Library Resources & Technical Services (LRTS) journal is now fully open access

Videos: Early Bamberg printing now on YouTube

“in the series “Bamberger Buch-Geschichten”, the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg organized several online events on manuscripts and early printed books in 2021 and 2022. Four lectures were given in English and included virtual visits to a number of libraries world-wide. A special focus was placed on the beginnings on printing in Bamberg in the mid-15th century, particulary the reprint of Gutenberg’s Latin Bible and the first illustrated books in German issued by Albrecht Pfister. Among the speakers in the series were Eric White (Princeton), Alyssa Steiner (Bamberg) and Henrike Lähnemann (Oxford) as well as colleages from Berlin, Greifswald, London, Manchester, Oxford, Wolfenbüttel and Würzburg.

The events have been recorded and are now accessible on YouTube:

Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools in German and English Collections

Albrecht Pfister and the Earliest Printed Books in German from Bamberg

Gutenberg’s Successor in Bamberg and the Latin Bible (B36)

The Bamberg Psalter (illuminated ms., c. 1230)

Numerous other lectures (in German) can be accessed via our website:


Medieval manuscripts in Germany – the most important resources

There is a new portal (beta) “Handschriftenportal” with descriptions, digitized catalogs and links to digitized manuscripts that many find exciting.

I have formulated some criticisms in Archivalia: (in German, for a machine translation I recommend DeepL).

Not all the content of the old portal manuscripta Mediaevalia has been included.

Other resources:

1. List of collections:

Especially for smaller collections it may be necessary to consult a printed manual from 1992 (not online): Handbuch der Handschriftenbestände in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (West Germany only). If you need a photo of a small entry feel free to contact me.

2. List of printed catalogs

There is a revised 2016 version of the worldwide bibliography Kristeller/Krämer:A List of the Printed Cataogues and Unpublished Inventories of Extant Collections:

For a more recent bibliography see:

3. List of digitized manuscript catalogs

Ms. Pfeil has recently revised her great list of worldwide digitized manuscript catalogs:

Please drop her a note if you have additions.

4. Projects on manuscripts in the federal states of Germany

Fun fact: There is no known medieval manuscript in a public collection in the Saarland.

There is a printed catalog for the smaller collections in eastern Germany (former GDR): Handschriftencensus der kleineren Sammlungen in den östlichen Bundesländern Deutschlands (2000).

Descriptions of a recent project regarding these collections are available via

North Rhine Westphalia – the printed volumes “Handschriftencensus” were both online: (Westphalia)

I am shocked to have just seen that the Rhineland section has disappeared.

The internet project Handschriftencensus Rheinland Pfalz is still incomplete but very useful:

5. Specialised databases

Three important internet resources deal with manuscripts in the German language.


Catalogue of German-Language Illustrated Medieval Manuscripts

The 2022 launched website contains all descriptions. Please note that there are a lot of descriptions of latin manuscripts!

The Rauner Verlag has manuscript databases, some of which are free to use. The three most important ones require a licence.

– Sigrid Krämer: Bibliothecae codicum medii aevi (is an augmented version of her “Handschriftenerbe” – you can use the printed volumes for free in the database of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, see below)
– Sigrid Krämer: Scriptores possessoresque codicum medii aevi
– Analecta carminum medii aevi

If there is no other way to get an entry at all, you can contact me.

For the “Geschichtsquellen” (mostly latin historical sources, German part of the Repertorium fontium) there is a manuscript index at

Please note that Roman Deutinger is continuously adding information on the manuscript tradition and digitized manuscripts.

6. Medieval library catalogs

All volumes of Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz are freely available in the publication database of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften. I have just seen that there is a new project database with additions.

7. Bindings

“Discover rubbings and original book covers on book bindings of the 15th and 16th century in the German-speaking region”

8. Watermarks

9. Digitized manuscripts

There are a lot of projects. A simple way to find them is browsing the List of manuscript reproductions (single pages and whole manuscripts) of manuscripts in German at

Here is a list of cities where libraries with large digital medieval manuscript collections are located:

Augsburg, Bamberg, Berlin, Bremen, Darmstadt, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Erfurt, Erlangen, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Fulda, Gotha, Gießen, Göttingen, Greifswald, Halle, Hamburg, Hannover, Heidelberg, Jena, Karlsruhe, Kassel, Kiel, Köln, Leipzig, Lübeck, Mainz, Munich, Nürnberg, Stuttgart, Trier, Tübingen, Weimar, Wolfenbüttel, Würzburg.

Libraries hosting digitized manuscripts for other libraries on a large scale are:

Greifswald, University Library: Digitale Bibliothek Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (60 manuscripts from Stadtarchiv Stralsund)

Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (other Bavarian state libraries)

To find a digital reproduction of a single manuscript I would first check the new Handschriftenportal.

10. Virtual reconstructions of monastic libraries

See my list at (in German)


Kid-edited journal pushes scientists for clear writing on complex topics “Frontiers for Young Minds provides a collection of freely available scientific articles by distinguished scientists that are shaped for younger audiences by the input of their own young peers.”

More on #receptiogate

Collectors! Post your medieval manuscript fragments on the Internet Archive

Comparing scientific abstracts generated by ChatGPT to original abstracts

“ChatGPT writes believable scientific abstracts, though with completely generated data. These are original without any plagiarism detected but are often identifiable using an AI output detector and skeptical human reviewers. Abstract evaluation for journals and medical conferences must adapt policy and practice to maintain rigorous scientific standards; we suggest inclusion of AI output detectors in the editorial process and clear disclosure if these technologies are used.”

A ChatGP3-assisted paper is posted to the arXiv

The Role of AI in Drug Discovery: Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies:

“This article was created to test the ability of ChatGPT, a chatbot based on the GPT-3.5 language model, to assist human authors in writing review articles. The text generated by the AI following our instructions (see Supporting Information) was used as a starting point, and its ability to automatically generate content was evaluated. After conducting a thorough review, human authors practically rewrote the manuscript, striving to maintain a balance between the original proposal and scientific criteria. “

Books are “more like friends than objects”

Explore digital images from museums’ open access collections

Der gefährliche Irrweg der Museumsdatenbanken, nur an die Einzelseite zu denken, macht sich auch hier bemerkbar. zeigt nur den Einband, ohne dass man weiterblättern kann. Einen Link zur Präsentation des Museums gibt es nicht.

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