Medieval manuscripts blog

21 December 2023

Interim information sources for British Library manuscripts

We are extremely grateful to everyone for their kind words since the recent cyber-attack. We've now expanded our temporary website where you can find more information about our available services. On 15 January we released a searchable online version of our main catalogue, which contains the majority of our printed collections as well as some freely available online resources — please note that not everything is included.

We are now able to provide our Readers with access to the majority of the Library's special collections, including most of our manuscripts and archives. For the time being you’ll need to come on-site to consult offline versions of the specialist catalogues, and our reference teams will be on hand to help you with searching for and requesting items. Our blogpost Restoring our services an update (10 January) provides more information on what is available and how to access our collections.

We understand your frustration about the impact of this incident on your study and research, and we're continuing to work hard to develop hybrid services and workarounds that can restore some level of access to more of our collections. You can read more about our work in this blogpost by our Chief Executive.

In the meantime, we would like to share with you a list of freely available printed and online resources that provide information about our ancient, medieval and early modern manuscripts. We recognise that this list is not definitive, and that many of our catalogue records will have been updated in recent years. But we will endeavour to update the list whenever possible, and we offer it to you as a means of continuing your research while the Library's physical and online collections remain temporarily unavailable.

The list comprises references to some of the published catalogues for our principal collections of manuscripts, including Cotton, Harley, Sloane, Royal, and those designated as Additionals and Egertons.

We have also provided references for other categories of material, such as our Irish, Welsh and Greek manuscripts, our maps and drawings, and our seals. In many cases, hard copies of these catalogues may be available in other institutional libraries, and we have supplied links to the online versions. 

We recommend that you also consult JISC’s Library Hub Discover (https://discover.libraryhub.jisc.ac.uk/) to find United Kingdom holdings of these resources. 

We thank you again for your patience and we hope that you find this information useful.

 

