Manuscripts Online: the resources

The full list of the resources we plan to include in the first launch of Manuscripts Online in January 2013:

We will post fuller profiles of some of the resources over the coming months.

NB: some of these are subscriber-only resources. Everyone will be able to search their textual content on MSSO and see results with short snippets of text for context, but only users with subscription access will be able to view the actual resources.


Project Plan

As promised, we’ve posted the final version of the formal project plan for future reference. This is a technical document which may be of interest to groups considering similar digital history projects.

Project News

A few updates!

1. The minutes of our first meeting in November are available here, and our projected timetable for the project is here. Not the most exciting announcement we'll ever make, but we do intend to make as much of the documentation of the project accessible as possible (though sensitive information may sometimes be redacted for public versions). The full project plan should be uploaded early in the New Year, once it's been approved by JISC.

2. Many thanks to everyone who signed up to help us with user testing next year! You should by now have been signed up to the mailing list – if you haven't received a notification please feel free to leave a comment. If you haven't signed up yet and would still like to, you can now do it directly at this link (follow the Subscribe link in the sidebar). We’ll be getting in touch probably early in 2012.

3. A quick advance notice: we will be present in some form (details not yet decided!) at Quadrivium VII, University of Glasgow, 16-17 February 2012. We hope to see you there.

Finally, we wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year Holiday!

Wanted: Medievalists to undertake User Testing for Manuscripts Online


We are currently seeking people who are willing to work with us as user testers as we develop our new web service, Manuscripts Online. You will be able to do the testing remotely, at four points during the next 12 months, and your responses will be recorded via an online survey. Working with us will enable you to have direct input into how Manuscript Online evolves. We are particularly interested in obtaining input from anyone who teaches, studies or undertakes research into any aspect of medieval English language, literature and history.

If you are interested in acting as one of our testers, please join our mailing list here (follow the Subscribe link in the sidebar).

More information about the project

Please also feel free to spread the word about this call for testers to colleagues and students!

Download invitation and project info in Word format

Project News

A quick update!

The project now has its own domain at Until the final website goes live in early 2013, that address will bring you to this site, which will be the hub for all project news and reports.

To be kept up to date with all the news, you can subscribe to the RSS feed here and/or follow us on Twitter at @MedMSSO.

We also have an information page about the project, to explain just what we’re trying to do. Feedback is welcome! (But please bear in mind comments are likely to be moderated and may take a little while to appear on the site.)

Introducing Manuscripts Online

Manuscripts Online will enable users to search an enormous body of online primary resources relating to written and early printed culture in Britain during the period 1000 to 1500.

A single search engine will enable users to undertake sophisticated full-text searching of literary manuscripts, historical documents and early printed books which are located on websites owned by libraries, archives, universities and publishers. Users will be able to search the resources by keyword, but also by specific keyword types, such as person and place name, date and language (eg. Middle English, Latin and Anglo-Norman), thanks to techniques which we are using called automated entity recognition. Additionally, users will be able to visualise search results using maps of medieval Britain and create their own annotations to the data for public consumption, thereby building a knowledge base around this critical mass of primary source data.

Manuscripts Online ( is a sister site to Connected Histories and will extend the model of data clustering and federated searching which was developed during the earlier project. It will also build upon the lessons which were learnt and capitalise on the methodologies and processes which were developed.

More about Manuscripts Online…