Welcome to the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
Did you know that thousands of images from the British Library's collections are available on our Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts?
Detail of a kneeling figure in a calendar for January (Germany, 13th century): London, British Library, MS Arundel 159, f. 1v
Our catalogue enables you to search by keyword or date, or by its reference (if known); and you can also perform an advanced search using such criteria as language and provenance. The site also contains a number of virtual exhibitions -- such as The Royal collection of manuscripts, Arthurian manuscripts in the British Library and French illuminated manuscripts -- and there's a helpful glossary to help you navigate your way round some of the terms used when describing medieval books. What's more, all images on the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts are available for download and re-use under a Creative Commons licence, on the condition that you respect our terms and conditions. How fantastic is that?
And here, in true Blue Peter fashion, are the results of a search we did earlier for images of hedgehogs (don't ask). No fewer than 8 manuscripts featured in the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts contain pictures of hedgehogs, 5 of which are illustrated here -- which are your favourites?
Hedgehog number 1, in an Italian gradual (15th century): London, British Library, MS Additional 39636, f. 13.
Hedgehog number 2, in a German manuscript (15th century): London, British Library, MS Egerton 1121, f. 44v.
Hedgehog number 3, in an English miscellany (13th century): London, British Library, MS Harley 3244, f. 49v.
Hedgehog number 4, in Jean de Wavrin's Chronicles (15th century): London, British Library, MS Royal 15 E IV, f. 180r.
Hedgehog number 5, in the Queen Mary Psalter(14th century): London, British Library, MS Royal 2 B VII, f. 97v.
A medieval hedgehog beauty contest, brought to you by courtesy of @BLMedieval -- what more could you want?!