Collections in the Special Collections

Incunabula in the University of Iowa Libraries: A comprehensive inventory of incunabula held in the University of Iowa Libraries, both in the Hardin Library for Health Sciences and in the Special Collections Department of the Main Library. Incunabula are commonly defined as books printed before 1501.

Medieval Manuscript Collection: This inventory describes all Medieval manuscripts in the University of Iowa Collection. Also included are a selection of rare related materials. Materials are accessible only in the University of Iowa Special Collections Department.

Medieval Manuscripts Digital Collection: This digital presentation of items held in the University of Iowa Libraries allows educators access to examples of medieval culture in their classrooms and scholars the opportunity to view and study the works in new ways.

Facsimiles of Medieval Manuscripts: A list of medieval manuscript facsimiles available in Special Collections, with links to the their bibliographic records.



Dictionary of Old English, Old English Corpus (UI access only). Contains all surviving Old English material (over 3000 texts), excluding some variant texts. Each text includes a reference to its genre, period and language; a unique text number; a Cameron number; a short and expanded title used to identify the text in the Dictionary of Old English. Also includes “Latin word wheel.”

Middle English Compendium (UI access only). The Middle English Compendium has been designed to offer easy access to and interconnectivity between three major Middle English electronic resources: an electronic version of the Middle English Dictionary, a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse, based on the MED bibliographies, and an associated network of electronic resources.

English Poetry Full-text Database (UI access only). English Poetry, Second Edition redefines the English poetic canon for the 21st century, building on the achievement of its ground-breaking predecessor with enhanced functionality and the addition of more than 20,000 poems from several new categories. Containing more than 183,000 poems by over 2,700 poets, the most comprehensive archive of English verse from the 8th century to the early 20th now offers incomparable representation both of the literary heritages of Commonwealth and ex-colonial countries and of the poetic legacies of English writers who have only been brought back to scholarly attention during the last thirty years. Part of Literature Online (LION).

Iter : Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (UI access only). Iter, meaning ‘a journey’ or ‘a path’ in Latin, is a non-profit research project with partners in Toronto, Canada (the headquarters), New York City, and Tempe, Arizona. The goal of Iter is to increase access to all published materials pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400-1700), through the creation of online bibliographic databases.

International Medieval Bibliography (UI access only).”The International Medieval Bibliography was founded in 1967 with the support of the Medieval Academy of America, with the aim of providing a comprehensive, current bibliography of articles in journals and miscellany volumes (conference proceedings, essay collections or Festschriften) worldwide. The IMB now comprises 300,000 articles, all of which are fully classified by date, subject and location, and provide full bibliographical records.”


Other Internet Resources

British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts

Catalog of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts – Site designed to enable users to find fully digitized manuscripts currently available on the web from repositories around the world.

Digital Scriptorium – “a growing image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research.” (Berkeley)

Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilization – Interactive geodatabase and map resource for Roman and Medieval Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

DScriptorium – ” DScriptorium is devoted to collecting, storing and distributing digital images of Medieval manuscripts.” (BYU)

Electronic Beowulf. A full-color electronic facsimile of Cotton Vitellius A. xv. Plans are already underway to digitize the late eighteenth-century Thorkelin transcripts of Beowulf at the Royal Library in Copenhagen, as well as the first collation of the manuscript with the editio princeps of the poem.

Humanities Internet Resources: Medieval Studies – includes text sites, language and linguistics, bibliographies, manuscripts, journals, and more.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook. From Online Reference Books for Medieval Sources – Links to a variety of Medieval sites.

The Iowa Forum for Graduate Medievalists.”The mission of the Iowa Forum for Graduate Medievalists is support the scholarship and professionalization of graduate students in medieval studies. The Forum provides a space for graduate students to meet and discuss works in progress, share academic resoures, and announce conference opportunities. As an interdisciplinary organization, the Forum is committed to promoting all aspects of medieval studies at the University of Iowa.”

Manuscripts, Paleography, Codicology – from the Labyrinth site, Georgetown University.

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts acquired by the Bodleian Library since 1916 – Catalog descriptions and digital images of manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford

Medieval and Modern Thought Text Project — Stanford. Provides full text access to printed reference works, source collections, and primary and secondary books in the broad area of medieval and modern thought. The database is searchable, but viewing text requires the user to download a version of the ebrary browser plugin.

Medieval Collections – Berkeley

The Medieval Technology Pages – “The Medieval Technology Pages are an attempt to provide accurate, referenced information on technological innovation and related subjects in western Europe during the Middle Ages.”

Medieval Writing: History, Heritage and Data Source. Maintained by Dianne Tillotson, this resource discusses paleography, manuscripts, scribes, and libraries. It includes paleography exercises, and makes extensive use of images.

Medieval Resources (Stanford)

Medieval Studies Guide (Yale University)

Online Medieval and Classical Library (OMACL). An archive being assembled to provide a free and easy way for the average computer user to access some of the most important literary works of Classical and Medieval civilization. Includes: Ludovico Ariosto, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, Robert Henryson, Hesiod, Homer and Homerica and Torquato Tasso

Perseus Project: An Evolving Digital Library. A multimedia library of Archaic and Classical Greek literature, history, art, and archaeology. Pictures of ancient ruins, antique art, and much more. Read Greek texts online in Greek or English. The University of Iowa Libraries Information Arcade has the CD-ROM and laser disk version of the compendium of Classical Greek culture.

Voice of the Shuttle: General Resources in Anglo Saxon and Medieval Sources. Provides links to major resources in all areas of Medieval Studies.

Originally compiled by Amy Cooper Cary, Special Collections Librarian; Kathy Magarrell, Reference Librarian; David Schoonover, Curator of Rare Books, 2005, and since maintained by others.