The MBK Database is a structured repository of the hitherto collected project material providing both an overview of the work already done and a basis for further research. It enables easy access to the complete collection of published and unpublished medieval library catalogues together with their key data, making the information sortable and full-text searchable.
The database contains information on:
- the location of the original library and the name of its owner: archdiocese, diocese, place, name of the person or institution owning it
- the library catalogue itself: type and content of the source material, date
- the present-day location of the source material: place, institution, signature, folio numbers
- the state of research and edition, links to online publications and digitized reproductions etc.
Included in the database are a) the contents of the previously published MBK volumes, b) material which has already been collected and is in the process of being edited; c) material being gathered in the course of ongoing research.
The database can thus be viewed as a complete index of the past and future work of the MBK. It also has a complementary function to the already published volumes, allowing the compendium of edited medieval library catalogues to be supplemented with information on more recently found sources and new research publications. The project can thereby take into account and profit from the improved access to library and archive collections and the new digital research possibilities.
The database is not just conceived as an important resource for our project work; also humanities researchers working on a wide range of subjects such as biographical studies, the history of books, libraries and institutions, or literary transmission and reception will find here a rich source of information. By making it accessible online to the research community, the project “Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz” hopes not least also to profit from its users’ amendments, additions and input.
The online manuscript catalogue is a complete record of all manuscripts and early prints referred to in the previously published MBK volumes. Of particular interest are the manuscripts and other documents that are not themselves edited but are identified as belonging to the original book collections or simply mentioned in the historical introduction. The manuscript catalogue indexes all such material with references and signatures, making it searchable for research purposes.