Scrolls in the Middle Ages

This site contains information on, links to, and bibliography for all known Western literary scrolls. This online resource will be updated regularly, and provides a single source of comprehensive information about scrolls in the Middle Ages.


Explore the Scrolls Database

The database provided here contains a comprehensive list of Medieval scrolls, which generally are mentioned only occasionally or in passing, in discussions of the history of the book, or in references to scroll format when it is used for a particular type of text.

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Scrolls in the Age of the Book

This free online course, led by Professor Thomas Forrest Kelly, provides an introduction to the making and use of scrolls in the European Middle Ages. Participants in this course will see and examine in detail a number of beautiful objects, and come to understand the thinking of those who chose the scroll format for their texts.

Scrolls in the Age of the Book also features a guided tour of an exhibition on Harvard University’s collection of medieval scrolls, held at Houghton Library, Harvard’s special collections library, in Spring 2014. Each scroll featured in the exhibit has been fully digitized by Harvard’s Preservation Services division, and participants will have the opportunity to interact with them in unprecedented fashion using Mirador, a state-of-the-art image viewer developed by Harvard and Stanford Universities.

Stay in touch for updates on the archive