Completed Sub-projects

Fragmenta Bongarsiana

Start: March 2018 - July 2021
Financed by: Burgerbibliothek Bern, swissuniversities, SNF

Description: Together with the Burgerbibliothek Bern, we have facilitated the digitization of approximately 150 fragments of parchment. Most of these are from the collection of Jacques Bongars (1554-1612), who had a philological interest in rare texts, as did Pierre Pithou (1539-1596) and especially Pierre Daniel (1530-1603), with whom Bongars was closely associated. Jacques Bongars and Pierre Daniel are among the earliest scholars to have shown an interest in fragments. The Bernese fragment collection is unique because it contains not only manuscript waste, but also a large number of manuscripts that have been transmitted in incomplete form, for example, with only a single quire or a part thereof to have survived. In the course of making these texts accessible through e-codices, many fragments were identified for the first time. Most of these were known texts or authors, but some spectacular new discoveries were made of previously unknown texts on biblical exegesis from the Carolingian epoch. In the coming years, the collection will be published in parallel in e-codices and in Fragmentarium.

Manuscripts list

Braginsky collection on e-codices

Start: December 2014 - August 2021
Financed by: Susanne et René Braginsky Foundation
Project manager: Rromir Imami, MSc

Description: The collection of Hebrew manuscripts of the Zurich collector René Braginsky is generally considered to be one of the largest private collections of Hebrew manuscripts in the world. It also contains a fair number of fine early printed books. The collection does not only contain codices from before and after the invention of printing, but also several hundred illuminated marriage contracts and Esther scrolls. In 2009, some hundred highlights from the collection were curated into a traveling exhibition, which was shown in Amsterdam, New York, Jerusalem, Zurich, and Berlin. Since 2014 e-codices is making documents of the collection online available. The project is generously supported by the René and Susanne Braginsky Foundation.

Manuscripts list

e-codices 2017-2020

Period: January 2017 - December 2020
Financed by: swissuniversities

Description: Continued support from the swissuniversities program “Scientific Information” will ensure the sustainability of e-codices and its transformation from a project to an established service. In addition, it will ensure the continued improvement of technical infrastructure. Such ongoing development is necessary in order to contribute to essential technical developments in the area of interoperability in the coming years. Finally, more sub-projects will be initiated in order to publish online by 2020 most of those Swiss manuscripts that, from a current point of view, are relevant to research.

Manuscripts list

Manuscripts from the Carthusian monastery of Basel

Period: Summer 2017 - December 2020

Description: The Carthusian monastery of St. Margarethental was founded in 1401 in Kleinbasel (Lesser Basel); until the Reformation it was an important spiritual and intellectual center whose influence extended far beyond the city of Basel. At the beginning of the 16th century its library contained about 2,000 books, almost all of which became the property of the university after the dissolution of the monastery and constituted the substantive basis of the early university library. Among these books are more than 600 manuscripts, which are currently in the process of being catalogued and made accessible by the University Library Basel. In addition, a scholarly relevant selection of these manuscripts is being digitized, among them the German manuscripts from the the library of the lay brothers as well as the manuscripts containing texts by the Carthusians of Basel.

Manuscripts list

Treasures from small collections

Period: January 2013 - December 2020

Description: The majority of Swiss manuscripts is held in larger collections, mostly in public and ecclesiastical institutions. It is easy to forget that some of the most important sources shaping the identity of Switzerland are found in collections that hold only a few manuscripts. e-codices has taken it upon itself to provide digital access to these important treasures from small collections, the originals of which are often not available to the general public.

