Codicology (study of manuscripts)
Codicology is an auxiliary historical science that deals with the study of manuscript books of a non-official nature, the so-called codices, over a wide time span from the Middle Ages to the end of the early modern period. Its task is a comprehensive analysis of manuscript books, taking into account their origin and function, as well as their often changing function and use. It works closely with other related disciplines, especially palaeography, diplomacy, art history and literary history. One of the goals of codicology and a condition for its further development is to make manuscript collections accessible through catalogues, which is now increasingly taking the form of specialised electronic databases enabling the use of digital humanities methods. Codicologists also research sub-topics, such as specific groups of manuscripts (illuminated, heraldic or musical manuscripts) or the history of manuscript collections.