I do have another wish on my list, in case you don’t happen to be able to deliver me my Alexander: I’d appreciate some manuals and a sitemap for the National Library of France’s website. What a treasure chest it is! And what a hopeless labyrinth.
Yesterday I spent surprisingly many hours surfing through the digitalized manuscripts in the libraries of Europe. Some of what I found were old acquaintances, some were new and will deserve more time to study. Some sites didn’t work: e.g. Luttrell requires something my computer doesn’t have, but I added the link anyway – I’m hoping to be able to fix it some day. But all in all I can honestly say I consider the digitalizing of old manuscripts to be an amazingly wonderful thing. How else could we get so close to these masterpieces?
But the National Library of France, or Bibliothèque Nationale de France – Oh. My. Goodness. I can recommend the virtual exhibitions section Expositions virtuelles under the headline “Bibliothèque des livres à feuilleter”. Even if you didn’t know French, you can easily browse through beautiful books page by page, and I added quite a few interesting links on my list too. But to my great disappointment I still can’t find the images I ran into several years ago: colourful pictures from a 14th century Grandes Chroniques de France. I just can’t find them anywhere even though I have one picture I have saved, the url and title of that picture, the name and number of the collection, the right keywords – everything! And I can read, write and speak French, merde alors!
And the only picture I have is the one above, of Charles the Bald and Ermentrude (with red tippets!) receiving messengers. Impressive, eh?