Libraries often have valuable manuscript collections. However, one usually searches for them in vain, unless one already knows the shelf mark from secondary literature or a printed register. Handwritten books and other manuscripts are often not listed in the OPAC, because different rules apply to their cataloguing, which only fit into usual formats to a limited extent.
Not much easier is the search in special catalogues for manuscripts. After all, common search criteria such as title, author, publisher, year of publication and subject keyword can only be used with limitations for these very heterogeneous, unique materials.
The central database Manuscripta Mediaevalia provides an overview of manuscript collections in German-speaking countries. An alphabetical list of places leads to libraries and printed collection registers, some of which are accessible online in full text. A search field allows you to search for individual manuscripts. The hit list leads to the index entry, partly with initium/incipit (the first words of the manuscript or page) and naming of special features such as illustrations. In some cases, a detailed description with references, a transcript of the complete text and a link to the digitised version are also available. Functionality, design and accessibility of the offer need to be updated. A relaunch is planned for 2021, the project page of the new –> Handschriftenportal is already accessible.