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For help with a specific bibliography, please consult its Help Page:


Searches - General

Search pages and fields
Quotation marks
Capital letters, diacritics
Asterisk as placeholder/wildcard
IDs (texid, cnum, manid, bibid, bioid)
Personal names
Place names
Subject headings
Simple search
“Uniform Resource Locator” (URL) / Digitized images and texts
Transcription norms
Paleography and codicology

How to Use Search Pages and Fields within them

REFERENCE (secondary bibliography)
MS/ED (manuscript or printed edition)

Technical Help

Online Resources

Searches - General

Select the bibliography: At the top of the search page, click on the “radio button” to the left of the bibliography you wish to search, BETA, BITAGAP, or BITECA. After inserting the search term(s) in the appropriate search box(es), initiate the search by clicking on the “Search” button at the bottom, beneath the search fields.

Search pages and fields: The search pages are listed in the index to the left at the top of the Search page: WORK, LIBRARY, INSTITUTION,PERSON, REFERENCE (secondary bibliography), MsEd (primary sources). You can only search in one page at a time, but you can use one or multiple search terms in any of the search boxes on that page using the “All words” or “Any of the words“ options beneath the list of search fields.

Searches return new screens with a list of the records found. To see a full record, simply click on it.

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Quotation marks: Any search that requires quotation marks (e.g. to enclose a record ID, as explained below) is specified on this Help page. Otherwise quotation marks used here indicate the precise search terms and results returned.

Capital letters, diacritics: No search depends on the correct use of capital letters or diacritics: “Alcácer, Alcacer, alcácer, alcacer, alcaçer” all return “Alcácer.”

Asterisk as placeholder / wildcard: The asterisk is a placeholder for one or more characters anywhere in a word. In BETA WORK a search for Author “jac*” returns “Jacobo de Benavente, Jacobo de las Leyes, Jacobus de Voragine,” etc. In BITAGAP WORK, for Incipit, “estr*” returns “estromento, estrumento, estranna, estremos,” etc.

IDs (texid, cnum, manid, bibid, bioid): Unique IDs are assigned to each text (texid), each example of the text that survives (cnum), each manuscript or printed edition in which a text appears (manid), each secondary bibliographic item (bibid), and each person (bioid). If you know these IDs, you may use them within quotation marks in the field Simple search on any search page. For example, in WORK, use “Simple search” to find “texid 1141” using quotation marks. Then use your browser's “Find” feature to locate more precisely the specific record among those returned. Note: in some cases the “Find” feature is case- and/or diacritic-sensitive. Note also that the same ID number may be used in more than one bibliography. Thus bioid 1031 is the record for Íñigo López de Mendoza, 1. marqués de Santillana in BETA, while in BITECA it is that of Pseudo-Claudianus

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Personal names: To search for a personal name as the Author of a text in WORK, use any form of the name, original, translated, or a variant. For example, search for “Benedictus”, “Bento”, “Benet”, or “Benito.”

On all other search pages and in all other fields, such as (associated) persons, authors of secondary references, previous owners, translators, patrons, copyists, publishers, that is, for any personal name searched in any field other than that of Author in WORK, use the modern version of the name.

Tip: To identify the modern form of a name, search in PERSON for any form in Name, original, translated, pseudonym, etc.

Dates: In fields that include dates, search by any combination of year (yyyy) and/or month (mm) and/or day (dd). A search returns dates as yyyy-mm-dd (1379-01-31 is January 31, 1379). Search using this format or more simply, the year: “1379” returns all texts written in 1379; “1379 01” or “01 1379” returns all texts written on the first of each month of 1379 and on any day of January of 1379. Note: Year dates frequently form part of titles in WORK and can be used to search for the same.

Place names: Place names appear on several search pages: WORK - Place of composition; PERSON - Associated place; LIBRARY - City; REFERENCE - Place of publication; MSED - City. Since each bibliography handles place names differently, see the relevant help pages for specific details:

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Subject headings: Keep in mind when searching in Subject that its use is not uniform in all search pages nor in the three bibliographies.

Search using a complete heading or any word contained in any heading (e.g. a place name). For technical reasons, only one subject heading can be searched at a time. Searches for two different subject headings or for words from two different subject headings will return zero results. In BITAGAP, for example, search for “milagres” or for “mariologia” but not for “milagres” and “mariologia”. Experimentation will reveal best strategies. Since each bibliography handles subject headings differently, and has different, language-specific subject headings, see the relevant help pages for details:

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Simple search: Use this field to search for information not locatable in named fields. For example, in MsEd, codicological information; or, in WORK, type “trad*” in Simple search to produce a list of works which have been translated from their original language.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) / Digitized images and texts: To access related web pages, simply click on the highlighted URL.