Manuscripts list

Codices Fuldenses Helvetiae

Period: December 2013  - June 2020
Financed by: Institut Bibliotheca Fuldensis and swissuniversities
Project director: Dr. Johannes Staub, Theologische Fakultät Fulda

Description: The early medieval library of Fulda, famous until the Humanistic period, was almost completely destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. During the 16th century, a number of Fulda codices were brought to Switzerland to serve as sources for print editions produced in Basel. Because some of these manuscripts never made it back to Fulda, one of the largest groups of surviving Fulda manuscripts and fragments can be found in Switzerland, particularly in Basel. Moreover, several Swiss collections include products of the Fulda scriptorium that for one reason or another were never delivered to their destinations. This project, a collaboration of e-codices and the Institut Bibliotheca Fuldensis, will provide digital access to the Fulda Manuscripts of Switzerland, in hopes of providing new impetus for investigating this scriptorium and library.

Manuscripts list

Romansh manuscripts

Period: May 2017 - March 2019
Financed by: various foundations and promotion of culture of the canton of Grisons
Project director: Prof. Dr. emer. Georges Darms

Description: The oldest Romansh manuscripts have been scattered among various mostly private libraries and the archives of individual communities, where they are often difficult to access. Many of them may be listed in various catalogues, but are not yet accessible via a general catalog or a database. A representative selection of these manuscripts, most of them not yet edited and some as yet unknown, will now be made available to science and to a broader public through inclusion in e-codices.

Manuscripts list

Indian manuscripts in Switzerland

Period: January 2017 - June 2018

Description: Switzerland has a considerable number of Indian manuscripts in various libraries, museums and private collections. So far, these manuscripts have rarely been investigated; there does not even exist a general census of the manuscripts. The project “Indian manuscripts in Switzerland” has set itself the goal of making these manuscripts, along with scholarly descriptions, available to scholars and to a broader public.

Manuscripts list

Autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Period: April 2014 - June 2017

Description: The autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) are preserved in different locations. When Rousseau moved from one place to another, he often left his papers to a close friend, for example Pierre-Alexandre DuPeyrou, who donated a big collection of important works and notebooks to the Library of Neuchâtel, today Bibliothèque publique et universitaire. Other autographs, that Rousseau left to his Genevan friend and editor Paul Moultou, are located in the Bibliothèque de Genève. Autographs can also be found abroad: in the Bibliothèque de l’Assemblée nationale, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, in the Musée Rousseau of Montmorency or in the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.
The Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Neuchâtel starts by publishing “Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire” and the “Dictionnaire de Musique” on e-codices in a new sub-project dedicated to the autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau with the goal of creating a common and coordinated network for the autographs of the Swiss philosopher.

Manuscripts list

Digitization of all of the medieval manuscripts from Hermetschwil Convent

Period: February - November 2016
Financed by: swissuniversities

Description: The manuscripts of the Benedictine nuns’ Convent of Hermetschwil were digitized by e-codices in 2016, when the collection returned to the convent from its previous location in Sarnen. All 56 medieval manuscripts have now been published on e-codices. Regarding the manuscripts’ migrations, please see the newsletter on the completion of the project From Sarnen to Hermetschwil: a 170-year odyssey

Manuscripts list

Call for collaboration 2015

Period: June 2015 - December 2017
Financed by: swissuniversities

Description: In the beginning of 2015, e-codices published its third ‘Call for Collaboration.’ This call, published jointly by e-codices and our partner libraries, again attracted a great deal of international interest. After the great response to the first call in June 2009 with 97 applications from 33 scholars, and the overwhelming success of the second call in 2013 with 137 applications from 55 scholars, we have this time received 91 applications from 36 scholars. The scholars again come from a variety of countries: Germany (9), Switzerland (7), United Kingdom (6), the USA (5), Italy (4), France (2), Sweden (1), Armenia (1) and Hungary (1); almost all disciplines of medieval studies are represented. Proposals were for manuscripts from 18 libraries, an especially large number from the Burgerbibliothek Bern (23), the Zentralbibliothek Zürich (12), the Universitätsbibliothek Basel (8), but also from three new collections that have not yet been represented on e-codices. Also suggested were six manuscripts from the Abbey Library of St. Gall, where more than half of the collection of medieval manuscripts has already been made digitally accessible. Such continuing demand clearly shows that, despite the great number of manuscripts that have already been digitized, the scholarly interest has by far not been satisfied. By March 2017, 43 manuscripts from 13 different collections have been published. 

