A common question from patrons is “Do you have any microfilm with texts of [specific Byzantine author]?” Originally, we planned to include contents in the finding aid in order to answer just this question, but, during the planning stages, we learned that the Institut de recherche et d’histoire de textes (hereafter IRHT) has built a free database from the printed catalogs of libraries and is gradually integrating information about the contents of individual manuscripts. Rather than duplicate IRHT’s efforts, we decided to eliminate a list of contents from our own database and instead direct researchers to the more comprehensive database Pinakes if they are trying to identify manuscripts of interest to their research. After they search Pinakes, they can use our finding aid in order to determine if we have microfilm of specific manuscripts.
Some limitations with the Pinakes database as it exists now:
- It focuses on Greek manuscripts before the 16th century.
- Content is being added but is not complete at this point.
- The names of authors and titles are Latinized with “V” used in place of “U.” This information is based on the TLG canon, the CSGL, and the CPG. In most cases, the first name is before the surname, but sometimes the names are inverted.
- In cases where the attribution of a text is debated, IRHT followed CPG.
Using Pinakes: To read detailed instructions, select “Mode d’emploi” from the menu along the top of the screen. To do a search, select “Recherche” from the menu along the top of the screen.
Recherche d’un manuscrit will allow you to search for a specific manuscript.
- Under “Ville,” type the name of the city.
- As you type, a list of possible cities should appear below the box. You must select from this list by clicking on the appropriate item within the list. The database will not allow you to proceed if you type the city’s name yourself. (Note: The Vatican’s holdings will be found under Ville: VATICANO. Mt. Athos as Ville: HAGION OROS)
- After you have selected the city, the database will offer a drop-down menu under “Dépôt.” Select the holding institution from this drop-down menu.
- After you have selected the holding institution, the database will offer a drop-down menu under “Cote.” Select the shelfmark for the specific manuscript from this list.
- Click on the button “Rechercher.”