UCL Library Services


Medieval Manuscript Fragments

Search Medieval Manuscripts or browse the collection

This collection of manuscript fragments, mainly from early bindings, are yet to be fully described and researched. Around 6 items are thought to have derived from the medieval university of Bologna, and the collection has been found to contain rare examples of early musical notation. Some were purchased in the early 20th century by subscription amongst UCL staff, an initiative led by UCL Professor Robert Priebsch, to develop the study of palaeography at UCL.

Apart from a handful of items catalogued in the early 1930s, these specimens have never been fully described and are generally unknown to the wider community. They contain legal, religious, medical, musical and other texts from a range of dates (mainly 10th-14th centuries), styles, and different languages (including Latin, German, Hebrew, English, French and Greek).

Medieval Manuscript Fragments Imaging Project

The Centre for Digital HumanitiesThe Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering and Library Services are working together on a research programme aimed at developing new imaging techniques for recovering text in deteriorated historical manuscripts.

The first phase of the programme involved surveying and cataloguing a small sample from the collection, while developing scientific imaging techniques in UCL's Multi-Modal Digitisation Suite. The plan is to extend the methods used for this phase to perfect the technique before visiting other archives to image historically important manuscripts.