Manuscripts list

e-codices 2013-2016

Period: January 2013 - December 2016
Financed by: swissuniversities

Description: As part of the SUK (Swiss Conference of Universities) Program P-2: “Scientific information: access, processing and backup,” for the past four years the Swiss Rectors’ Conference supported and aided e–codices in establishing a Swiss Centre of Competence. The overall project consisted of various subprojects, among them “Call for collaboration 2013” and “Call for collaboration 2015”, “Treasures from small collections”, “Autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.“ The overall project also supported further development of the web application e-codices v2.0, which went online in December 2014.

Manuscripts list

Call for collaboration 2013



Period: January 2013 - December 2014 (Subproject of the “Competence Center”)
Financed by: swissuniversities

Description: In mid-January 2013, e-codices published its second ‘Call for Collaboration.’ This call, published jointly with our Swiss partner libraries, once more invited scholars to suggest Swiss manuscripts for digitization. As with the first such call, interest among international manuscript researchers was impressive; in fact, considerably more proposals were submitted this time than for the first call in June 2009. The number of researchers who submitted proposals rose from 33 to 55. Many researchers suggested several manuscripts at once, so that we received no fewer than 134 individual proposals. Three years before, the total number of proposals was 97.
Altogether manuscripts from 22 collections were recommended, among these several Swiss manuscripts which are held today in foreign libraries, as well as a newly discovered and previously completely unknown manuscript from a private collection in Geneva. 

Manuscripts list







Web Application e-codices v. 2.0

Period: January 2013 - December 2014 (Subproject of the “Competence Center”)
Financed by: swissuniversities

Description: the web application e-codices v. 1.29, in use over the past six years, will be replaced in late December 2014 with a new version, e-codices v. 2.0. Both the front and back ends have been reprogrammed. The new version uses a Loris image server with integrated API IIIF and the SharedCanvas data model. In addition, we plan to develop a CMS (Content-Management-System) that will simplify the management of libraries, collections, subprojects, images and sequences, so that in future new manuscripts can be added to collections via a simple user interface, without the need for special training or IT background.
Programming : text & bytes GmbH, Könizstrasse 18, CH-3008 Bern

Digitization of the Antiphonaries of the Chapter of St. Nicolas, Fribourg

Period: September 2012 - April 2014
Co-financed by: Chapter Archive of St. Nicolas, Fribourg

Description: Antiphonaries are liturgical manuscripts of Gregorian chants which register the Liturgy of the Hours, as this was celebrated in the Middle Ages by the monks and canons of cathedral and collegiate chapters. Each Liturgy of the Hours consisted of a recitation of Psalms, linked together by antiphons, a reading, a hymn, and a prayer. The eight volumes of the St. Nicolas Antiphonaries, consisting of two sets of four volumes each, to be placed in front of the choir stalls, visible from both sides of the choir, were produced in the years 1509-1517 for the newly founded Monastery of St. Nicolas in Fribourg and are among the finest examples of medieval Swiss antiphonaries. For the 500th anniversary of the Cathedral, the eight volumes were digitized and made available via e-codices. The antiphonaries have been digitized thanks to the financial support of the "the 4 pillars of Fribourg's economy" (Groupe E, BCF, ECAB and TPF).

