There are a number of ways in which you can participate with this website. If you are a general user, you can comment on individual search results and attach them to a map. If you are a content provider, you can contact us to discuss how we might be able to include your own resource within Manuscript Online's search index. If you are a service developer, you can use our publicly available Web API so that your website or mobile app can conduct its own search of the em>Manuscript Online's index.

Adding Comments

You can add public or private comments to individual search results on what ever subject you choose, on condition that your comments are not offensive. In order to do this, you must first Register for an account. Each comment is associated with an individual document, such as a page from a manuscript or an entry in a manuscript catalogue. This means that when ever the document is returned in a list of search results, users will be able to read your comment even though s/he might have retrieved the document using a different search keyword to the one which you originally used.

In addition to creating comments you can also attach your comments (and thus the document you are commenting on) to a location on a map. However, we are not dictating how this feature should be used or why it should be used. For example, you might wish to associate a manuscript with the library in which it currently resides, or the region from where the manuscript originated. Alternatively, you might wish to associate a manuscript with the place where you remember reading it, or a place which is mentioned in the text. This is an experiment - so it is up to you!

Contributing New Resources

We welcome proposals for additional resources for inclusion in Manuscripts Online, irrespective of whether your resource is a dataset consisting of thousands of pages or a small, focused body of material. We will consider resources in a variety of formats, including free text transcriptions, databases and image catalogues, and both those which are available free of charge or which require subscription access. All resources are subject to a licence agreement between Manuscripts Online and the content owner. Our main criteria for inclusion are:

  • Date range and geographical scope: for the present, Manuscripts Online is composed of sources whose primary content concerns manuscripts and early printed books originating in Britain between 1000 and 1500. Resources which extend beyond these boundaries are welcome as long as the chief focus falls within them. For resources beyond 1500 please visit our sister site Connected Histories.
  • Content: resources should be principally composed of primary sources, and should comprise complete editions wherever possible. The quality of the transcription and/or data creation must meet normal academic standards.
  • Accessibility: resources must be available on the web, irrespective of whether they are available to users free of charge or through subscription. Manuscripts Online does not host entire resources. Rather, it indexes resources for inclusion in our search engine and then directs users to live websites to view the full texts of search results.

Because it costs money to incorporate new resources into Manuscripts Online, and we do not have a revenue stream for this purpose, adding new resources incurs a modest fee based on the costs of administration, indexing and data storage. Fees are determined by the type and size of the data and therefore vary. Our charging formula is intended to be attractive to both large organisations and independent researchers.

Please contact Orietta Da Rold in the first instance.

Using the Web API

The Manuscripts Online API enables users to connect programmatically to the search engine, using GET parameters, and retrieve search results in an XML format. This is useful if you wish to develop a new website or mobile app which makes use of the search results by presenting them in a new way, in a different context or maybe combined with other types of data. For example, you might wish to develop an audio service which teaches students how to pronounce medieval words in which case the API will enable you to retrieve different spellings of keywords and combine the data with a speech synthesis system for automatic pronunciation.

You can view documentation which explains how to implement the Manuscripts Online API here:

Cite this page:

"Participate" Manuscripts Online (, version 1.0, 16 February 2019),