Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis

Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis

Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis is a project of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries. It contains digital editions of more than 400 western European medieval and early modern codices, plus selected leaves and cuttings from the following PACSCL member institutions.


Most of the manuscripts in this collection are being digitized and made accessible through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, 2016-2019. The grant program is made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Imaging was undertaken by the staff of the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image and other partners, with additional cataloging and coordination from manuscripts staff in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. A few manuscripts that had previously been digitized are being contributed to the collection.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of the Council on Library and Information Resources.



All images and their contents from the Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis project are free of known copyright restrictions and in the public domain. See the Creative Commons Public Domain Mark page for more information on terms of use:


For all manuscript descriptions and other cataloging metadata, the copyright holder is the mansucripts' holding institution. For example, if the manuscript is from the Free Library of Philadelphia, then the copyright for the manuscript descriptions and other cataloging metadata is ©2017 Free Library of Philadelphia. The metadata is licensed for use under a Creative Commons CC0 Licensed version 1.0 (CC0-1.0):

For a description of the terms of use, see the Creative Commons deed:

Intended Users

The Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis data presented on OPenn is intended for aggregators, digital humanists, and scholars who have been directed here to procure high-resolution images and their associated metadata. It is presented in a manner most likely to ensure its long-term digital preservation. The images of these manuscripts are accompanied by detailed manuscript descriptions in machine-readable TEI format. Images and TEI manuscript descriptions are added frequently, so check often to see new additions.

Image Standards and Specifications

In general, the project partners follow the NISO standards as articulated in A Framework for Building Good Digital Collections, 3rd Edition:

Most the images in the project were captured by the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text and Image (SCETI), with additional imaging by Backstage Lighting Works, Inc., and the libraries of Bryn Mawr College, Franklin & Marshall College, Temple University, and Villanova University. The following represents specific standards adopted by SCETI in their capture of digital images--the other project partners have comparable specifications and equipment.

Image specifications

Imaging and processing equipment

Master images are captured at a resolution of at least 600 pixels per inch of the image subject. Once all of the images for a manuscript have been captured they are color-corrected, deskewed, and cropped.

Bryn Mawr College, Special Collections

College of Physicians of Philadelphia, The Historical Medical Library

Franklin & Marshall College Library, Archives & Special Collections

Free Library of Philadelphia, Special Collections