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All over the world, in cultural archives and in private collections, there are precious witnesses of what can be placed at the dawn of modern publishing: manuscripts. In Italy, some of these can also be consulted online through the Digitalized Historical Catalogs projects of the Central Institute for the Single Catalog of Italian Libraries and Bibliographic Information, the New Manuscript Library promoted by the Veneto Region and Ca 'Foscari University, as well as the most recent Cultura Italia and Internet Culturale of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities.

The manuscript, long before the Renaissance or the invention of printing, in medieval times represents any document written by hand, using a kind of pen or similar instrument, on paper or parchment. Among these, the so-called illuminated manuscripts stand out for their enlightening beauty, created with patience, dedication and impeccable precision by the illuminating monks, where the letters are flanked by decorations and drawings that have nothing to envy to the frescoes created centuries later.

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