Manuscripts and Early Printed Books (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford)

Various authors including Lambert le Tort, Alexandre de Bernai (de Paris), and others, Romance of Alexander; Folio #: fol. 130r, 1338-1344. Image and original data provided by the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

University of Oxford's Bodleian Library and Artstor have collaborated on the digitization of more than 24,000 high quality images of manuscript paintings and drawings from the Bodleian Library's outstanding collection of Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts.

With more than 10,000 volumes, the Bodleian Library's Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts has one of the greatest collections of Western Medieval manuscripts in the world. In recent years, the Bodleian Library has — with support from the Getty Trust — been developing an Electronic Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. The library's collaboration with Artstor builds upon the foundation laid through that important effort. Through this partnership, Artstor has digitized virtually all of the illuminated manuscript leaves from Bodleian manuscripts through the 16th century, as well as selected 19th- and 20th- century manuscripts in the Medieval tradition. The collection also includes significant bindings, illuminated initials, and text pages. The present collaboration has made this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available online and at high resolution for the first time.

In reaching this agreement, Richard Ovenden, Keeper of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, expressed his enthusiasm in collaborating with Artstor and in using digital technologies to make this important scholarly resource more broadly available for noncommercial pedagogical and scholarly purposes. "The Bodleian Library at Oxford is delighted to be working with Artstor in making the tens of thousands of manuscript illuminations in our Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts more widely available to students and researchers in the field." James Shulman, Artstor's President, expressed ARTstor's keen interest in this partnership. "The Bodleian Library's medieval and renaissance manuscript collections are legendary. We at Artstor are delighted to help make their artistic content more readily available to scholars, teachers and students."

The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford. It is also a copyright deposit library and its collections are used by scholars from around the world. In addition, the Bodleian consists of nine other libraries, in separate locations in Oxford: the Bodleian Japanese Library, the Bodleian Law Library, the Hooke Library, the Indian Institute Library, the Oriental Institute Library, the Philosophy Library, the Radcliffe Science Library, the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House and the Vere Harmsworth Library.