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How to Search the Database

Search instructions for the manuscripts-on-microfilm database

The database is designed for researchers to check our microfilm holdings for specific manuscripts, not for research about the manuscripts themselves.

If searching for the manuscripts that contain specific texts or texts by a certain author, we recommend that you use Pinakes: Textes et manuscrits grecs.

Conducting a Search in the Database

To start your search for a microfilm, select Search the Database from the left-hand menu.

You can search the text of all manuscript records by using the General Search field. To search exact words or phrases, surround the search term(s) with quotation marks.

At any point on the search screen, you can narrow results by marking the box next to one or more options in the lists of Manuscript Repositories, Century, or Manuscript Genres. The small number in parentheses after an item indicates the number of existing records in the database.

Understanding the Results

The results of your filtered search will appear in the center of the screen. The results list includes the name of the repository and shelfmark of manuscripts that meet your criteria. Please be aware that they appear in the order in which the records were created in the database; this order cannot be changed.

To see the database’s record for a manuscript, click on the repository and shelfmark of a specific manuscript.

At the top of the manuscript record, you will see the call number(s) for any microfilms that have images of that manuscript.

Be aware that many microfilms only have select pages from the manuscript, not the entire manuscript. We recommend that you click on each microfilm listed in order to see more information about the microfilm, including the pages of that manuscript represented on the microfilm, information about the history of the microfilm, and a list of any other manuscripts that are included on the same microfilm.

Below the list of microfilms, you will find additional information about the manuscript provided by our interns, including select bibliography and links to online resources. Please report broken links to .

Locating the Microfilm in the Library

Presently, all the library's microfilms are housed in cabinets along the west wall (rear wall) of level 1 of the library. Each cabinet is marked clearly “MICROFILM: Manuscripts” along with the information about the contents of each drawer.

Within the drawers, the microfilms are organized according to a locally developed call number system. Each microfilm box is labelled with this call number along with the city, institution, and shelfmark(s) of the manuscripts represented on the film.

Examples of microfilm call numbers:





Call numbers that begin with WEST designate microfilms that once belonged to Leendert G. Westerink and that are housed separately from the rest of the microfilm collection. Call numbers that do not have WEST as a prefix are housed in another neighboring cabinet.

Click here for more information about the local call number system.