Saturday, September 4, 2010

Research links you need to know about III: Handschriftenkataloge Online

For medievalists, manuscript catalogs are like neutron stars. The useful information is so densely packed that you can barely comprehend it all. If you're on the trail of an obscure text, you can spend hours looking at incipits and provenances or just browsing individual entries. If you're lucky, your library has shelved all the manuscript catalogs together, so you can wander over and browse when you have a moment. If you're not lucky, your library doesn't have any manuscript catalogs at all.

Hopefully this is sufficient context to explain the miracle that is Handschriftenkataloge-Online. It has high-quality scans of published manuscript catalogs for just about every major German research library. Rather than sending away for volumes one at a time through interlibrary loan, or waiting for your next opportunity to drive 1200 miles to a major research library with a focus on medieval German studies, you just point, and click. And click. And click. And click. And click...

Now if they only had something like that for incunable catalogs. That would rule.

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