Medieval History Database - Home Page -
Medieval History Database MHDB Homepage Academic News About Contact

Medieval History Database - Home Page


The Medieval History Database (MHDB) is designed as a collection of translations, biographies, reviews, governmental, financial and military records, 3D reproductions, academic news and other material related to medieval history.

Begun in 2005, originally intended as standalone software, the database is currently being redesigned and expanded as primarily an online collection, partly a searchable database and partly standard HTML articles. Online videos and interactive WebGL features are also planned.

Volunteers willing to help with the project are welcome to use the contact form to describe your background in medieval history or software development, and planned contribution to the database.

Search The Database

NOTE: searches sometimes time out or generate memory usage errors due to the size of the database and the inefficiency of the (dated) search code. A more efficient system is currently in the planning stages.

Recent Features

Gilded Manuscript Display Feature Update
Update on the medieval artwork rendering project to display realistic effects of light shining off gilded areas or other reflective surfaces.

Facial Reconstruction of Medieval People
This project will reproduce realistic 3D facial models of medieval kings, dukes, and other personnages for whom surviving paintings or sculptures exist. Modern techniques can achieve a large degree of realism, sometimes photorealism, as well as lifelike animation of facial features, thereby bringing the dead to life.

Gilded Manuscript Display Feature
Photographs of medieval gilded artwork do not adequate represent gilded areas since these areas are reproduced with only a single static color. Work has now progressed on a software-based method (using WebGL to embed the software inside a webpage) that can display light shining off gilded areas, as part of a planned addition of scanned medieval manuscripts and artwork to the Medieval History Database.

The "Chambre" of Nicholas Paynel, 1 May 1421
One of the smallest units in a late-medieval army was the "chambre", which consisted of about twenty men as a sub-unit of a "compagnie". One of the chambre commanders in Normandy in 1421 was Nicholas Paynel, who then served under Duke Jehan II of Alencon (later made famous by his many battles and sieges such as Verneuil, Jargeau, and Patay).

Army of the Earl of Suffolk In Normandy, Spring 1430
Selection of inspection records of the Earl of Suffolk's army tasked with fighting Armagnac partisans in two baillages in Normandy from March to June 1430.

MHDB Wood Surface Effects
The Medieval History Database project includes standalone software to render 3D models of architecture, artwork, and other medieval items. To enhance realism, this software can add tiny surface details to wood, such as grain texture, bumps, dents, and scratches, increasing the detail as the viewer gets closer rather than the video system's normal process of blurring surface textures while zooming in.

Construction of the Charles IV Bridge
Animated video of the construction method used for one of the most recognizable features of the city of Prague: the Charles IV Bridge, begun in 1357 as a replacement for the earlier Judith Bridge which was badly damaged in 1346 by flooding. The Charles IV bridge now serves as a tourist favorite and oft-photographed icon of the city, especially its famous clusters of statues, after surviving nearly 700 years.

Armagnac Contingents At Orleans
A selection of pro-Armagnac units at the siege of Orleans which played a crucial role in the Hundred Years' War, from Charles VII's records.

The Medieval Quince
Quinces (a pear-like fruit) were often used in the medieval period to make fruit jelly, since quinces contain large amounts of pectin. Originally a method of preserving fruit for long periods, jelly was an important component of the pre-modern diet.

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