Skip to Main Content

Medieval Manuscript Research

Locating and using manuscripts and the digital middle ages

Related Library Guides

Digitally Archiving Images Pre- and Post- Research

Copyright Questions

Image copyright rules vary depending on the library or database. Major repositories for print or digital image collections should provide users with specifics about how to access and appropriately use their content. Many digitized collection operate under "open-access" or "fair-use" policies, which permit users to save and use content for educational purposes. On this page, users can find a selection of digitized image collections that follow these parameters. Please refer to the university's guide on copyright with further questions:

Illuminated Images


Illustrated manuscripts are sometimes buried in repository catalogs and difficult to distinguish from unillustrated ones. This page provides users with advice for locating images in print and digital manuscripts, archiving images for research, and Using images in projects and teaching. There is also a list of resources for Archiving Images Pre- and Post Research, and a few suggestions for adhering to Copyright restrictions.


          Miniature of a unicorn, in Philes, De natura animalium (France, 16th century): London, British Library,   MS Burney 97, f. 18r. The British Library.

Image Use


  • When searching for images in a library catalog or database, don't forget to enter the abbreviation "ill*" (ill = illustration) in the browser following your keywords or search term so that the results identify all resources containing images. 
  • Photographing Images: Many libraries and repositories will ask users to sign a waiver acknowledging image rights and/or include a paper tag featuring the library/repository's name. Be sure to ask the manuscript specialist about photography requirements. 
  • Photography Tip: When photographing objects englosed in glass, take the photograph from an angle to avoid the glare. The angled image can be straightened using the "skew" tool in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Tripod: Many special collections centers and manuscript repositories will provide users with tripods for photographing clear images.


  • Copyright: When digitally browsing for images pay careful attention to copyright rules for the image. 
  • Digitally Archiving Images: Save images in a JPEG or TIFF format for higher quality. JPEG images can be altered to TIFF in Photoshop.
  • Projecting in a classroom: Images should be at least 1500 pixels on the long end and 72-150 ppi (publication quality is typically 300 ppi)

Digitized Image Collections

Digitized Collections of Illuminated Images

Image Databases Covering Broader Historical Periods

Subject Specialist

Profile Photo
André G. Wenzel

Subject Specialist

Profile Photo
Nancy Spiegel
Bibliographer for Art and Cinema
Bibliographer for History
Regenstein Library Room 463

Subject Specialist

Profile Photo
Bridget Madden
Associate Director
Visual Resources Center
Cochrane-Woods Art Center Suite 257