Manuscripts list







e-codices for iPhone and iPad

Period: January – June 2013
Financed by: Codices electronici AG, Fribourg

Description: Although the possible uses of an iphone appear almost limitless, this personal digital assistant (PDA) still is rarely used for scholarly work in the humanities. Through the iCodices project, e-codices created a mobile application as a scholarly tool. The project is based on the idea that an app for manuscripts would not only substantially simplify scholarly work, but also would allow for new presentation options and would finally result in a wider distribution of manuscript sources among a larger public.
Some things one can do with the app:

  • Search and browse all manuscripts
  • Bookmark single pages within manuscripts
  • Bookmark manuscripts and build your own library („MyCodices“)
  • Download entire manuscripts and view them offline

Principal investigator: Rafael Schwemmer, Digital Humanities Specialist
Programming text & bytes GmbH, Könizstrasse 18, CH-3008 Bern

Another thirty medieval manuscripts from the Abbey Library of St. Gall

Period: June 2012 - February 2013
Supported by: Kanton St.Gallen Kulturförderung / SwisslosAndrew W. Mellon Foundation

Description: Support from the St. Gall lottery fund has enabled e-codices to make accessible 30 more medieval manuscripts from the Abbey Library of St. Gall. The digital reproduction of this selection of manuscripts was made possible in 2010 by support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Manuscripts list


Period: January - December 2012
Financed by: Accentus Foundation und Ernst Göhner Foundation
Joint Project with: Abbey Library of St. Gall, SWR Tübingen, University of Tübingen, Christopherus-Label

Description: In the Carolingian era in the 9th century, a musical notation with neumes was developed; with this notation, liturgical song, the so-called Gregorian chant and its extensions such as the sequences, could for the first time be recorded in a decisively new way, namely according to the exact agogic progression. Although the music that once filled the St. Gall monastery in the 9th and 10th centuries has long since faded away, the St. Gall manuscripts offer valuable clues for bringing it back to life. In this regard, special attention has been paid to the reconstruction of the melodies by comparing numerous manuscripts and realizing subtleties of vocal intrepretation, as indicated by specific neumes. A joint project with the Abbey Library of St. Gall, e-codices, the SWR Tübingen (Southwest Broadcasting), and the University of Tübingen, as well as the Christopherus-Label, has permanently and dynamically brought together the recordings of Notker’s Sequences (ASIN: B004EH24H2) on the award-winning CD by the „Ordo virtutum“ ensemble with the corresponding digital copies of the manuscripts.
Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Stefan Morent, Musikwissenschaftliches Institut der Universität Tübingen
Programmingtext & bytes GmbH, Könizstrasse 18, CH-3008 Bern

Swiss Illustrated Chronicles

Period: June 2012 - December 2012
Financed bySophie and Karl Binding Foundation

Description: In beautifully illuminated manuscipts, the Swiss Illustrated Chronicles from the 15th and 16th centuries present the history of the Swiss Confederation. According to Carl Pfaff, they are part of “the most precious legacy that medieval Switzerland has bequeathed to us” (Die Welt der Schweizer Bilderchroniken, Schwyz 1991, p. 9). With support from the Sophie and Karl Binding Foundation, e-codices has made available three of these Swiss Illustrated Chronicles: the Chronicle by Werner Schodoler (in three volumes), the Spiezer Chronik> (one volume), and the Berner Chronik (the so-called “Amtlicher Schilling” (“Official Schilling”) in three volumes).

Manuscripts list

Mellon 2011-2012

Period: January 2011 - December 2012
Financed byAndrew W. Mellon Foundation

Description: Further support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has enabled us to realize three key aims by the end of 2012: sustainability, interoperability and content. Safeguarding sustainability had main priority. The aim is to create a business model on which the basic operations of e-codices can be conducted without support from grant providers beginning in the year 2013. Expansion of interoperability involves the linkage of e-codices with various portals and the addition of specialized user tools. Content expansions involves presentation of an additional 100 manuscripts from a variety of libraries in Switzerland.

