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What are facsimiles?
Manuscript facsimiles (sometimes spelled facsimilies) are reproductions that attempt to convey the written forms and physical condition of a particular manuscript. They range from works that include black and white photographs of selected passages to highly faithful renderings of the complete object including the binding, illuminations, marginalia, and flaws.
Linked here are selected facsimiles of high quality. Use the links at the left to find further examples.
High quality reproductions of great manuscripts (facsimiles)
The Westminster Bestiary.
Publication Date: 2013
Facsimile reproduction of the original 13th-century manuscript (MS 22) conserved at the Westminster Abbey Library, London, England. The Westminster Bestiary is considered to be one of the most beautiful and richly decorated bestiaries in the world. Written in Latin script around 1275-1300 A.D., it is full of all kinds of incredible descriptions, legends and myths. There are 164 illuminated images, mostly framed, on red or blue backgrounds decorated with snow-flake patterns (3 dots, and crosses with dots). The original manuscript was painted by a single very skilled artist.
Kitâb al-Diryâq : (Thérique de Paris)
Publication Date: 2009
[Textes de Marie-Geneviève Guesdon, Oleg Grabar ... [et al.]. Facsim. vol. in Arabic; two commentary volumes: French, Arabic and English; and Italian, German and Spanish.
Publication Date: 2015
Full-color facsimile of Bibliothèque nationale de France ms. Nouv. acq. lat. 1203. Manuscript was commissioned for the Emperor Charlemagne and his wife Hildegard, and is traditionally considered the earliest known manuscript produced in Charlemagne's Court School in Aachen. It is named for the scribe Godescalc (Gottschalk of Orbais) who wrote and signed it. Manuscript was produced starting on October 7, 781, and completed on April 30, 783
Great Domesday Book
Publication Date: 1991
The facsimile is a full-color facsimile made by continuous-tone offset lithography from the disbound original. The translation is taken from the Victoria history of the counties of England.
L'Orazio laurenziano già di Francesco Petrarca
Publication Date: 1933
Manuscript facsimile is an exact manuscript replica, including the binding, of Horace's writings, acquired by the poet Petrarca in 1374 and owned by him all his life. The original manuscript is now held by the Laurentian Library, Italy.
The Lorsch Gospels.
Publication Date: 1967
Introduction by Wolfgang Braunfels. This facsimile edition comprises the two parts of the Lorsch Gospels from the Biblioteca Documentara Batthyaneum in Alba Julia, Rumania, and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome" Cf. colophon.
The Luttrell psalter : a facsimile
Publication Date: 2006
Commentary by Michelle P. Brown. The Luttrell Psalter is an outstanding medieval manuscript filled with interesting and exotic illustrations. Commissioned by Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, it was written and illustrated, quite possibly at his manor at Irnham in Lincolnshire, during the middle years of the fourteenth century [...] The manuscript is remarkable in several ways: it was written, not in a monastic scriptorium, but in a domestic environment; its illustrations show scenes of everyday life, such as will have been familiar to the people of Irnham; and they also show lots of fantastic creatures, part human, part animal. Illustrations from the Luttrell Psalter are everywhere, and well-known and well-used as illustrations by authors of books on all aspects of medieval life whether on dress, or warfare, or cooking, or farming, or whatever.
Publication Date: 1982
The Carolingian psalter ms., with text and illustrations on both sides of the leaves, contains the "Gallican" Latin version of the Psalms, 15 liturgically motivated additions (biblical canticles, Gloria, Te Deum, Lord's prayer, the Apostles' and the Athanasian creeds) and the apocryphal Psalm CLI.
The (8th-cent.?) fragments (chiefly prologues and "capitula," also Matthew I-III,4a and John I,1-21a) of an unillustrated Gospel book on leaves 97-108 are of a different origin but have been part of the codex for all its recorded existence.
Electronic Beowulf 2.0 [electronic resource] by 2004
Edited by Kevin Kiernan with Andrew Prescott. Image-based edition of the great Old English poem surviving in the British Library in a composite codex known as Cotton Ms. Vitellius A. xv. The discs provide access to digital color facsimiles of all Cotton Ms. Vitellius A.xv including hundreds of restored readings covered by the binding, Thorkelin transcripts, 2 copies of Thorkelin's 1815 first edition with Conybeare's and Madden's 19th century collations, glossarial index, a new edition and transcription (with search facilities), current bibliography, and and interface which allows a study of the entire codex as a handwritten text or examine it as a physical object.