Sources of British Song on DIAMM

DIAMM is pleased to announce the launch of The Sources of British Song, a new online resource for the study of medieval song, hosted on the DIAMM web site.

The Sources of British Song, c.1150-1300 is an online resource for the study of manuscripts of medieval song, in particular those written in Britain in the later twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It makes available to scholars, students and performers high-quality digital images of the original manuscripts of song, accompanied by up-to-date source descriptions and specialised analyses of their musical notations. This online resource forms a companion to an edition of the songs, Songs in British Sources, c.1150-1300, edited by Helen Deeming and published in Musica Britannica, vol.95 (London, 2013), which makes the edited repertoire available as a whole for the first time. This project was made possible with financial support from the British Academy, the Music & Letters Trust, and Royal Holloway, University of London.

Project Director: Helen Deeming; Project Assistant: Samantha Blickhan.

Go to Sources of British Song

Update 28.2.13

We are delighted to add another set of Bob Mitchell’s editions from the Trent codices, which are now available in our Music Editions resource. Please let us know (diamm at if you are using any of the resources we have posted: it would be good to hear from you!

Users: help us gather info!

We are preparing material for submission for the UK Research Excellence Framework (, the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, and would greatly value your input.

If you are interested in helping out (and we particularly welcome input from those not teaching or learning in higher education) please visit our survey.

Update 17.01.13

Check out Bob Mitchell’s latest versions of his editions from the Trent codices, which he has kindly made available in our Music Editions resource, and the PhD thesis of DIAMM co-founder Margaret Bent. Among our other recent updates is a digital version of the Curtis-Wathey handlist of fifteenth-century English liturgical music. We are also pleased to present, by popular demand, a new list browser for the database, recommended if you are looking for a specific manuscript and know the relevant city, library, or shelfmark

Please do browse our pages (some are still under construction), and let us know what you like and what you don’t.

Alamire Foundation in unique partnership with Vatican Library

DIAMM-trained photographer Dr Lynda Sayce is contributing to an exciting new collaboration between the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City) and the Alamire Foundation, International Centre for the Study of Music in the Low Countries (Belgium). The Alamire Digital Lab (a state-of-the-art mobile laboratory specializing in the digitization of musical heritage) has been permitted to digitize, describe and study the music manuscripts held in the Vatican Library collections. These collections include manuscripts dating from the late 14th to the early 17th centuries from the Sistine Chapel, the Cappella Giulia, and the church of S. Maria Maggiore.

The digitization (13,500 images) will take place between November 2012 and April 2013 in consultation with the Vatican Library. The sources to be digitized include masterpieces from the workshop of Petrus Alamire in Flanders that contain superb polyphony and magnificent illuminations. The Alamire sources in particular will be meticulously studied, analysed, described, and provided with metadata in the Vatican by an international team of researchers and staff from the Alamire Foundation – University of Leuven, Musicology Research Unit.

The uniqueness of the project lies in the fact that the images will not only be accessible in the Vatican Library itself, but will also be included in a new digital database, the Integrated Database for Early Music (IDEM). In this database, which will be freely accessible online, not only will the images themselves be available, but also substantial additional material relating to the manuscripts.

The Alamire Digital Lab and IDEM are supported by the Hercules Foundation and the University of Leuven. The Vatican manuscript digitization project has been made possible through the generous support of the Flemish Minister of Culture Joke Schauvliege and the Special Research Fund of the University of Leuven. The choirbooks of Petrus Alamire will be researched and valorized with the support of an IWT / SBO grant for the project “New Perspectives on Polyphony”.

The Alamire Foundation is extremely delighted that this unique collaboration enables, stimulates and valorizes research into the splendid musical sources that the Vatican possesses. In an unprecedented way, this exceptional project will reveal an important part of the musical and art-historical heritage of the Low Countries that is now located in the Vatican Library.

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Note about the new home page

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