National Manuscript Portal

Since the late 1990s the DFG-supported online database Manuscripta Mediaevalia has served as a central catalogue for manuscripts in German collections. Today, Manuscripta Mediaevalia provides information on over 100 000 manuscripts from institutions in Germany and beyond. In addition, it hosts digital copies of manuscripts and facilitates access to other virtual libraries.

In view of its out-dated technological underpinnings and its inability to satisfy the needs of present-day users, the time has come to replace Manuscripta Mediaevalia: On 20 December 2017 the DFG has confirmed funding for the development of a new National Manuscript Portal. It will serve as a central resource for information on medieval and early modern manuscripts. All content on Manuscripta Mediaevalia will be transferred to the new site.

Four libraries, which simultaneously figure among the manuscript centres, have partnered up to develop the new portal, based on Open-source software. These project partners are:  the National Library in Berlin – Prussian Cultural Heritage (SBB-PK), the Leipzig University Library (UBL), the Herzog August Library Wolfenbüttel (HAB) and the Bavarian State Library Munich (BSB).

The objectives of the project are closely specified in the official ‘project description’.

As of today, the DFG-funding pertains to a three-year development phase. Towards its end the new system will go online with its core functions running: data management, entry and presentation. A beta version is expected to arrive in late 2020. The project partners aim to invite continuous input and intensive discussion by all associated institutions and interested professional communities.

This page will continue to offer regular progress updates up to the start of the project in late 2018. Then, outreach activities will be transferred to the official project website, which will include a blog and several social media presences.