In PhiloBiblon URLs generally provide access to the following kinds of information:

  1. in the MsEd table: a digitized facsimile of a primary source (manuscript or printed edition (In some cases, depending on the institution and the browser used, digitized images will be downloaded to your computer rather than displayed on your screen.) To find all of the digitized facsimiles recorded in PhiloBiblon, search either for “http” in “Simple search” or the appropriate heading in “Subject” (e.g. in BETA “Internet - Facsímiles digitalizados” and in BITAGAP “Fontes electro\nicas - Internet - Obra digitalizada”).
  2. in the REFERENCE table: a digitized facsimile (v.g., pdf) or electronic text of a secondary source.
  3. in the PERSON table: an online source that provides information concerning an individual.

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Transcription Norms: In Title (text titles) and Incipit/Explicit in WORK, all three bibliographies use modern spelling, including for the incipits of poetic texts. All three offer paleographical or semi-paleographical readings of textual material found in individual manuscripts and printed editions (titles, incipits, explicits).

Transcription practices for the latter materials vary considerably among the three bibliographies. Consult the relevant help pages for specific details:

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Descriptive bibliography, paleography, and codicology:

Bibliographical, paleographical, and codicological descriptions also vary considerably among the three bibliographies, with BITECA providing the most detailed ones, BITAGAP the least, and BETA somwhere in the middle. This responds to the particular interests and expertise of each team. In BITECA and BETA, use Simple search in MsEd to search for specific features. In BITAGAP this yields uneven results.

PhiloBiblon invites users who have personally examined a manuscript or early printed book to provide complete or partial bibliographical, paleographical, and/or codicological descriptions. These users will be credited.

The specific codicological features and terminology used also vary considerably among the three bibliographies. Consult the relevant help pages for specific details.

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How to Use Search Pages and Fields

WORK: contains information about medieval texts. Search fields are Simple search, Author, Title, Incipit, Explicit, Associated person(s), Date of composition, Place of composition, Subject.

Author: Search for the name either in its original form or in translation. To see a list of all forms used in the database, search in PERSON.

Title: Search for prose works using the modern form of the title or, for a translated work, the original or the translated title. For a broad search, the former (e.g., “vida”) will generally return more works than the latter (“vita”). All searches return works according to any of their known titles. You may also use (any part of) a date to search in this field. For individual poetic texts, see Incipit/Explicit below unless the poem has a commonly-used title, e.g., in BITAGAP, Poema da Batalha do Salado. Songbook titles (e.g., Cancioneiro da Ajuda, Cancionero de Estúñiga, Cançoner dels Masdovelles) can also be searched in this field.

Incipit/Explicit: This important search field may aid in the identification of a text.

For every work, there is (a) a master record (with a unique texid) and (b) a series of records for every known surviving copy of the work (each with a unique cnum). For the former, incipits/explicits have been modernized; for the latter, incipits/explicits are reproduced paleographically or semi-paleographically, depending on the bibliography (with or without suppression marks, resolved or unresolved abbreviations, misspellings, etc.) as found in the manuscript or printed edition or as transcribed in a secondary source. A search in this field should return a list of works based on both the modernized incipits/explicits as well as the original ones. When trying to identify a text, repeat the search using variants of the less common words. In some case, particularly for texts with a large number of copies and no modern edition, incipits and explicits have been recorded only in the copy records. This is particularly the case for BETA.

To locate a poetic text, in Incipit search for any word or words appearing in the first line.

Associated persons: Search using the modern form of the name. A search may return names of translators, notaries, patrons, important personages mentioned in a text, dedicatees, etc.

Date of composition: Search for yyyy and/or mm and/or dd. A search here might return the date of composition, confirmation, revision, translation, promulgation, etc.

Place of composition: Search for the name in its modern form.

For bibliography-specific help, consult the help page of each bibliography:

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LIBRARY: Information about the libraries that house manuscripts and printed editions: search fields are Simple search, City, Library, Shelfmark, Subject.

City: Search by the name of the city in its native language (e.g., New York, Firenze, etc.).

Library: Search by any of the library's formal or commonly used names (e.g. in BETA, search for Real Biblioteca, Biblioteca de Palacio, or simply Palacio).

Shelfmark: Search by the current or any former shelfmark, including those of previous owners. This returns a list of libraries holding manuscripts or printings with that shelfmark. Shelfmarks are not case-sensitive.

From the search results page, click on the library you are interested in to see a list of all of its manuscripts and printed editions in shelfmark order.

For bibliographic-specific information see:

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INSTITUTION: Information about the institutions that owned manuscripts and printed editions or that were associated with individuals who produced and transmitted works, manuscripts, and printed editions: search fields are Simple search, Name, Place, Subject.

Name: Search by any of the institution's formal or commonly used names (e.g. in BETA, search for Universidad Complutense, Universidad de Madrid, or Universidad Central).

Place: Search for the place where the institution is currently or was formerly located using the form in its native language(e.g. in BETA, search for London, not Londres, Aachen, not Aquisgrán,).

PERSON: Information about individuals involved with the composition and diffusion of medieval texts, such as authors, translators, patrons, owners, scholars, members of the nobility or clergy, etc. Search fields include Simple search, Name, Title, Date, Associated place, Religious or military order and profession, trade, or occupation, Subject.

Name: Search by original or translated forms of the name, by pseudonym, etc.

