News | October 6, 2015

Les Enluminures Launches New Version of Text Manuscripts Website and New Blog

Les Enluminures is pleased to announce the launch of a new version of its text manuscripts website. Inaugurated thirteen years ago, in 2002, is unique on the internet. It presents for sale an exceptionally large number of mostly medieval manuscripts distinguished by the interest of their texts. Full scholarly descriptions written by a team of eminent experts accompany a selection of photographs of every manuscript. Searches by subject, country, language, date, and price (among other criteria) are possible on the site. Over the thirteen year period, nearly 750 items have been sold, many to institutions throughout the world; descriptions of all of these remain in our archives for consultation by the scholarly community.

Please visit us online at and admire the elegant new design, with enhanced images and easier searching. For users familiar with our old site, rest assured that all of the features and content you have depended upon over the years have been preserved. We continue to offer the largest and most wide-ranging inventory of text manuscripts on the market today. Our current inventory includes almost 150 manuscripts.

We add new manuscripts to the site in biannual updates (in mid-January and mid-September). The launch of our new website is timed to coincide with our most recent update (September 24), which features thirty-six manuscripts from countries stretching across Europe from England to Italy, in Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, German, and Dutch, and dating from the thirteenth through the sixteenth century (with one earlier fragment and one later manuscript). A broad range of subjects are represented, including medicine (and veterinary medicine), the liturgy, sermons, heraldry, and history.

The archive constitutes a scholarly resource of considerable merit. 23 manuscripts sold in the last thirteen years date before 1199. 101 have original bindings. There are 27 named scribes. Of the 750 sold manuscripts, 455 are in Latin, but many other languages are represented, including 20 manuscripts in Hebrew. Nearly 10% of the manuscripts in the archives are Bibles or biblical. Scholars can utilize the archives to learn much about text manuscripts now in widely disparate collections and, of course, they continue to have access to full scholarly descriptions of these manuscripts.

Since the inception of two additional series of print catalogues complement the online site. The first larger series includes Women and the Book in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Sacred Song Chanting the Bible in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and Before the King James Bible. The second smaller series of Primers introduces a genre of medieval manuscripts to a wider audience (students, professors, librarians, archivists, collectors) by providing a brief introduction. Published titles include Diplomatics, Manuscript Production, Bestsellers, Law, Alchemy, and Sermons. A boxed set of these will be available once 10 volumes have appeared. Future Primers include Script, Neo-Gothic Manuscripts, and Hebrew Manuscripts.

We are also excited to announce our new blog, to be launched October 1, which will highlight what makes our manuscripts particularly interesting and appealing to us. Some of our discoveries are significant, some merely amusing, and some bizarre. All medieval manuscripts have much to reveal to their attentive modern audiences. Short titles of upcoming posts include: “Love is a thing full of anxious fear,” “Faces in Flourishes,” and “Medieval Vegetarianism.”