28 October 2014

Trial e-Resource - Abbreviationes Online (Medieval Abbreviations Made Easy)

“Take a foreign language, write it in an unfamiliar script, abbreviating every third word, and you have the compound puzzle that is the medieval Latin manuscript.”¹

We are very pleased to offer trial access to Abbreviationes Online, until 21 November 2014. 

Abbreviationes is an invaluable tool for deciphering and transcribing medieval Latin manuscripts.  It is a database of medieval Latin abbreviations designed for use in both learning and teaching of medieval Latin paleography.  It is also a very useful reference and research tool. 

It currently consists of over 70,000 entries containing 80,098 references to manuscripts, covering the period between the 8th-15th Centuries.

It is based on a large number of manuscripts held at many European libraries - Catania, Uppsala, Coimbra, St. Petersburg, the Vatican, Oxford, Paris, etc., as well as by smaller libraries such as the Morgan Library, New York, and the Huntington Library, California. 

Abbreviationes allows you to:
  • corroborate your reading while quickly checking for possible alternatives
  • look up all the different abbreviations for a given word 
  • search to see how a specific abbreviation was used during a given period, or by an individual writer, etc.
Abbreviationes also contains entries where the word is shortened by using superscript letters, but no letter of the word has been left out; entries where the medieval spelling makes it difficult to determine the right word, and entries where Greek names and terms are transliterated in an unusual way.

¹ The elements of abbreviation in medieval Latin paleography by Adriano Cappelli. Translated by David Heimann and Richard Kay, Univ of Kansas Libraries, 1982

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