Lovers of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts rejoice (I am certainly celebrating)! The University of Pennsylvania, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, has finished digitizing a significant number of its rare Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts so that researchers and history-junkies alike can peruse them from the comfort of their own homes.
While the Rare Book and Manuscript Library on the sixth floor of Van Pelt Library includes over 2,000 pre-19th century western manuscripts, the on-line collection – called ““Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts” – currently offers access to facsimiles of just over 1,400 documents. I’ve checked out the site – in fact I’ve just finished enjoying a 1566 letter from Charles IX of France to his ambassador at the Spanish court of Phillip II – and there are many convenient ways to browse and search the manuscripts, including by year, by language and by author.
So what are you waiting for? You KNOW you want to look.