Manuscripts list

Frowin's Library

Period: May 2011 - June 2012
Financed byStavros Niarchos Foundation

Description: The continued support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has made possible the digitalization and the presentation on e-codices of 40 manuscripts produced under Abbot Frowin in the early years of the monastery of Engelberg (Canton of Obwalden). In terms of its nature and completeness, this collection is unique in Switzerland; indeed, it shows how, in the High Middle Ages, a conventual library collection was planned and built up. The roughly 40 codices preserved that are "Frowinian", that is, manuscripts produced at the time of his abbacy and plainly under his direction, include numerous works of the Church Fathers Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory, rounded out with works by Orosius, Isidore of Seville, Paschasius Radbert and the Venerable Bede, as well as Biblical manuscripts of exceptional artistic quality. In addition to these works, there are also a large number of contemporary writings, including those by authors such as Hugh of Saint Victor and Bernard of Clairvaux, as well as a collection of texts pertaining to the eleventh-century controversy over the Eucharist. Frowin evidently studied all these works carefully and used them in his own writings.

Manuscripts list

Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland

Period: January 2008 - December 2011
Financed bySwiss electronic library

Description: With the financial backing of (the Swiss Electronic Library), a total of 100 manuscripts from various Swiss Libraries has been digitized by the end of the year 2011. is a joint project of the Swiss University Conference, the ETH-Board (Board of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology) and the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology (OPET). This subproject has been commissioned by the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW).
Steering Committee: Prof. Rudolf Gschwind and Prof. Dr. Lukas Rosenthaler, Imaging and Media Lab, Universität Basel; Barbara Roth PhD, Manuscript Conservator, Bibliothèque de Genève; Heidi Eisenhut PhD, Director of the Kantonsbibliothek Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Trogen.

Manuscripts list

Collaborative Projects

Period: January 2010 - June 2011
Financed byAndrew W. Mellon Foundation

Description: The main aim of this second Mellon funded project phase was to strengthen the function of e-codices as an international platform for research on manuscripts from Swiss collections. A 'call for collaboration' was published on our website in June 2009, in which scholars were invited to suggest manuscripts for digitization. From among more than 150 proposals submitted, our internal evaluation process allowed us to select 60 manuscripts for digitization. Types of collaboration varied greatly, from writing new scholarly manuscript descriptions to developing tools for online manuscript study, to building connections with other virtual manuscript library websites.

Manuscripts list

Greek Sources in Swiss Libraries

Period: January 2010 - August 2010
Financed byStavros Niarchos Foundation

Description: The project "Greek Sources in Swiss Libraries" included digitizing 40 manuscripts and the additional work necessary to publish the manuscripts on the e-codices Web site. The selection includes manuscripts from various Swiss libraries, including the Abbey Library of Saint Gall, the Abbey Library of Einsiedeln, the Library of Geneva, the Fondation Martin Bodmer in Cologny (Geneva) and the Burgerbibliothek Bern. The project focuses on three types of materials: manuscripts containing texts from Greek antiquity in the Greek language, manuscripts containing medieval and early modern translations of Greek classics, and manuscripts containing medieval commentaries on key works of Greek antiquity.

Manuscripts list

Fondation Martin Bodmer on e-codices II

Period: January - December 2009
Financed byLoterie Romande

Description: The process of digitizing the manuscripts of the Fondation Martin Bodmer in Cologny has been underway since 2007. In 2009, the digitisation of another 40 manuscripts was made possible by the renewed financial support of the Loterie Romande.

Manuscripts list

The Virtual Abbey Library of Saint Gall

Period: January 2008 - December 2009
Financed byAndrew W. Mellon Foundation

Description: As of the end of 2009, over 300 manuscripts written before the year 1000 and held by the Abbey Library of St. Gall had been made available on e-codices. The web application had also been further developed using the most up to date informatics tools, allowing users to gain access to the website database faster and more easily. Financial support for this sub-project was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (New York).