Title: This refers to a title conferred on an individual (by king, noble; Church; for a particular period, hereditary, or for life). You may also search any place to which the conferred title is attached (e.g., in BITAGAP, Bispo Ourense, Rei Castela Leão).

Date: Search for date of birth, death, conferral of a title, or other milestone event.

Associated place: Search for place (in the modern form) of birth, death, residence, or other milestone event.

Religious or military order and profession, trade, or occupation: For religious orders search by the standard sigla, e.g., OSB, OFM, SJ, Ocist. For professions see the list in the related help pages. Note that identification of professions is sporadic in all three bibliographies.

NOTE: The Associated Persons section of each record must be treated with caution, especially for those individuals with numerous relationships. The database program is designed to establish a reciprocal link between two records automatically. Thus when the record of "Juana la Loca" (BETA bioid 7208) was linked to that of Fernando V (bioid 1104) as his daughter, his record was automatically updated to show him as her father. Unfortunately, due to programming errors this automatic updating process sometimes established erroneous links with other records. Over time these errors will be eliminated. We request the collaboration of our users to help us identify them.

See bibliography-specific help pages for details:

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REFERENCE: Secondary bibliography related to texts, manuscripts, printed editions, and persons. The order of items returned is generally alphabetical by title, with links to the full reference. Search fields include Simple search, Author, Title, Date, Journal / collected volume, Place of publication, Publisher, Series, Associated person, Subject.

Author: Search by any form or portion of the name of the author (of a monograph or article).

Title: Search by monograph or article title (whole or partial, most distinctive words).

Date: Search by year of publication.

Journal / collected volume: Search by title of the journal (print or electronic) or collected volume (acts or proceedings of congresses, homage volumes, etc.).

Place of publication: Search by name of the city of publication in its native language.

Publisher: Search by publisher (e.g., “University of California Press”).

Series: Search by series (e.g., in BITAGAP, “Subsídios para a história da arte”).

Associated person: Search for any individual associated with the work other than the author (e.g., author of prologue, coordinator, editor, or director of series or collection, etc.).

For bibliographic-specific details see:

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MsEd (Manuscripts and printed editions): These are the primary sources, manuscripts and printed editions, in which the medieval texts are preserved. See the home pages of the three bibliographies (“Scope and content”) for a description of the sources included in the database. Search fields are Simple search, City, Library, Shelfmark, Date, Place of production, Scribe/printer, Publisher/patron, Previous owner, Associated person, Subject.

Manuscript / Printed edition: First, above the search fields, click on one of these options. Manuscripts might include the “original” text or copies of it, including copies made in later centuries. Printed editions are incunables and 16th- and 17th-century editions of medieval works. Search later printed editions in REFERENCE.

City: Search by name of the city (in its native language) where the library that holds the manuscript or printed edition is located.

Library: Search by the current or former name of the library that holds the manuscript or printed edition.

Shelfmark: Search for a current or former shelfmark in the holding library as well as for the shelfmark of a previous owner. Searches are not case-sensitive, e.g., “Inc. 1484” or “inc. 1484.”

Date: You can search for complete or partial dates. A search for “1325“, for example, returns manuscripts copied on any day of that year as well as undated manuscripts which, based on internal or external evidence, have been dated to include the year 1325 (e.g. 1325; 1325 a quo, 1325 ad quem; 1301? - 1325?; 1290? - 1325?; etc.).

Place of production: Search by the name of a city or place in its modern form.

Scribe / printer: Search for a scribe using any form of the name. For a printer, use the name in its original form (e.g., in BITAGAP, “Hermann von Kempen” rather than “Hermão de Campos”). To learn the original form of a printer's name, search first in PERSON.

Publisher / patron: For a printed edition, search for the person who sponsored it using the modern form of the name. For a manuscript, search for the modern form of the name of the patron for whom it was copied.

Previous owner: Search for any person or institution that has owned the object by a person's name or title, by the name of a monastery, museum, auction house, etc.

Associated person: Search using any form of the name. A search returns the name of a binder, illuminator, annotator, etc.

For bibliography-specific information see:

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Technical help

PhiloBiblon in general: Charles B. Faulhaber.

BETA / Bibliografía Española de Textos Antiguos
Medieval texts in Spanish.
Charles B. Faulhaber

BIPA / Bibliografía de la Poesía Áurea
Golden Age Poetry.
Ralph DiFranco.

BITAGAP / Bibliografia de Textos Antigos Galegos e Portugueses
Medieval Texts in Galician, Galician-Portuguese, and Portuguese.
Arthur L-F. Askins

BITECA / Bibliografia de Textos Antics Catalans, Valencians i Balears
Medieval Texts in Catalan.
Gemma Avenoza

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On-line resources
Medieval studies associations and blogs
Research institutions, centers, and groups
Libraries and digital libraries: catalogs and lists
Archives and digital archives: catalogs and lists
On-line databases
Reference and bibliographies
Online journals

Please send information regarding the URLs for these resources (especially changes to them) and suggestions for sites to be added, to Martha E. Schaffer.

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