For information on Digital Humanities projects with early books at the Beinecke library, click here.

Binding Waste Fragments

Elizabeth Hebbard has led the project to uncover and identify the fragments contained in bindings in Yale holdings. The Beinecke holds over three thousand incunabulae, and another 400 are held in other libraries’ collections across Yale. To date, Elizabeth has examined over two thousand of Yale’s incunabula, and discovered more than one hundred fifty manuscript fragments large enough to contain some legible text that will allow the identification of the fragments’ contents. The fragments are being photographed and catalogued in albums currently housed on Flickr.

The focus on incunabula is a first step in the project to ultimately catalogue all manuscript binding waste in Beinecke volumes. The project will next look at sixteenth-century printed books, and later, at manuscript codices containing waste from other manuscripts. As the project progresses, the team will develop more permanent ways to facilitate exposure of Beinecke content through IIIF and through collaboration with other institutions and digitally-curated networks.

For the images of the collections see Flickr: Beinecke Fragments (Yale University).

See also Early Books at the Beinecke Library.


A strand of the Graduate Workshop Series will focus on the codicological and digital editing challenges posed by manuscript fragments.