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Leiden University Libraries and Brill Digitize over 55,000 Pages of Medieval Manuscripts

Leiden / Boston / Paderborn / Singapore / Beijing – 5 July 2019

Brill and Leiden University Libraries are proud to present the publication of the famous Greek manuscripts and mixed Greek and Latin manuscripts of Isaac Vossius (1618-1689) under the title Codices Vossiani Graeci et Miscellanei Online.

The collection has been held by Leiden University Libraries since 1690, when the heirs of Isaac Vossius sold his entire library of printed books and manuscripts to the library for 33,000 guilders. The Graeci series (containing manuscripts in Greek) and Miscellanei series (containing manuscripts in both Greek and Latin) comprise 216 manuscripts in total, counting over 55,000 pages, with the codices ranging in date from high medieval to early modern, and covering a variety of genres, including classical texts, religious writings, legal sources, historical material, and scientific, mathematical, and medical texts. The collection demonstrates in particular the transmission and reception of ancient Greek and Byzantine ideas and concepts on a wide range of subjects, from theology, to rhetoric, to engineering.

This collaboration marks the latest joint undertaking by Brill and Leiden University Libraries. Brill has previously published two collections from the extensive Middle Eastern manuscript holdings, and the archive of the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens held at the library. In 2015 the Latin-language manuscripts from the Isaac Vossius collection, comprising 363 codices and counting over 80,000 pages, were digitized and published in the Codices Vossiani Latini Online. The addition of the Greek-language manuscripts to the portfolio therefore means that over three-quarters of the internationally-renowned Isaac Vossius manuscript collection is now available in digital format.

Dr André Bouwman, Curator of Western Manuscripts at Leiden University Library, said: “The Graeci and Miscellanei codices collected by Isaac Vossius open up interesting paths into the vast world of classical textual culture. These digital versions bring many important manuscripts directly to the desks of scholars and students who are interested in exploring the texts, as well as their materiality and history.”

Acquisitions Editor for Medieval Studies at Brill, Dr Kate Hammond, adds: “This collection of manuscripts offers a wealth of material on a range of themes, reflecting the broad scholarly interests of Vossius himself, and we are delighted to collaborate once again with Leiden University Library in bringing this fascinating collection into the digital age.”

For more information on this media alert, please visit, or contact Dr Kate Hammond ([email protected]) or Dr André Bouwman ([email protected]).

About Brill
Founded in 1683 in Leiden, the Netherlands, Brill is a leading international academic publisher in Middle East and Islamic Studies, Asian Studies, Classical Studies, History, Biblical and Religious Studies, Languages & Linguistics, Literature & Cultural Studies, Philosophy, Biology, Education, Social Sciences and International Law. With offices in Leiden (NL), Boston (US), Paderborn (GER), Singapore (SG) and Beijing (CN), Brill today publishes over 300 journals and close to 1,400 new books and reference works each year, available in print and online. Brill also markets a large number of primary source research collections and databases. The company’s key customers are academic and research institutions, libraries, and scholars. Brill is a publicly traded company and is listed on Euronext Amsterdam NV. For further information, please visit

About Leiden University Libraries
Leiden University Libraries, the oldest in the Netherlands, is a partner in knowledge, supporting research and teaching. The Libraries’ world famous Special Collections – which include major holdings in Western and Oriental manuscripts, archives and letters, early printed books, photographs, prints, drawings, maps and atlases – are integrated in teaching and research at Leiden University and draw researchers from all over the world. The medieval manuscripts collection consists of 1,800 codices (with over a hundred dating from the ninth century) and more than a thousand fragments.

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