Scholars looking for medieval illuminations to illustrate their arguments need look no further than the Morgan Library. The Morgan has digitized and cataloged every image in its vast holdings of medieval manuscripts. While an image search can be made in CORSAIR, the general catalog of manuscripts and printed books, there is a specific area of the site for searching solely the medieval and Renaissance images in the collection.
Find images in a number of ways:
- by manuscript number (e.g. MS M.25, selected from a drop-down menu)
- search by subject term (e.g. archer)
- browse by category of manuscript (e.g. psalter), by country of origin, and by century (also, both, selected from a drop-down menu)
Browsing by manuscript is also possible.
Results of searches display in a vertical list or as a "lightbox" grid, five panel across. The cataloging metadata for each image is extensive, and there are often multiple views of a given illumination.
For example, the page below, a single folio from a twelfth-century English psalter (MS M.724):
also offers four additional detailed images of the upper half of the page and of selected panels, such as this closer look at the third panel in the top row, or "zone":
with extensive accompanying description:
3a) Moses: Burning Bush, and Moses, Miracle of Rod changed to Serpent — Beside burning bush, serpent crawls toward Moses as Shepherd, with head draped, stands with leprous right hand raised, beside five sheep on hill.
3b) Moses: Miracle of Rods, and Aaron: Miracle of Rods — Pharaoh, crowned, seated on cushioned bench, extends right hand toward Moses, with rod in left hand, and Aaron; three serpents on ground at their feet; behind Aaron, two men, possibly magicians.
Scenes in frames decorated with abstract ornament.
Clicking through to the CORSAIR record for this image, one can see the highly granular subject analysis applied to the image:
For further information on searching CORSAIR, or finding medieval images, please feel free to contact Karen Green, the librarian for Ancient & Medieval History.