Collection/Subject Publication Reference Online Link
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the Years 1836-1840 (London: British Museum, 1843) https://archive.org/details/catalogueofadd1836brituoft
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1841-1845 (London: British Museum, 1850) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS184145
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1846-1847 (London: British Museum, 1864) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS184647
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1848-1853 (London: British Museum, 1868) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS184853
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1854-1860 (London: British Museum, 1875) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS185460
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1861-1875 (London: British Museum, 1877)  
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1876-1881 (London: British Museum, 1882) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS187681
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1882-1887 (London: British Museum, 1889) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS188287
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1888-1893 (London: British Museum, 1894) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS188893
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1894-1899 (London: British Museum, 1894) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS18949
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1900-1905 (London: British Museum, 1907) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS19005
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1906-1910 (London: British Museum, 1912) https://archive.org/details/CatalogueOfAdditionsToTheMSS190610
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1911-1915 (London: British Museum, 1925) https://archive.org/details/catalogueadditions1915
Additional/Egerton Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1916-1920 (London: British Museum, 1933)  
Additional/Egerton British Museum Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1921-1925 (London: British Museum, 1950) https://archive.org/details/catalogueofadditionstothemss192125
Additional/Egerton British Museum Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1926-1930 (London: British Museum, 1959)  
Additional/Egerton The British Museum Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1931-1935 (London: British Museum, 1967)  
Additional/Egerton     The British Museum Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1936-1945, 2 parts (London: British Museum, 1970)  
Additional/Egerton     The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1946-1950, 3 parts (London: British Library, 1979)  
Additional/Egerton The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1951-1955, 2 parts (London: British Library, 1982)  
Additional/Egerton The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1956-1965, 3 parts (London: British Library, 2000)  
Additional/Egerton The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1966-1970, 2 parts (London: British Library, 1998)  
Additional/Egerton     The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1971-1975, 3 parts (London: British Library, 2001)  
Additional/Egerton The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1976-1980, 2 parts (London: British Library, 1995)  
Additional/Egerton     The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1981-1985, 2 parts (London: British Library, 1994)  
Additional/Egerton The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1986-1990, 3 parts in 4 (London: British Library, 1993)  
Arundel Catalogue of Manuscripts in the British Museum, New Series, vol. I, part 1, The Arundel Manuscripts (London, 1834) https://archive.org/details/b30455881_0001
Burney Catalogue of Manuscripts in the British Museum, New Series, vol. I, part 2, The Burney Manuscripts (London, 1840) https://archive.org/details/b30455881_0001
Cotton Smith, Thomas, Catalogus librorum manuscriptorum bibliothecæ Cottonianæ (Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1696) https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_uUAv2HzUGxgC
Cotton Planta, Joseph, ed., A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Cottonian Library Deposited in the British Museum (London: Hansard, 1802) https://archive.org/details/ACatalogueOfTheManuscripts1802
Greek MSS Richard, Marcel, Inventaire des manuscrits grecs du British Museum, I: Fonds Sloane, Additional, Egerton, Cottonian et Stowe (Paris, 1952) https://www.persee.fr/doc/dirht_1636-869x_1952_cat_3_1
Greek MSS The British Library Summary Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts, I (London, 1999) https://archive.org/details/summarycatalogue0000brit
Harley A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), Vol I https://archive.org/details/gri_33125008529493
Harley A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), Vol II https://archive.org/details/gri_33125008529436
Harley A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), Vol III https://archive.org/details/gri_33125008529311
Harley A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), Vol IV https://archive.org/details/gri_33125008529378
Irish MSS O'Grady, Standish Hayes, & Robin Flower, Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: Printed for the Trustees, 1926) https://archive.org/details/catalogueofirish0000brit
Lansdowne Ellis, Henry, and Francis Douce, eds., A Catalogue of the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: Taylor, 1820), Vol I https://archive.org/details/gri_33125012275638
Lansdowne Ellis, Henry, and Francis Douce, eds., A Catalogue of the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: Taylor, 1820), Vol II https://archive.org/details/gri_33125012275521
Maps and Drawings Catalogue of the Manuscript Maps, Charts, and Plans, and of the Topographical Drawings in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1844-1861), Vol I https://archive.org/details/cataloguemanusc01musegoog
Maps and Drawings Catalogue of the Manuscript Maps, Charts, and Plans, and of the Topographical Drawings in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1844-1861), Vol II https://archive.org/details/cataloguemanusc02musegoog
Maps and Drawings Catalogue of the Manuscript Maps, Charts, and Plans, and of the Topographical Drawings in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1844-1861), Vol III https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_OQEVAAAAQAAJ
Music Hughes-Hughes, Augustus, Catalogue of Manuscript Music in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1906-1909), Vol I https://archive.org/details/catalogueofmanus01brit
Music Hughes-Hughes, Augustus, Catalogue of Manuscript Music in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1906-1909), Vol II https://archive.org/details/catalogueofmanus02brit
Music     Hughes-Hughes, Augustus, Catalogue of Manuscript Music in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1906-1909), Vol III https://archive.org/details/catalogueofmanus03brit
