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Magic in the Middle Ages: Digitized Collections

This section was designed to supply students with links to various digitized collections related to magic in the middle ages. It is our goal to include a variety of digitized collections for students to explore further certain magical practices relevant to our guide's overall topic. Below, students will find links to the Morgan Visconti-Sforza Tarot Card collection, The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, the Cornell University Witchcraft Collection,  English Magical Manuscript texts, and the Project Gutenberg Witchcraft Bookshelf. Each collection gives students the opportunity to extend their research through complete access, all one needs is a working internet connection to view these collections. 

Cornell University Library

Cornell University Witchcraft Collection

The Cornell University Library Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections contains a subsection which is exclusively dedicated to the history of witchcraft. The collection contains over 3,000 different titles, most of which focus primarily on the persecution of witches and witchcraft in Europe during the Middle Ages. The digital collection has 104 books which have been digitized and are freely available to the public. The digital collection is browsable by title and author's name, and there is also a search function which allows users to search in the text of the books themselves.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg Witchcraft Bookshelf

A curated collection of 16 books about witchcraft ranging from  seventeenth-century firsthand accounts to modern historical books.

Late Medieval English Magic

Late Medieval English Magic

 

A catalog of Medieval English texts which contain references to magic compiled by Laura Mitchell for her dissertation at the University of Toronto. . The texts are searchable by a text's current city, current library, magic category, and charm motif. Each catalog entry lists a manuscript's location of origin and current location as well as a brief description of the contents, links to outside resources concerning the text, and a link to a digitization of the manuscript if applicable.

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic boasts a collection of over 3,000 objects and over 7,000 books ranging from Medieval to present-day. While the books themselves are not digitized, many of the objects have been photographed, and are searchable by keyword, object type, place of origin, etc. The museum also houses an archive which is available online provided the user registers with the museum and is approved by museum staff.

In addition to searchable collections, the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic also provides an Online Education page, where nine different items relating to witchcraft are presented and discussed by museum staff in a short video, with additional readings included. 

The Morgan

The Morgan Visconti-Sforza Tarot Cards

This is a digitized collection of fifteenth-century Tarot cards presented by The Morgan Museum & Library. The 34 cards can be viewed one by one or as thumbnails. As very few fifteenth-century Tarot cards remain extant, this collection can help a researcher to familiarize themselves with the history of the famous divination technique.

Example Search

Sample Search of a Digital Collection