Manuscripts list

Codices Augienses et Sangallenses dispersi

Period: January 2008 - December 2009
Financed byAndrew W. Mellon Foundation

Description: In most cases, the manuscripts originally held by medieval libraries have been removed to other locations. This is also the case with the St. Gall and Reichenau manuscripts. By means of a virtual manuscipt library, however, scattered collections can be virtually reconstituted. Under the auspices of this subproject, a selection of manuscripts originally held by the Abbeys of St. Gall and Reichenau, now distributed among various collections in Switzerland, was virtually gathered together by the end of 2009. This subproject was also made possible by support from the Mellon Foundation (New York).

Manuscripts list

Fondation Martin Bodmer on e-codices I

Period: January - December 2007
Financed byLoterie Romande

Description: The process of digitizing the manuscripts of the Fondation Martin Bodmer in Cologny has been underway since 2007. In the same year the digitisation of 40 manuscripts was made possible by the generous financial support of the Loterie Romande.

Manuscripts list

St. Gall's Cultural Assets from Zurich

Period: January - December 2007
Financed by: Catholic church membership of the Canton of St. Gallen and the St. Gallen Bureau of Culture

Description: In the Toggenburg War of 1712, the last religious war of the old Swiss Confederation, the Prince-Abbot of St. Gall was defeated by the forces of Zurich and Bern. Following their invasion of the Cloister of St. Gall, the victors carried away library materials and other cultural assets, dividing them among themselves. After the peace agreement of 1718, most materials were returned, with the exception of a number of valuable manuscripts which remained in Zurich. After almost 300 years, the ongoing, more or less contentious cultural property dispute between St. Gall and Zurich was finally resolved in the spring of 2006. Among the requirements of the compromise were that Zurich return the manuscripts in question to St. Gallen on long-term loan, and that the Canton of St. Gallen digitize them and make them available on the Internet by the end of 2007. This digitization was funded by the Catholic church membership of the Canton of St. Gallen and the St. Gallen Bureau of Culture.

Manuscripts list

St. Gall's Music Manuscripts

Period: October 2006 - May 2007
Financed by: Ernst Göhner Foundation 

Description: Among its many treasures, the Abbey Library of St. Gall holds the oldest complete surviving music manuscript (Cod. Sang. 359, dating from 920/30). We were able to digitize this item, together with thirteen additional music manuscripts, including elaborate liturgical manuscripts from the "Silver Age" and prepare them for presentation on the internet during the second project year, 2006, thanks to the generous financial support of the Ernst-Göhner-Stiftung.

Manuscripts list

St. Gall's Treasure Trove of Monuments to the Old High German Language

Period: January 2005 – December 2006
Financed byFriends of the Abbey Library

Description: Germanists like to refer to the Abbey Library of St. Gall as the "Treasure Trove of Memorials to the Old High German Language". In terms of both quality and magnitude, the St. Gall collection is unmatched as a source of significant documentation of the German language. Thanks to the financial support of the "Friends of the Abbey Library", thirteen important Old High German manuscripts were digitized in 2006: Cod. Sang. 21 (Old High German Psalter of Notker the German), 56 (Tatian's Gospel Harmony), 232, 242, 556, 643, 825 (Old High German translation and commentary on Boethius's 'De consolatione philosophiae' by Notker the German), 872 (Notker's Translation and commentary on 'De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii' by Martianus Capella), 904 (Irish Priscian Manuscript), 911 (Abrogans), 913 (St. Gall Vocabulary), 916 (St. Benedict's Rule), 966.

Manuscripts list

Pilot Project: Digital Abbey Library of St. Gall

Period: January 2005 – December 2006
Financed by: Paul Schiller Foundation, UBS Cultural Foundation, Ernst Göhner Foundation, Otto Gamma Foundation, Jubilee Foundation of Swiss Mobiliar Insurance, Research Funding Foundation of the University of Fribourg, Jubilee Foundation of the Zurich Insurance Group and the Friends of the Abbey Library of St. Gall

Description: In the pilot project a selection of medieval manuscripts from the Abbey Library of St. Gall was digitized. This start-up project was made possible by different financial supporters.

Manuscripts list