Catalogs and Databases Concerning Legal Manuscripts



Schede di manoscritti giuridici della Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati di Siena, a cura di E. Brizio, M. Chiantini, E. Mecacci, G. Murano, S. Pucci, G. Vailati von Schoenburg Waldenburg, coordinati da Mario Ascheri, Siena, gennaio 1993

To consult the pdf of the catalog, click on the image of the cover











The IRNERIO project 

“The core part of this project consists in digitizing and classifying the vast collection of legal and theologico-philosophical codices making up the rare-books collection of the Reale Collegio di Spagna in Bologna: with this digital catalogue, built under the guidance of Professors Domenico Maffei and Andrea Padovani, not only can the fragile codices be readily accessed and studied, but their preservation for future use is guaranteed, too. The project -named for the primus illuminator of Bolognan legal science, the Italian jurist Irnerius – would not have been possible had the Collegio di Spagna not made its rare-books collection available. Funding for the project comes from the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, and also from the Italian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The digital images have been reproduced under the editorship of the publishing house CLUEB.”

To consult the website of the Irnerio Project and the digital catalog of the manuscripts of the Library of the College of Spain in Bologna click here



Manuscripta juridica 

[Principal Investigator: G. R. Dolezalek]

Manuscripta Juridica is by far the oldest electronic collection of data about manuscripts. It was established in 1972 on a main frame computer of the Max-Planck-Society, for its Institute of European Legal Historz, long before personal desk computers and laptop computers were invented. In its origin, the collection bore the name “Verzeichnis der Handschriften zum römischen Recht bis 1600”. In 2012 the Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History finally uploaded this data collection on the internet – in a meanwhile widely enlarged and restructured version. At present, “Manuscripta Juridica” contains data of more than 33.000 items of handwritten legal literature, preserved in more than 11.000 manuscripts, which are held in more than 1000 locations. The data base mainly exploits legal-historical literature. It registers information gathered by legal historians about contents of manuscripts which comprise juridical items. In Manuscripta Juridica, illustrations are usually passed over without mentioning: namely illustrations lay outside the scope of this data base. Nevertheless, in cases where “Manuscripta Juridica” furnishes particularly detailed descriptions of manuscripts, also some illustrations may be mentioned – however just shortly, en passant. For the scope of this international congress, the undersigned intends to upload onto the internet a list of those items in Manuscripta Juridica which actually do mention illustrations.

To consult the website of Manuscripta juridica and the digital catalog of the legal manuscripts click here


The collection of legal texts digitized by the European Library of Information and Culture Foundation (BEIC)

The collection is divided into several sections:

Classics of Common Law (12th-18th centuries): 874 works published so far, including 279 incunabula
Medieval legal manuscripts: 1,712 manuscripts from 198 libraries available so far. The activity will continue until the digitization of the entire collection which includes over 3,500 manuscripts and which represents the most complete collection existing in Europe of microfilms of medieval and early modern legal manuscripts (Germanic laws, Roman law, canon law, laws and doctrines of common law from the glossators to the cultural school and beyond)
Italian statutes: 306 statutes available so far that will reach over 3,000 by 2018, which make up the collection of the Institute of the History of Medieval and Modern Law of the University of Milan.

To consult the digital catalog of Medieval legal manuscripts click here


For.Ma. The Forgotten Manuscripts – I manoscritti dimenticati della Biblioteca Universitaria di Padova (nn. 688 e 941)

Form.Ma – The Forgotten Manuscripts ‘is a research project initiated by the Department of Private Law and Critique of Law of the University of Padua thanks to the financial support of the Cassa di Risparmio di Padova and Rovigo Foundation, which awarded it among the’ Projects of Excellence 2017 ‘. The project aimed to study and enhance two precious and almost forgotten manuscripts of the 12th century preserved in the University Library of Padua, which contain some parts of the Corpus Iuris Civilis, the monumental collection of Roman legal texts created by Justinian in the 6th century AD.

To consult the digitized version of two precious manuscripts dating back to the 12th century, kept at the University Library of Padua and containing some parts of the ‘Corpus Iuris Civilis’ (The manuscripts 688 and 941 of the University Library of Padua) click here 


Le Miroir des classiques – Repertory of translations of Latin and Greek classics made in French and Occitan during the Middle Ages [Principal Investigator: F. Duval]

“The Mirror of the Classics is a repertory of translations of Latin and Greek classics made in French and Occitan during the Middle Ages. Under the title of each translated work, the various translations are presented in their chronological order as well as their possible changes. For each translation, characterized quickly, is provided a precise analysis of the manuscripts and editions (incunabula and editions of the sixteenth century) that keep it. The Gallo-Roman translations of Corpus Juris civilis, largely unknown, have been the subject of particularly detailed treatment and constitute a largely autonomous sub-corpus

Duval (Frédéric), Miroir des classiques, Paris : École nationale des chartes, 2007-… Édition électronique : (consulté le 6.10.2021)

To consult the digitized of Gallo-Roman translations of Corpus Juris civilis click here


The Medieval Canon Law Virtual Library – Website. 

This site is curated by David M. Freidenreich, Colby College; many of the scans found on this site were prepared by Edward Reno III, Columbia University.

The purpose of this site is to bring together in a single virtual location publicly accessible electronic resources for the study of medieval canon law. It’s a work in progress

To consult the Website click here


The Carolingian Canon Law Project 

To consult the Website of the project click here






Continuation of the series of volumes published by Stephan Kuttner and Reinhard Elze in 1986 and 1987.
(Provisional publication by Gero R. Dolezalek in collaboration with Martin Bertram

To consult the Website click here

Vat. lat. 3137 – 4990

Vat. lat. 5002 – 7074

Vat. lat. 7106 – 11527


“The present “Canon Law Incipit List” is the fruit of a co-operative research project: the University of Leipzig (Prof. G. Dolezalek) wrote respective computer programs, and Dr. Giovanna Murano collected and delivered all the input data.”

To consult the Website and download the list click here


Edited by Prof. G. Dolezalek, contains: (1) Data Base ‘Manuscripta Juridica’, Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte (cfr. supra); (2) Some data collected by Dolezalek to updateManuscripta Juridica(mainly telling who published what, where, when, on which manuscripts); (3) Catalogue of Canon and Roman Law Manuscripts in the Vatican Library, volume III resuscitated (Provisional publication by Gero R. Dolezalek in collaboration with Martin Bertram) (cfr. supra); (4) Inventory of manuscripts from the library of the former “Reichsgericht”, now again at Leipzig, Library of the Bundesverwaltungsgericht; (5) Dr. Giovanna Murano‘s list of canon law incipits (cfr. supra); (6) ‘Manuscripta Mediaevalia‘ – the main data base of catalogues of manuscripts; (7) Samples of other links: Legal historical literature in manuscript (update 2010_11_13)

To consult the Website and download the list click here