International Digital Research Lab for Medieval Manuscript Fragments.

Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1955.74, f. Ir – Gregory the Great, Morals in Job (Author portrait) (


Fragmentarium is a scholarly social network that enables libraries, collectors, researchers and students to upload medieval manuscript fragments and to describe, transcribe and assemble them online.

It aims:

  • to increase awareness for medieval fragments
  • to make them more accessible and thus provide a basis for new search results and further medieval fragment research in general
  • to improve networking and cooperation between fragment collections, manuscript and fragment scholars, digital humanities specialists and specialists for text and image recognition
  • to promote digital fragmentology, dedicated to research on manuscript fragments in the digital age
  • to virtually reconstruct dismembered manuscripts and manuscript parts
  • to create an international inventory of medieval manuscript fragments

Fragments of medieval manuscripts offer an as yet largely unexplored field of study. Except for isolated initiatives and individual, often spectacular discoveries, traditional manuscript research has so far only marginally undertaken work with fragments. The Internet offers extraordinary potential for overcoming some of the chief difficulties of traditional fragment research. Building on the technology developed by e-codices - Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland, Fragmentarium will create an application for uploading medieval manuscript fragments and for describing, transcribing and assembling them online. Collaborating with 15 partner institutions throughout Europe and the USA, the project aims, over the next years, to lay the foundations for research on medieval manuscript fragments by providing open standards and guidelines. Systematic study of fragments is a long-term goal.

Partner libraries:

  • Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich
  • Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, together with the BIBLISSIMA team for excellence
  • Bodleian Library, together with St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford
  • Center for History and Palaeography – National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, Athens
  • Harvard University Library, Cambridge MA, together with the Medieval Academy of America
  • Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel
  • Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen
  • The British Library, London
  • The Schøyen Collection, Oslo and London
  • Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio meridionale
  • Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig
  • Yale University, New Haven