11 manuscripts from the Bibliothèque nationale have just been added to the digital library. A Rose in the University of Manchester’s John Rylands University Library and one at the University of Pennsylvania are now up as well. We are in the process of cropping images and adding scholarly content. There are new codicological descriptions of two manuscripts, Penn 906 and Walters 143, and more to come. We are also improving the French language site by offering new translations of pages, and would appreciate feedback on these or on any aspect of the project.

This gives us a total of 26 manuscripts and 2 early printed books digitized so far. Check back as we continue to add manuscripts through 2009!

Extant manuscripts

Currently, no one can say with certainty exactly how many Rose manuscripts exist or where they are located, and thus we are working to create such a list. A number of factors make this a difficult task: manuscripts change names and hands over time; manuscripts are lost, destroyed, or stolen; manuscripts sometimes appear briefly on the market and are sold to anonymous owners; fragments exist in libraries around the world, and some of these have never been mentioned in publications; sometimes it is hard to know what to count as a Rose manuscript (there are, e.g., early translations into other languages, manuscripts containing only excerpts from the Rose, and copies of a prose version of the Rose). 
With the help of users of the digital library our list of manuscripts is being corrected and expanded. We would particularly like to thank Heidrun Ost for sending us changes. If you know of a Rose manuscript or fragment not given here, e-mail Prof. Timothy Stinson at, and it will be added to the list.

Usage statistics (January 2009)

For the first four months of the Roman de la Rose Digital Library (through December 31, 2008), we have noted the following usage statistics:

  • 5,373 visits from 89 different countries or territories
  • The top five countries represented (in order): United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Canada
  • 4,108 absolute unique visitors
  • 24% of these visitors have returned to the site
  • 124 of these visitors have used the site 9-14 times
  • 52 of these visitors have used the site 15-25 times
  • 268 of these visits lasted between 10-30 minutes
  • 36 of these visits lasted over 30 minutes

We have received the images for 11 new manuscripts from the Bibliothèque nationale de France system which will be added soon to the Digital Library.