Help Using this Site

Browser and other software requirements

Most parts of this site should be viewable with any web browser and on any computer system. However, there are some pages that may not display properly (or at all) if your browser is out of date or not set up correctly. If any pages do not display correctly on your system, check the information below for possible solutions. If none of this helps, please contact the Webmaster with the URL of the page you are having trouble with, and a short description of the problem.


This site should work properly with any modern browser. It will probably not work well (or at all) with Microsoft Internet Explorer, which doesn't follow web standards. It has been tested with Firefox, Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Note that Edge sometimes formats text differently than other browsers; some text may be bigger or smaller than expected. Firefox and Chrome are recommended for browsing this site.


This site makes extensive use of the Javascript scripting features available in most browsers. If your browser cannot handle Javascript, or if you have disabled Javascript processing in your browser, many parts of this site will not work properly or may not be accessible at all. None of the Javascript code used by this site is in any way harmful or malicious.


This site does not use cookies; the site will continue to be usable even if cookies are blocked. This site will never track you or gather any personal information about you.

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Some areas of this site use a standard form of persistent data storage to allow certain settings to be remembered as you browse between pages on the site, or leave the site and return. This data is stored by the browser on your computer but it does not use cookies to do so, and the data is only available to that specific browser on that specific computer; it never leaves that computer and no other web site you may browse to can see it. Even the owner/editor of the web site cannot see it; it is entirely private. No personally indentifiable information is stored in any case. Some browsers allow you to disable this form of persistent data storage; if you have told the browser to do so, the settings will be forgotten as soon as you browse away from the web page where the settings were used.

Page Structure

The pages on this site have a consistent appearance. For example, the green bars you see at the top and bottom of this page appear on all of the other pages.

In the green band at the top of pages (the header) there are several elements; what appears on any page depends on the content of the page being viewed. Almost all pages will have at least these elements:

The green band at the bottom of the page (the footer) has links to commonly-used section of the site. If you get lost, there are links to take you to the Home, Contents and Help pages. At the far right of the footer the date the page content was last updated is shown.

Some pages have other elements in the header or footer to help you navigate the pages in the section or to provide additional information.

Site Structure

This site has a basically hierarchical struture. There are several main sections, accessible from the Contents page.

Site Information

Information about this site: table of contents, help pages, contacts, copyright issues, etc.


Information about the beasts of the bestiary, including descriptions, sources and images.


Information about medieval manuscripts, including bestiaries and other works relating to animals in the Middle Ages.


Short articles on various beast-related topics, including information on the sources of the animal legends, from classical Greek, Roman and other authorites to medieval authors.


An extensive list of books, articles, digital files and other materials, available in several formats.


Various original articles on bestiary topics.

Digital Text Library

Texts, originally only available in print form and long out of print, converted to digital texts which can be viewed online, downloaded or printed.


Information about libraries, universities and other institutes holding primary materials (mostly manuscripts) relating to bestiaries and medieval animal lore.

Each section (except for Site Information) has an Introduction and index page that lists the resources available in that section. In most cases there are one or more lists containing links to provide more details.

Detail pages for bibliography items, institutes, copyright and image information are displayed in popup windows that open when you click a related link or button. These pages can be left open, and several can be open at the same time. The windows can be sized and positioned any way you choose. While most pop-blocker software will allow these windows to open, if you click a link and nothing happens, you may need to temporarily disable the pop-up blocker; see the browser documentation for instructions on how to do that.


Most of the images on this site are illustrations from manuscripts, though some are from other sources like carvings, paintings and maps. The majority of images are displayed in the Gallery pages in the Beast, Manuscript and Encyclopedia sections. Some images are embedded in the Encyclopedia section pages. Each image has additional information about it available in a popup window that shows a description, the source of the image and copyright information. The Image Information icon appears either in the lower right corner of the image or below the image, and looks like this:

Click the icon to open the Image Information window; click the X in the upper right corner of the window to close it.