I. Medieval Latin Tools

The Elements of Abbreviation in Medieval Latin Paleography

Adriano Cappelli’s classic introduction to Medieval Latin Paleography translated by David Heimann and Richard Kay.

Lexicon Abbreviaturarum

This is an online version of Adriano Cappelli’s Dictionary of Abbreviated Latin Words (1928 edition).

William Whitaker’s Words

An online Latin dictionary and grammar tool developed by William Whitaker and housed at the University of Notre Dame.


Abbreviationes is an online tool for de-coding medieval Latin abbreviations (developed by Olaf Pluta).


Enigma is an online tool for deciphering abbreviated Latin words. The search tools allow for the implementation of “wildcards” into your best guess and searches the possible Latin words.

II. Library Tools (to find incunabula or early modern printings)

Universal Short Title Catalog

This is the first place I begin a search. The search options are easily fine tuned and the interface is great. (There are also loads of great texts).

Post-Reformation Digital Library

Despite the name, this database (begun by David Sytsma) has an enormous amount of medieval texts. A great place to find early modern printings.

University of Karlsruhe Meta-Catalog

An excellent library search engine that spans numerous countries and libraries.

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