Downloading Armorials from the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

The Austrian National Library, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, hosts online scans of a number of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century manuscripts which may be of interest to armorial researchers, but sadly their website lacks a PDF download or bulk export feature.

To facilitate offline viewing and transfer to other repositories, we can use a little JavaScript in a browser with “developer mode” enabled to generate a batch of command-line download commands that will retrieve an entire volume.

Continue reading “Downloading Armorials from the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek”

Downloading “Scottish Nobility E2”

The same collection at  the National Library of Ireland that holds “Irish Nobility E1” also includes a related volume indexed as “Scottish Nobility E2.”

This text was also in the collection of the Ulster King of Arms, despite the fact that Scotland was the domain of the Lord Lyon King of Arms — perhaps this was a local reference work for Ulster’s office containing the arms of their neighbors, whom might visit Ireland or be met while traveling elsewhere in the British Isles? Continue reading “Downloading “Scottish Nobility E2””

Downloading “Irish Nobility E1”

A couple of weeks ago, Iago ab Adam shared a link to a lovely late-period collection of armorial illustrations, indexed by the National Library of Ireland as “Irish Nobility E1.”

This manuscript was produced by and for the office of the Ulster King of Arms, the principal heraldic authority for all of Ireland under English rule, and records the armorial achievements of various barons and viscounts of Ireland; the first 30 pages or so seem to date from around 1585 or so, while the rest of the book is in a different style, and appears to mostly date from around 1685.

The book was scanned and posted on the web site of the National Library of Ireland, using a “click to pan and zoom” interface, but with a bit of coding I was able to extract the files for offline viewing. Continue reading “Downloading “Irish Nobility E1””

Downloading Powell’s Roll

Powell’s Roll is one of the few extant fourteenth-century English illustrated armorials available online. It’s kept at the British Bodley Library, where it is indexed as Bodleian Ms. Ashmole 804, pt. IV.

The library has made their scans available through a “click to pan and zoom” interface, and although it doesn’t seem to be available as a combined download, they do helpfully allow you to download individual images — and as there are only 29 of them, that’s precisely what I have done. Continue reading “Downloading Powell’s Roll”

Downloading the Stemmario Trivulziano

The Stemmario Trivulziano is a fifteenth-century Italian armorial featuring the Milan’s ruling family the Visconti and many of their allies and neighbors, believed to be painted by Gian Antonio da Tradate somewhere around around 1465. It takes its name from its owner, Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, an independent mercenary commander, who might have made good use of it in identifying military units on the battlefields of Italy.

Unfortunately, for a long time the only way to view the Stemmario Trivulziano has been to either finagle an invitation to the library where it is held inside Milan’s Sforza Castle, or to purchase a lovely bound edition for € 296 (about $350). As those options were both out of the reach of many amateur armorialists, the rest of us had to make do with a few isolated pages which had been scanned and posted online. Continue reading “Downloading the Stemmario Trivulziano”

Downloading the Arlberg “Viennese Manuscript”

A couple of months ago I posted about extracting Vigil Raber’s sixteenth-century Wappenbuch der Arlberg-Bruderschaft from the “click to pan and zoom” web interface in which it is hosted, but as it turns out, this is not the only armorial manuscript created by this brotherhood.

For a bit of context, the Brotherhood of St. Christopher was established in the fourteenth century to shelter and assist travelers who were crossing the Alps using the Arlberg pass between Italy and Austria. For hundreds of years, they recorded the identities of armigerous travelers (and donors to the brotherhood) by painting the arms in a series of manuscript guest books.

In addition to Vigil Raber’s manuscript (circa 1548), several other copies of these books have survived to the present, although it appears that others were lost over the centuries. Continue reading “Downloading the Arlberg “Viennese Manuscript””

Downloading the Livro do Armeiro-Mor

The Livro do Armeiro-Mor (Book of Great Armigers) was painted in Portugal 1506-09 by Jean Du Cros.

As with a number of other period armorials, it has been photographically digitized at high resolution, but the only publicly-available source for these scans is a “click to pan and zoom” web interface operated by the Portuguese Archives Network, which is hard to flip through rapidly, and can’t be accessed when offline at an event. Continue reading “Downloading the Livro do Armeiro-Mor”

Downloading the Wappenbuch der Arlberg-Bruderschaft

Having had some success with the Gelre armorial, I thought I’d take a stab at extracting another renaissance-era armorial that is only available through a “click to pan and zoom” web interface: the Wappenbuch der Arlberg-Bruderschaft, painted by Vigil (sometimes spelled Virgil) Raber around 1550 in Tyrol, on the border between northern Italy and western Austria. Continue reading “Downloading the Wappenbuch der Arlberg-Bruderschaft”

Downloading The Gelre Armorial

The Gelre Armorial is a medieval manuscript including over 1700 coats of arms that was painted around 1395 near Geldern, presumably by Claes Heinenzoon, herald to the Duke of Guelders.

It is kept in the Royal Library of Belgium, or KBR, and until very recently it was not available in full online, although images of several pages or noteworthy arms had been posted, such as the earliest known color depiction of the flag of Denmark.

Very recently, KBR published high-resolution images of the complete book, but they were only available through an interactive point-and-click “zoom to view” web interface, and could not be downloaded in a simple PDF format. Continue reading “Downloading The Gelre Armorial”