Our medieval manuscripts come in a range of formats, from bound volumes to scrolls and folding almanacs. They include key theoretical works on medicine, collections of recipes and healing charms, and practitioners’ manuals. Some manuscripts are vividly illustrated with diagrams such as the zodiac man, while others have intriguing sketches and notes in the margins.
Many of the works are in medieval Latin, others are in a range of European vernacular languages. The manuscripts in Middle English are a particularly rich resource on medical culture in late medieval England.
The original manuscripts are held in the Wellcome Library. All of the Library’s medieval manuscripts (digital and non-digital) can be found by searching the Library catalogue. There's more about some of the digitised manuscripts on our Early Medicine blog and much more about medieval medicine.
The digital manuscripts are freely available to everyone from our website. Members of the Library can also access digital versions of some of our early printed books through the Early European Books collection.
Explore the medieval manuscripts
All medieval manuscripts are in the public domain. They can be freely downloaded and reused in any situation, so long as attribution is given to Wellcome Library.
The digital viewer provides some other useful functions for researchers. The whole object has been photographed, including the covers, edges and foldouts, and a zoom function allows you to examine the manuscript in detail. You can also navigate to a specific section or folio number within the work.
Browse the manuscripts in the Library catalogue