Digital collections

Overview

Facing the rich variety of digital collections it has a certain advantage to group them into several main categories. Books, archival records and images have each been put here into a category: digital libraries, digital archives and digital image collections. The sheer number of digital libraries is sufficient reason to present them separately, notwithstanding the fact that some libraries hold archival collections as well. Many digital collections present a great variety of sources. It is true one cannot separate books from documents and images. A better understanding of and growing insight to digital collections for legal history will surely be reflected in their representation on this website, and thus virtual exhibitions appear on a separate page.

This page offers an overview of image collections. The classic collections for legal iconography are present here, too, and special subjects such as the Sachsenspiegel, emblem books and portraits.

Digital heritage portals


Databases for legal iconography

In Frankfurt am Main the Sammlug Karl Frölich will be digitized. Among the tools helping iconographic research one should mention for example the Reallexikon zur Deutschen Kunstgeschichte which is partially (A-F) searchable online. A part of the website of the Index of Christian Art at Princeton is free accessible online. You can consult more at subscribing libraries and at the few institutions with a complete copy (Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.; Getty Center, Los Angeles; Institute for Art History, Utrecht). Iconclass offers a systematic classification of subjects in art. This website is free accessible, but in practice it is useful to get acquainted first with Iconclass with an image database using this classification system. The Art and Architecture Thesaurus of the Getty Center is another classification system which can support your research.

General historical image collections - organized in alphabetical order by countries

An amazing variety of links for image collections is presented by Margaret Vail Anderson on her website Digital Librarian.

For research in the field of art history one can find support at the following websites:


Thematic image collections

A rather special place in legal iconography is traditionally given to the codices picturati, the illuminated manuscripts of the Sachsenspiegel, the influential thirteenth-century book on customary law in Saxony by Eike von Repgow:


Emblem books form a particular source of images. Andrea Alciato (1492-1550), himself a legal scholar, founded the genre with his Emblemata (1531). Here some collections with digitized emblem books which can be searched using Iconclass. These sites point to other digitized collections.


Portraits of lawyers have always enjoyed interest. Some databases can help you to find images of them, many more image databases are listed by the Netherlands Institute for Art History: