Bassus, Geoponica, 16th century

Harley 1752

Collection of Hymns and Epigrams, 15th century

Harley 1837

Collations of the Greek Bible, c. 1640–1659

Harley 2427

Psalms and Proverbs in English, Latin, Hebrew and Greek, 16th century

Harley 3318

Works of Philipp Melanchthon and others, 17th century

Harley 5051

Extracts from Greek and Latin authors, 17th century

Harley 5232

Anonymous commentary on the Apophthegmata, 16th century

Harley 5533

Psalter, 12th century

Harley 5542

Tetrastichs on the New and Old Testaments, 16th century

Harley 5544

Kekragaria, with late Byzantine notation, 17th century

Harley 5547

Plato and Aristides, 15th century

Harley 5565

Extracts from Plato, 16th century

Harley 5568

Polybius, 'Excerpta Antiqua', 16th century

Harley 5571

Psalms and Odes, 15th century

Harley 5572

Greek Lexikon, 13th century

Harley 5589

Heron of Alexandria, 16th century

Harley 5591

Photius, Bibliotheca, 16th century

Harley 5597

Collection of fragments, 15th/16th century

Harley 5605

Heron of Alexandria, Pneumatica and De automatis, 16th century

Harley 5614

Liturgies, 15th/16th century

Harley 5618

Hephaestion, Enchiridion de metris, c. 1453–1470

Harley 5631

Chronicle of Constantinople, 1555

Harley 5633

Nectarius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, Περὶ τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ πάπα ἀντίρρησις, 1672–1682

Harley 5638

Plutarch and Philostratus, 16th Century

Harley 5643

Patristic miscellany, c. 1600

Harley 5646

Patristica, 16th century

Harley 5653

Psalter, 15th century

Harley 5654

Letters of scholars, 17th century

Harley 5656

Grammatical extracts from Herodian, Tryphon, 15th century

Harley 5658

Homer, Odyssey, 1479

Harley 5668

Olympiodorus, Commentary on Plato's Gorgias, 16th century

Harley 5677

Nicetas, Metropolites of Heraclea, Catena on the Psalms, 17th century

Harley 5689

St John Chrysostom and St Basil of Ancyra, 11th century

Harley 5777

Four Gospels, 15th century

Harley 6290

Grammatica, 15th century

Harley 6296

Porphyrius, De abstinentia, 17th century

Harley 6297

Michael Glykas, Letters, 1595

Harley 6299

Priscian, Psellus, Adamantius, Themistius, 15th century

Harley 6300

Euripides, Hecuba, Orestes and Phoenissae, 16th century

Harley 6303

Greek-Latin dictionary, 17th century

Harley 6305

Galen, c. 1500

Harley 6318

Johannes Stobaeus, Anthology, Books 1 and 2, 16th century

Harley 6319

Lycophron, 16th century

Harley 6323

Ovid, Hesiod, Oracula Sibyllina, 15th century

Harley 6326

Aretaeus, 16th century

Harley 6473

Extracts from J. G. Graevius, Thesaurus Antiquitatum Romanarum, 1697–1698

Harley 6506

Chrysoloras, 15th century

Harley 6510

Epitome of Livy, Greek glossary, 15th century

Harley 6875

Constantine Lascaris, Grammar, 16th century

Harley 6943

Miscellaneous correspondence of John Covel, D.D., 1672–1711


This is excellent news -- well done, and our thanks are certainly due to the Stavros Niarchos foundation for their foresight on this. Paying to put all this material online, all of the highest value for the study of Greek ancient and medieval literature, will make their name live if they never give another grant.

Thank you also for listing in summary the contents of the manuscripts. It will help those of us wanting to use them to concentrate on the materials relevant to ourselves.

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