What You’ll Find in Folio

vHMML Folio offers images of manuscript pages from various traditions across the globe and across the ages. The collection is shaped to highlight the changing history of scripts in these traditions. In other words, it is a sort of paleography album, but of a type rarely seen: it will soon be possible to find examples of Syriac, Latin, Ge'ez, Arabic, Georgian, and other manuscripts in the same place. Each image has been annotated by an expert scholar to show the notable paleographic features and provides a brief historical and codicological description. There are also full transcriptions of each page and select bibliography so you can pursue further research.

Languages, Writing Systems & Scripts

Folio allows you to find images by language, writing system (e.g., the Roman alphabet), and script (style of writing).

In Folio you can learn how a single writing system can be used for many languages, just as the Roman writing system is used for hundreds of languages today. For example, the Ethiopic writing system, devised to write the ancient Ge'ez language, is now used for modern languages such as Amharic. Arabic letters are used for Persian, Urdu, and many other kinds of manuscripts. The Syriac writing system was used for manuscripts in the Syriac language as well as when Syriac Christians wrote in Arabic, a phenomenon known as Garshuni.

Every writing system has different expressions that vary geographically and historically. In vHMML School you can learn the various scripts used in the principal writing systems. Scholars use differences between scripts to locate manuscripts in a particular time and place.

Using Reference, Lexicon and School

We suggest that you visit vHMML Reference to find bibliography helpful for your research. Reference is always just one click away from Folio via the menu in the upper right corner of any Folio page. From the menu you can also visit vHMML Lexicon for explanations of the terminology used by paleographers and codicologists. You can also try finding a term from Lexicon in Folio with the Keyword search. If you have paleographic ambitions, explore vHMML School, where you will find lessons and exercises in various manuscript traditions and scripts.