A New Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts Online: INITIALE

Many of you already know and are regular users of Enluminures and Liber Floridus. Since 2002, these two websites have been publishing excerpts drawn from a database called Initiale. This catalogue of illuminated manuscripts, compiled under the supervision of the Section des manuscrits enluminés at the IRHT (Institut de Recherche et dHistoire des Textes) is now fully accessible online at the following address:


Fully searchable, Initiale contains at present c. 10,000 manuscript descriptions and 90,000 illuminations. Introductory pages on the site provide information regarding search options and modalities of consultation (multi-criteria queries, how to use indexes and thesauri, how to sort search results, how to navigate between the different sections, etc.).
Initiale gives access to a wealth of previously unpublished information:

–    a census of the illuminated manuscripts present in the libraries that have been catalogued (mostly French municipal or university libraries);
–    a systematic link towards Medium, the database listing all photographic reproductions existing at the IRHT (microfilms, digital images, CDRoms, etc.);
–    a bibliography for each manuscript described;
–    under the tab Bibliographie, references to numerous manuscripts outside the database Initiale.

For more information, see the IRHT website: http://www.irht.cnrs.fr/actualites/initiale-catalogue-de-manuscrits-enlumines.

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