Cambridge Digital Library: Life of St Edward the Confessor by Matthew Paris
A glorious illustrated account of the life of St Edward by the author, calligrapher and illuminator Matthew Paris.
Paris is of course writing in the early 13th century about events from before 1066 in England. So his illuminations show kings, queens, courtiers, warriors and bishops in the height of early 13th c fashion, with the classic full-body mail, surcoats, heater shields and closed-face helms.
Here's his impression of the battle of Stamford Bridge, 1066
The viewer can turn pages, zoom, jmp pages, and download pages individually. Glorious.
Second resource: Fitzwilliam Museum Collection, Collections explorer, searching for items under 'illuminated' and 'romanesque', I came up with this MS:
Model book, c 1150-1175, Italy, probably Florence
It's about 5 pages of a model book with Romanesque initials. Here's the blurb (emphasis mine):
These three folios are the earliest pattern sheets for ornamental initials known to survive from the medieval period. They are an important document for the rise of professional artists and their methods of work. The faint sketches in plummet are still visible beneath the ink drawing and the use of a ruler and compasses can be detected in most letters. The shape, style and colour of the initials, figures and scroll-work find close parallels in Florentine manuscripts from the middle through the third quarter of the twelfth century, such as a Bible and a Homiliary (Florence, Biblioteca Laurenziana, MS Mugel. 2 and London, British Library, MS Harley 7183; Berg 1968, no. 74, figs. 125-31, and no. 106, figs. 132-37; http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/record.asp?MSID=6386&CollID=8&NStart=7183).
Following the link, you get an example of the exemplars in use in Harley 7183 in the British Library:
This makes me feel soooo much better about copying existing work, though I feel I should still know how these pieces were drafted, so I can do it myself.
OTOH, the journeyman-level artists might not have done that drafting - they may have been copyartists, relying on the masters to provide that expert drafting, and they simply, well, copied.
Anyway: I was very excited and please by these finds. Hurrah for libraries continuing to stretch their digital holdings.