Papyri and Ostraca Trismegistos Papyri Database (requires subscription) https://www.trismegistos.org/collection/192
Ostraca Wilcken, Ulrich, Griechische Ostraka aus Aegypten und Nubien, 2 vols (Leipzig and Berlin, 1899), Vol I https://archive.org/details/griechischeostra01wilc
Ostraca Wilcken, Ulrich, Griechische Ostraka aus Aegypten und Nubien, 2 vols (Leipzig and Berlin, 1899), Vol II https://archive.org/details/griechischeostra02wilc
Romances Ward, H. L. D., & J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London, 1883-1910), Vol I https://archive.org/details/catalogueofroman01brituoft
Romances Ward, H. L. D., & J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London, 1883-1910), Vol II https://archive.org/details/b29001079_0002
Romances Ward, H. L. D., & J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London, 1883-1910), Vol III https://archive.org/details/catalogueofroman03brit
Royal & Kings Warner, G. F., & J. P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King's Collections, 4 vols (London, 1921), Vol I https://archive.org/details/BMCatalogueOfWesternMssRoyal1
Royal & Kings Warner, G. F., & J. P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King's Collections, 4 vols (London, 1921), Vol II https://archive.org/details/BMCatalogueOfWesternMssRoyal2
Seals Birch, Walter de Gray, Catalogue of seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols (1887-1900), Vol I https://archive.org/details/catalogueofseals01brit
Seals Birch, Walter de Gray, Catalogue of seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols (1887-1900), Vol II https://archive.org/details/catalogueofseals02brit
Seals Birch, Walter de Gray, Catalogue of seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols (1887-1900), Vol I https://archive.org/details/catalogueofseals03brit
Seals Birch, Walter de Gray, Catalogue of seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols (1887-1900), Vol III https://archive.org/details/catalogueofseals04brit
Seals Birch, Walter de Gray, Catalogue of seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols (1887-1900), Vol IV https://archive.org/details/catalogueofseals05brit
Seals Birch, Walter de Gray, Catalogue of seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 6 vols (1887-1900), Vol V https://archive.org/details/catalogueofseals06brit
Sloane Ayscough, S., A Catalogue of the Manuscripts Preserved in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: John Rivington, 1782), Vol VI https://archive.org/details/catalogueofmanus01aysc
Sloane Ayscough, S., A Catalogue of the Manuscripts Preserved in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: John Rivington, 1782), Vol II https://archive.org/details/catalogueofmanus02aysc
Sloane Scott, E. J. L., Index to the Sloane manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1904) https://archive.org/details/indextosloanema00ayscgoog
Spanish De Gayangos, Don Pascual, Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Spanish Language in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Printed by order of the Trustees, 1875-1893), Vol I https://archive.org/details/b29001468_0001
Spanish De Gayangos, Don Pascual, Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Spanish Language in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Printed by order of the Trustees, 1875-1893), Vol II https://archive.org/details/catalogueofmanu02brit
Spanish De Gayangos, Don Pascual, Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Spanish Language in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Printed by order of the Trustees, 1875-1893), Vol III https://archive.org/details/gri_33125013201435
Spanish De Gayangos, Don Pascual, Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Spanish Language in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Printed by order of the Trustees, 1875-1893), Vol IV https://archive.org/details/manuscriptsinspa04brit
Stowe O'Conor, Charles, Bibliotheca Ms. Stowensis: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Stowe Library, 2 vols (Buckingham: Seeley, 1818-1819), Vol I https://archive.org/details/bibliothecamsst00ashbgoog
Stowe O'Conor, Charles, Bibliotheca Ms. Stowensis: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Stowe Library, 2 vols (Buckingham: Seeley, 1818-1819), Vol II https://archive.org/details/bibliothecamsst01ashbgoog
Stowe Scott, Edward J.L., ed., Catalogue of the Stowe Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: British Museum, 1895), Vol 1 https://archive.org/details/b29002618_0001
Stowe Scott, Edward J.L., ed., Catalogue of the Stowe Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: British Museum, 1895), Vol 2 https://archive.org/details/b29002618_0002
Welsh Owen, Edward, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts Relating to Wales in the British Museum, 4 parts, Cymmrodorion Record Series, 4 (London: The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1900-1903), Parts 1-2 https://archive.org/details/p1catalogueofman04brituoft
Welsh     Owen, Edward, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts Relating to Wales in the British Museum, 4 parts, Cymmrodorion Record Series, 4 (London: The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1908-1922), Parts 3-4 https://archive.org/details/p3catalogueofman04brituoft
Welsh Huws, Daniel, A Repertory of Welsh Manuscripts and Scribes c. 800-c. 1800, 3 vols (The National Library of Wales and University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, 2022)  
Yates Thompson James, M. R., A Descriptive Catalogue of Fifty Manuscripts from the Collection of Henry Yates Thompson (Cambridge, 1898) https://archive.org/details/descriptivecatal00jame_1
Yates Thompson A Descriptive Catalogue of Twenty Illuminated Manuscripts, Nos. LXXV to XVIV (Replacing Twenty Discarded from the Original Hundred) in the Collection of Henry Yates Thompson (3rd series, Cambridge, 1907) https://archive.org/details/adescriptivecatalogueoftwe
Yates Thompson A Descriptive Catalogue of Fourteen Illuminated Manuscripts (Nos.XCV to CVII and 79A) Completing the Hundred in the Library of Henry Yates Thompson (Cambridge, 1912) https://archive.org/details/adescriptivecatalogueoffou
Yates Thompson Illustrations from one hundred manuscripts in the library of Henry Yates Thompson (London, 1916) https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924008668554
Yates Thompson Wormald, Francis, 'The Yates Thompson Manuscripts', British Museum Quarterly, 16 (1951), pp.4-5 https://doi.org/10.2307/4422290
Yelverton The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts: The Yelverton Manuscripts, 2 vols (London: British Library, 1994), Vol 1 https://archive.org/details/britishlibraryca0001brit
Yelverton     The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts: The Yelverton Manuscripts, 2 vols (London: British Library, 1994), Vol 2 https://archive.org/details/britishlibraryca0002brit

 

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