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ENGL 4892: Medieval Manuscripts & Where to Find Them (Camp): Books of Hours

Looking at Books of Hours (Primary Sources)

In the UGA Libraries

Here are a few of the published facsimiles you may check out from the library (links will take you to location and availability information in GIL):
The Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves
The Farnese Hours 
The Hours of Simon de Varie 
The Rohan Master 
The Book of Hours of Johannete Ravenelle

Search GIL Find for more published facsimiles of Books of Hours by searching that phrase within quotes as a subject. Use the filters at the left on the results list to limit to books in the Main Library.

Available Online:

Start with Dr. Camp's site for an extensive list of links to fully and partially digitized Books of Hours.

Digital Scriptorium:  A shared catalog of medieval and renaissance manuscripts in museums and libraries; many items have at least a few digitized pages. Among the participating institutions are UT Austin, the Huntington Library, Harvard, and Yale.Use the Advanced Search to limit by country of origin; choose 'Limit results to manuscripts with images' to see digitized pages.

Gallica: The digital collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Search for "livres d'heures" (within quotation marks) and change the search box from 'dans tout Gallica' to "dans le manuscrits."

Multi-Search on the UGA Libraries' homepage includes Gallica and ARTStor, both of which include digitized books of hours and calendars. Use the date slider to filter results to the original documents. Sample search for books of hours..

Europeana: A developing catalog of digitized resources from throughout Europe and the UK. Includes what's in Gallica, but still in beta so it's clunky!

GIL Find also links to scanned versions of books of hours found in the Early English Books Online database.

Interested in finding more calendars? Search in Gallica, Europeana, or the Digital Scriptorium for the word calendar (caliendrier in French, kalendae in Latin). Also look at CHD, Calendars from Illuminated Manuscripts in Danish Collections which has sample calendars from Europe, mostly French. Lastly, check the CoKL: Corpus Kalendarium, a elational database of calendars from European Books of Hours (11th through 17th Century). The database can be browsed via saint or manuscript.

Multi-Search includes Gallica and ARTStor, both of which include digitized books of hours and calendars. Use the date slider to filter results to the original documents. Sample search for saints' calendars between 1270-1475.

Calendars can also be found in breviaries, psalters, and prayer books.

Image credit: Calendrier, folio du mois de décembre, Les Grandes Heures de Jean de Berry (French), Bibliothèque Nationale de France,

Researching Books of Hours (Secondary Sources)


GIL Find: The UGA Libraries' catalog for books. Sample subject keywords to try (narrow your focus by adding a town or country).

Books of hours, England
Manuscripts, Flemish

Illumination of books and manuscripts, French


Although you are not researching illuminations specifically, the supporting information in those books is often very useful. For example, the book Between France and Flanders: Manuscript Illumination in Amiens has a chapter on using liturgical evidence to determine locale and dates of books of hours; it also includes a table comparing feast days in books of hours from Amiens with ones from other regions.


Multi-Search: Allows you to search approximately 130 databases from a wide range of subjects. Are you looking for a very specialized topic and not finding much? Go to Advanced Search and select "search within the full text" and/or use the full-text databases below.

If Multi-Search is not working well for your topic, try a subject-specialized database such as:

Historical Abstracts

Art Source

ATLA Religion Database

MLA International Bibliography (literature, language and folklore)

Full-text databases allow you to search within the text of an article or book:

Hathitrust: Large-scaled scanning project of the holdings of major research libraries. Out-of-copyright works are "full view" and may be viewed online. Since UGA is a partner institution, you can log in and save items to a bookshelf. For the more recent books, check GIL Find or borrow through Interlibrary Loan.

Google Books : Similar to Hathitrust without the individual account options. 

JSTOR :scholarly articles in all subjects

Project Muse: scholarly articles mostly in the humanities

Image credit: Hours of the Virgin, Hours of Catherine of Cleves (Flemish), Morgan Library & Museum

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Sheila Devaney
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Your Librarian

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Emily Hopkins
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