Welcome to the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts!

The SDBM continuously aggregates and updates observations of pre-modern manuscripts drawn from over 12,000 auction and sales catalogs, inventories, catalogs from institutional and private collections, and other sources that document sales and locations of these books from around the world.

We invite members of our user community to Log In and help us to build and maintain this resource.

Here's what you can do

  • Contribute Data, including your own personal observations of a manuscript or group of manuscripts.
  • Engage With Other Users to facilitate research and conversations about both the history of manuscript transmission and the data gathered in the process of recording this history.
  • Manage Your Contributions, track your search history, bookmark, tag and download your results.
  • Download Search Results for your own use under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License

New Interactive Features

Search the Database
Everyone is invited to search the database. Use the search bar below, or click the facets to the right.

Do you have any suggestions for how we can improve the SDBM? Complete our survey

Recent Activity

I have now finished entering the Burlington Fine Arts Club catalogue of 1908. If anyone has any other huge catalogues that should be entered let me know…
I haven't managed to link all the entries to manuscript records, so there is still plenty to be done if anyone knows where manuscripts are now.

Thank you so much, Laura! It's wonderful to have this important exhibition in the database. There are an innumerable amount of sources yet to be entered, so I'll create a separate post to see if there's a particular one our users would like to prioritize.

Do you wish the SDBM contained data from a particular source that we haven't entered yet? This is your chance to tell us what we should add to the database. This can be any type of source: auction or dealer catalogs, institutional or private collections, exhibition catalogs, etc. Post your requests below. We will prioritize the source that gets the most requests!

Thanks Emma. In case you were worried about me getting withdrawal symptoms, I have found my next project: the Dyson Perrins catalogue of 1920. Half the number of entries of the BFAC and quite a lot of them should link to it! That should keep me quiet for a bit…

Wonderful, Laura! It's great that you picked a source with lots of good links to make.

Our initial Bibliotheca Mejicana group was a great success, and now we're moving on to Part 2! Read this forum post to learn about the initial project: https://sdbm.library.upenn.edu/forum/news-announcements/bibliotheca-mejicana-group

Many of the manuscripts in the 1869 Bibliotheca Mejicana sale found their way to the collection of Thomas Phillipps. Our next goal is to update our Entries from the June 24, 1919 Sotheby's sale of a portion of the Phillipps collection, and then link those Entries to the corresponding Entries in the 1869 sale. To learn more and join the project, follow this link: https://sdbm.library.upenn.edu/groups/12

All SDBM users are invited! This is a wonderful opportunity to learn basic database skills among friendly collaborators.