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Napoli, Biblioteca nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, ms. V.F.32, c. 9r


Manus OnLine allows all users to browse the catalogue, but authorised users can also enter new records by accessing the private area using a login password.

The MANUS project aims to publish the results of the Censimento dei manoscritti conservati nelle biblioteche italiane, started in 1990 with the Guida a una descrizione uniforme dei manoscritti e al loro censimento (Roma, ICCU, 1990). The ManusOnLine database is a work in progress: it includes data collected with the s/w MANUS during the years 1990-2008, as well as new descriptions created with the new website platform. All libraries are invited to join the project.


A comparison between Manus OnLine and bibliographic standards can be read in

G. Barbero, Manoscritti e standard, «Digitalia», 7/2 (2013), pp. 43-65.


A detailed overview of Manus OnLine was published by R. Marcuccio in "Biblioteche Oggi":

R. Marcuccio, Catalogare e fare ricerca con Manus OnLine, "Biblioteche Oggi", luglio-agosto 2010, pp. 33-49

Thanks to the author and the publisher this article is now available online.


The development and diffusion of Manus OnLine have been presented at the AICA Congress 2009: M. Menna - G. P. Bagnato - G. Barbero, ManusOnLine: un'applicazione web per il patrimonio manoscritto


Medieval or modern manuscripts?

Manus OnLine allows cataloguers to describe medieval manuscripts as well as modern and contemporary handwritten collections. Specific forms have been designed to enter the physical and textual description of medieval manuscripts, while other forms are devoted to original letters cataloguing. Recently, experimental projects focused on this very interesting kind of documents have been successfully promoted and sponsored by ICCU on collections held by the following libraries: Cosenza, Biblioteca Nazionale; Genova, Biblioteca Universitaria; Milan, Biblioteca Comunale di Palazzo Sormani


Short or detailed descriptions?

Through Manus OnLine cataloguers can create detailed catalogue descriptions, considering every codicological and textual aspects, and shorter records, by selecting the specific form. They can also set a link to digitised printed catalogues, as well as metadata concerning other electronic catalogues published on the Web.


Manus in Europe

ManusOnLine is harvestable by the Portal powered by TRAME and by the CERL Portal, sending XML files through an OAI-PMH protocol, with a nested Text Encoding Initiative DTD set of metadata. The European project Rinascimento Virtuale has been carried out with the software Manus 4.0, too.



ManusOnLine is the achievement of a joint effort of ICCU - Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico delle biblioteche italiane e per le informazioni bibliografiche, together with all local Government offices in charge of Libraries, and the Universities carrying out research in the field of manuscript heritage, whether focused on palaeography and cataloguing or information technology.

Libraries, Archives and other Italian public, private and ecclesiastical Institutions are responsible for cataloguing projects pertaining to their manuscript collections, while the copyright is retained by the author of any single description. ICCU's Laboratorio per la catalogazione e la documentazione del manoscritto is responsible for the maintenance of the shared authority file.