Medieval Manuscripts and Old Books: Welcome



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Welcome to Manuscripts and Old Books Subject Guide


Bible historiale, Paris, Bibl. Mazarine, ms. 313, f. 1 / Iohann Gutemberg, Buchdrucker in Maintz

This Research Guide includes European and American portals and web pages that lead to the sources of the Western cultural heritage from early medieval manuscripts to the printed books of the first half of the 20th century. All these resources are free and openly accessible.

Manuscript Catalogues These catalogues help you to locate manuscripts just in case the editions of the texts and loose information about manuscripts in the Internet are not enough.

Digitized Manuscripts It is vital to have access to national databases that include digitized manuscripts and old books, because the metadata of the huge portal Europeana is not very useful for scholars. Internet Archive and Hathi Trust offer a great number of old books, but their metadata is even worse. This Research Guide helps to find resources in which it is easy to trace manuscripts by their content, date and even origins. Many of them can be easily downloaded.

Digitized Old Books Commercial resources, such as the great British databases EEBO (Early English Books Online) and ECCO (Eighteen Century Collection Online) are most conveniently available for students, teachers, scholars and visitors of University of Helsinki through this page. In principle, digitized old books become legally accessible 70 years after the death of the author.

The digital collections of European and American libraries are steadily growing, and they offer a great variety of services for their users. Once you give your little finger to these fine collections, they will take your whole hand.


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Matti Myllykoski
Main Library (Kaisa House)
6th floor, room 6062
Fabianinkatu 30
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
tel. +358-50-318 2453

Main Library (Kaisa House)

Fabianinkatu 30 (P.O. Box 53)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Opening hours

tel. +358-2941 23920